That about sums up the National Education Association’s (NEA) Representative Assembly vote. Non-teacher, so-called “public education allies” will be able to join the NEA but the benefit of membership seems all on the side of the NEA. As a matter of fact, it seems this new membership category gives “public education allies” the same privileges as agency fee payors had prior to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s groundbreaking Janus victory last year. Breitbart.com has the story.
The “public education allies” will not be eligible to vote or engage in the union’s governance, but will be able to donate to NEA’s PAC.
While different sources report differing membership increases and decreases, massive agency fee payor numbers dwindling to zero, the fact remains that any employee who works for any governmental agency is no longer forced to pay dues against his or her will. The Janus decision has forced unions to revive themselves by looking for other income streams besides membership. Surely every organization would love to have people join and pay money to their PAC but bar them from having any say or power in that organization.
Delegates of the National Education Association (NEA) voted Friday to open up membership to non-teacher “public education allies” who will be eligible to donate to the union’s political action committee (PAC).
The required two-thirds majority of delegates approved the new category of membership.
The vote to expand NEA membership to non-teachers comes as the nation’s largest teachers’ union heard from ten Democrat 2020 presidential contenders during a forum in Houston as part of NEA’s Representative Assembly.
The vote to allow non-teacher members also comes as the NEA claims the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in the Janus case, which held forcing public workers to fund labor unions is a violation of the First Amendment, did not yield significant losses for the union.
Patrick Semmens, vice president of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation – which represented Illinois state employee Mark Janus in his landmark victory at the Supreme Court – said in a statement to Breitbart News the poll “reflects the massive disinformation campaign teacher union bosses launched to keep teachers in the dark about the actual findings of the Janus decision.”
“Teachers, like all Americans, have consistently supported the idea that union membership and dues payment should be voluntary, not coerced, yet both before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling union officials have consistently misrepresented the case in their efforts to block educators from exercising their Janus rights,” he said.