-By Warner Todd Huston
Mike Antonucci reports that three of the biggest government employee unions in the nation are teaming up to try and head off the growing move in many states to implement right-to-work legislation.
“The National Education Association is working more closely than ever before with its counterparts in organized labor,” Antonucci wrote on December 10. The NEA is teaming with the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to launch rallies they are calling the “day of action” in cities across the country.
While three of the largest public employee unions in the nation are cooperating on external communications and operations, they are also crafting an internal agreement that would establish a détente over competition for members. A group of high-level NEA officials met with teams from SEIU and AFSCME last week to put together a deal that would establish jurisdictions for the individual unions, similar to the arrangement NEA made with AFT after the failed attempt at national merger in 1998.
What makes this interesting is that in the past the NEA never mixed much with other unions. But now they are reaching out.
The teachers used to consider themselves professionals interested only in education. Now they are far less interested in education than they are unionism. This move to join hands with other labor unions is just one more example of the degradation of the American education system.
It is a sign of desperation in many ways. But it also serves as a warning of a dangerous coalition that we must oppose.