Janus was supposed to spell the end of public employee unions.
When the Supreme Court ruled against the unions and ended the right to a union shop, membership was expected to decline.
It seems to have declined, but not by as much as was expected by union busters and union leaders.
The National Education Association’s Representative Assembly is meeting in a few weeks in Houston, Texas.
Unless there has been some recent change there will be no New Hampshire state delegation at the RA. They are protesting Texas’ anti-LGBTQ legislation.
There has been a similar call, by me, not to attend the scheduled 2020 RA in Atlanta, Georgia.
If they can’t logistically move it, they should cancel it. Georgia is home to some of the most regressive legislation impacting women’s reproductive rights. Even some corporations and Hollywood productions are choosing not to go to Georgia.
Is it too much to ask of a self-proclaimed social justice union?
But 2020 is a presidential election year.
Endorsing presidential candidates has been a problem for the NEA over the past 16 years.
In 2008 the NEA stayed out of the Democratic primary. Obama won and he went on to pick Arne Duncan as Ed Secretary.
In 2012 Obama had a lock, so the NEA endorsed him two years before the election. They asked nothing from him in return for the endorsement. That’s pretty much what they got.
In the 2016 primary between Clinton and Sanders, it seemed that Hillary had a lock on the nomination, even as she later proved to be the most seriously flawed presidential candidate.
Hillary defined what it meant to claim electability as her primary reason for being nominated and then be totally unelectable.
Bernie had a strong base among teachers, but Hillary probably would have won the votes of most NEA members for endorsement.
However, the NEA leadership couldn’t help themselves and created a transparently manipulated endorsement process.
It was like framing a guilty man.
The early endorsement of Hillary also came with no demands from the union and no strings attached.
It left a sour taste in the mouths of many NEA Bernie supporters.
Some members can be excused for being skeptical.
Some NEA members have called for a change in the by-laws allowing for rank and file voting on a presidential endorsement.
That idea may prove to be a little too democratic for the NEA leadership.
The tried and true method for killing a rank-and-file initiative is to put an outlandish price tag on it.
I’m hearing the leadership will claim a vote by the membership on who they will endorse would cost the NEA seven million dollars.
That should kill it.