Evergreed Freedom Foundation
The National Education Association (NEA) is holding its annual meeting on July 1-6, 2005, in Los Angeles, California.
The NEA Representative Assembly, the organization’s highest decision-making body, has over 9,000 delegates from all fifty states; however, critics believe the NEA is hardly the representative body it claims to be.
With 2.7 million members each paying approximately $137 per year in union dues, the NEA has nearly $370 million at its disposal, making it a major force in American politics and education.
Though one would naturally expect that an overwhelming majority of union dues would go toward collective bargaining activities, making the jobs and salaries of teachers better, the union admits to spending 46 percent of its dues on activities not related to collective bargaining.*
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), a nonpartisan, worker-freedom, advocacy group, believes that nearly 99 percent of its dues go to non-bargaining activities.
“The NEA’s conference theme is ‘TEAM NEA: Fighting for You, Your Schools, Your Students!’ but the NEA is more interested in lobbying for its radical political agenda than serving as an advocate for the good of teachers, schools and students,” said Bob Williams, president of EFF.
Though NEA President Reg Weaver has admitted teachers are equally divided as Democrats, Republicans and independents, 92 percent of NEA political spending supports Democratic candidates. This is hardly indicative of an assembly seeking to truly represent its members.
“The NEA has long used its members’ dues to support causes to which many members are opposed,” said Williams. “As the NEA meets for its annual conference, we urge the union to truly represent its members rather than treating them as cash cows for its own radical political agenda.”
To view “Barrier to Learning: How the National Education Association prevents students and teachers from achieving professional and academic excellence,” please click here: effwa.org/NEA-Magazine.pdf
*Traditional collective bargaining activities include negotiating contract terms, maintaining contracts, and grievance arbitration.