First a betrayal by the state’s NEA affiliate. They helped write the Republican teacher pension theft bill.
Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the pension bill that the Kentucky union helped write. The Republican legislature then overrode the veto.
You may recall that it was three years ago that Kentucky teachers were one of the loudest groups in the Red State Teacher Revolt against pension theft.
School districts across Kentucky were forced to close by a massive wildcat strike.
Through all this the NEA was invisible. The largest NEA local, the Jefferson County Education Association went AWOL.
The target of the wildcat strike, the pension theft bill, was thrown out by the state court.
The Republicans came back this year when teachers were distanced by the pandemic and passed another pension theft bill that the union helped craft.
Yep. That’s what the union did.
The 2018 Kentucky revolt was led by local long-time activists and young rank and file teachers on social media, not the NEA.
Many are disgusted and through with the NEA. Many want to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers.
In 1998 I attended the NEA convention which voted to reject a merger of the AFT and the NEA.
I was the only Illinois delegate to my knowledge to vote in favor of merger.
I have always stood in favor of labor movement unity.
But I understand the anger and frustration of rank and file Kentucky teachers.
The NEA betrayal was nothing short of a disgrace.
I’m not sure that the AFT would be any better.
I’m not even sure that the AFT and the NEA leadership wants to get into a jurisdictional fight over representation of Kentucky teachers in the right to work state.
But Kentucky teachers are pissed.
And, boy, do I get it.