Saturday, September 10, 2005

He's Got Your Union Bosses Right Here

Polski3 asks why the National Education Association and the NEA-affiliated California Teachers Association don't practice what they preach to the rest of us: (emphasis added)
At the NEA representative Assembly in Los Angeles last summer, the representatives of us teachers voted on many resolutions and amended some resolutions. As published in the most recent edition of NEA TODAY, on page 51, there is Resolutions H 3: "The Right to Vote". It reads:

"The National Education Association believes that the principle of one person-one vote must apply at all levels of government, including the election of the President of the United States.

The Association recognizes the right to vote as a constitutional right guaranteed to all eligible citizens. The Association supports the continued maintenance of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The California Education Association is no better. In my 18 years teaching in California, just like with NEA, I have never been allowed to cast a ballot to elect CTA State President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer.
Heh. These unions just don't believe in allowing their own dues-paying rank-and-file membership to have the same choice and electoral safeguards that they want for the 99% of the citizenry that doesn't belong to NEA.

It's strange how in their public announcements, both NEA and CTA whine about the very type of political shenanigans and authoritarian leadership-styles that they foist upon their own memberships.

The leadership of neither NEA nor CTA is elected by the rank-and-file, many of which are forced to pay monies to both organizations whether they like it or not.

NEA President Reg Weaver and CTA President Barbara Kerr both obtained their sinecures positions through an obscure and Byzantine system of patronage, appointed committees, and back-room deals.

Both Boss Weaver and Boss Kerr of CTA could learn some lessons in effective union leadership from a thorough study of the methods used by ex-coal miner
John Mitchell, who united a very diverse and multi-cultural workforce into a strong and effective national union before he was 35 years old.

We are still waiting for Weaver & Company to provide their membership with the type of
forum that the much more respected and progressive-minded New York City based affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers does for its membership.

Update: (09/11/05) Polski continues the discussion over the need to democratize the NEA and its affiliated syndicates unions. Don't miss the lively dialogues among the commenters.

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