The Age-Old Question Still Not Answered
The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) over 20 years ago, contemplated a merger, which came to nothing at the time. The greatest stumbling block at the time appeared to be the attitude of many NEA members who refused to be a part of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The AFL-CIO is an umbrella organization which includes many trade unions. These NEA members felt teaching was more of a profession and not a trade. The merger never happened, for many different reasons. Mike Antonucci speculates on the possibility of another merger consideration and the reasons why it probably will not happen. CEAFU staff has long considered the National Right to Work Legal Foundation-won Janus case would revive the merger issue since both unions stood to lose substantial numbers of forced-dues payers. Mike Antonucci has the story in the74million.org.
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are the only national teachers unions in the United States. They share similar philosophies, perform the same functions, have friendly relations and almost never compete with each other for members anymore. So why don’t they join forces and form a massive, 4 million-member mega-union?
Teachers union locals in Los Angeles; Wichita, Kansas; and Austin, Texas, have been dually affiliated with both NEA and AFT for years. State affiliates in Minnesota, Montana, Florida, New York and North Dakota are also merged. Why not everywhere?