(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 9:23 am and is filed under teacher union. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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If I don’t have time to watch the whole thing, what are the highlights from your perspective?
Stephen Sawchuk of Ed Week has highlights here.
Chanin’s own speech was really something, almost impossible to summarize….In essence, it took delegates through his entire history with the NEA, which is also the history of NEA’s transformation from professional association to union….
So why is your dogged blogger bringing this up? Well, consider Van Roekel’s keynote, which could be read as a formal acknowledgment of NEA’s place in the organized-labor movement. Or take the discussion over new business item 69, which had to do with whether the NEA should go on record in support of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in their organizing drive of the new Delta Airlines.
“As NEA becomes a union and becomes used to being a union, this is what we must support,” said one delegate in support of the item. (It eventually passed.)
Essentially, much of this year’s assembly turned on the delegates grappling with the meaning of belonging to a union.
In completing his speech, Chanin pointed out that the NEA used collective bargaining and strikes to more effectively represent education employees. And while NEA should continue to advocate policies to close the achievement gap and stop dropouts and promote educational equity, it should not do so at the expense of hard-won rights, such as due process or collective bargaining, he concluded.
“NEA and affiliates must never lose sight of the fact that they are unions, and unions first and foremost represent their members,” Chanin said.
A fitting capstone that nicely summed up the flavor of this year’s RA.
In other words “I’ll start caring about kids when kids start paying union dues.”
Thank you for posting! The last five minutes was quite educational for those unfamiliar with K-12 politics and should be required viewing for anyone getting involved in education reform
I am a recently retired public school teacher with over 30 years experience (including 4 as a principal) who formerly was an aggressive member (picket captain during West Virginia’s only teacher strike) of the NEA/AFT for over 20 years and I strongly believe there is no hope for public education as long as teacher unions maintain power. I left the Union for my last ten, or so, years. I also strongly believe the teacher unions are contributing to the ruination of the United States of America.
The good parts, 2 minutes long:
He’s the real bastard! As he calls certain people!
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