Saturday, June 13, 2009

SDUSD's teachers union (SDEA) joins AFL-CIO

SDEA will continue to be affiliated with the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

Teachers Union Joins Labor Council

Voice of San Diego
June 11, 2009

The union that represents teachers in San Diego Unified, the San Diego Education Association, voted yesterday to join the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, signifying a tighter relationship between unionized teachers and other organized labor across the region.

Evan McLaughlin, political director of the Labor Council, said the teachers union would join the regional group as one of its largest unions, bumping its overall membership from 181,000 to 189,000 people...

NEA-AFT-AFL-CIO? "Not Just No, But HELL NO!"

Rich Gibson

...7. On July 5, 1998, 58 percent of the 9,741 delegates to the National Education Association's 77th annual representative assembly rejected the strident urging of their leaders to merge their national membership of 2.3 million with the 900,000 members of the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.

The vote reflected a stunning rebuff to NEA President Bob Chase, vice-president Reg Weaver, secretary-treasurer Dennis Van Roekel, and the executive director, Don Cameron. The four dapper men lead an organization whose membership is 84% women...

8. ... Never before has an NEA assembly been so divided, never have delegates demonstrated such deep distrust of and alienation from their leaders... Like their AFL-CIO counterparts, NEA delegates, when given a chance with a secret ballot, ignored the leaders' demands. They said "yes" to their leaders and voted "no" in private on the "Principles of Unity," a brief conceptual document many delegates believed lacked the details to protect the heritage of the remarkably successful NEA in a merger with the fading AFL-CIO.

9. Even so, delegates did pass a proposal from Minnesota that allows states--like Florida and some locals, which are deeply involved in merger negotiations with the AFT--to continue to bargain, and perhaps to link with the AFL-CIO...

10. A merged NEA and AFT would have created the largest union in North America. With more than three million members, it would have been three times the size of the Teamsters, now the biggest union in the U.S. The slowly disintegrating AFL-CIO, representing a low of about 13 percent of the nation's work force, would have enjoyed a quick injection of nearly eight million dollars--and much needed respectability in the face of federal indictments against leaders like Ron Carey, and potential charges pending against other top officers like the United Mineworkers' Rich Trumka, who was prominent in calling for an NEA merger. The merged organization would have comprised about 20 percent of the AFL-CIO.

11. All of NEA's chickens came home to roost at the New Orleans assembly. A formal, if superficial dedication to internal democracy was strained by a growing gap between leaders, staff, and members at every level... Years of battles with the AFT which required extensive training of the rank and file--about every AFT blemish--contradicted the sudden leadership romance with the entire AFL-CIO...

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