At the annual NEA convention last July, a New Business Item proposed calling the “association” a union. NBI 46 sought to add the word “union” when referring to the NEA. The new wording would have been: “NEA, the nation’s largest professional employee association and union.” After discussion, a vote was taken by the membership and this item was defeated. A delegate from rural Missouri stated that the NEA affiliate in their area already has enough trouble getting teachers to join, and if they incorporate the word “union,” even fewer teachers would become 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 has managed to achieve.
Another new-business resolution that was defeated by the membership suggested that the NEA convention be broadcast online so members could watch it from their homes using a password-protected site. One delegate in opposition to the item said, “We want to control the flow of information.” She said that some of what goes on gets “ugly” and could be misunderstood by parents 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.
Listen to the radio commentary here: