Afraid to Call it a Union
At the Representational Assembly convention of the NEA, a New Business Item (NBI) proposed calling the “association” a union. NBI 46 sought to add the word “union” when referring to the National Education Association. The new wording would have been: “NEA, the nation’s largest professional employee association and union.” After discussion, a vote was taken and the item was defeated.
A delegate from rural Missouri stated that the NEA affiliate in his area already has enough trouble getting teachers to join, and if they incorporated the word “union,” even fewer teachers would be NEA members. He said, “If we say union, we will lose people.”
The NEA is clearly and absolutely a union. In fact, it is the largest union in the nation. It is shrinking, but the power it wields should not be discounted. Just look at the state of public schools for proof of what the union manages to achieve.
Another defeated NBI suggested that the NEA union convention be broadcast online so members could watch from their homes using a password-protected site. This item was defeated by a vote of delegates. One delegate in opposition to the NBI said, “We want to control the flow of information.” She said that some of what goes on gets “ugly” and could be misunderstood by teachers who would watch. But letting teachers see their union in action is a great idea. Maybe if more teachers understood how radical their union is, they would drop their membership, at least in states where they are legally allowed to do so.