As described by their outgoing General Counsel Bob Chanin at the NEA 2009 conference:

Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.

And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year, because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay.

And we wonder why public education is failing?

HT: Hawkeye Review

2 comments
  1. May I say “baloney”? I belong to the SEIU, not because I choose it, but because it is required for my employment. I imagine that there are many good teachers who hold their noses and pay their dues, because they would not be employed otherwise. What I would like to see is for good people to agree to be more involved inside the union in the hope of turning their directions from the inside out. Maybe that is extremely naieve, but I think the neglect of this is how we got here. Good people had better things to do with their time than to play politics, so people with an agenda and desire for power were allowed to gain control and influence, and so many suffer the consequences.

    1. @Robin, You can say baloney, but who are you saying it to? Bob Chanin?

      I agree with you that people need to stand up and take back their unions… they should be working for you as a member instead of being a talking head for the left.

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