Friday, June 30, 2006

Great Start to the NEA Representative Assembly

Each year around the 4th of July holiday, the National Education Association holds its annual Supreme Soviet. This year, the party is in Orlando, and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Washington State sends out this notice:

Dear Friends:

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation had a little surprise for the National Education Association (NEA) this morning! You are getting these pictures only hours after delegates to this year’s NEA convention saw them on a billboard truck right outside the main entrance of their convention center in Orlando, Florida!

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s Labor Policy Center is at the Orange County Convention Center right now with a professionally prepared billboard truck. The truck has three key themes: (Click on the links for hi-resolution images of the signs.)

  • “It pays to be a union boss.” When it comes to salaries, benefits and perks, union officials are better off than teachers. The average NEA employee’s salary is nearly twice as much as the average teacher’s. Further, the union spends more than $68 million on payroll, benefits and expense accounts.

  • “Fair Representation?” Teachers are a politically diverse group, but the union’s political spending typically benefits only one political party.

  • “No means No!” A stern-faced teacher reminds union bosses that “No means No” when it comes to keeping their hands off her paycheck.

Why are we doing this?

Our state Supreme Court recently said it is O.K. for union officials to raid employees’ paychecks, without permission, to collect money for their politics. The court said it would be too burdensome for an association, such as the Washington Education Association (WEA), to ask its non-members (much less members) for permission before taking money from their paychecks to pay for politics. The justices used the U.S. Constitution to back up their opinion that an organization’s free speech rights supersede the free speech rights of an individual.

We are appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and raising the profile of the case begins today! So, this truck, and a spokesman from our Labor Policy Center, will be ready to greet the delegates and the media. We’ll let you know what happens, or maybe you’ll hear about it on the news.

For more information and updates about the appeal and our presence at the NEA convention, call the Evergreen Freedom Foundation at (360) 956-3482, or visit the new website dedicated to the case,

Persistence matters, because freedom matters.

Gotta love it!


EllenK said...

Wow, it is about time someone blew the whistle. I often wondered when I saw union bosses, especially AFL-CIO-that they lived in houses and drove cars far FAR beyond the reach of their contiguency in the unions. I quit NEA and its Texas affiliate because it cost three times as much as the next organization down the line and their insurance and benefits just weren't three times that much better. Plus the smaller organization is NOT national which means it does focus on the needs of our state, which has enough to deal with without taking on someone elses battles on our dime.

EdWonk said...

What leaves me scratching my head is that there are still dues-paying rank-and-file NEA members who oppose permitting the membership to directly elect their own state/national leadership in free, fair, transparent, and contested elections.

EllenK said...

People are hesitant to rock the boat. All they know is what they are fed by the NEA publications and their campus rep. Most people don't have the time or the need to investigate further on what the national organization is doing on their behalf with their membership fees. Since often the NEA or its affiliate are the only game in town, people pay in, sometimes while holding their noses. I understand the need for representation and I understand that there are still elements of society that would prefer we return to the bad old days of education as remembered from Leave It To Beaver reruns. But there has to be some sort of middle ground. Of course I have said that about politics as well, and haven't found it yet.

bernie said...

Hopefully the high price of gas will be the trigger that gets people to revolt against the teachers' union. In New Jersey the cost of education adds five grand to my $15,000 annual property tax.

We could save 1/3rd of our taxes if we simply fired all the teachers and simply let kids watch television all day. Worried that the kids will not be able to read or write or know geography or history by the time they are ready for college? Save your worries, that's the result of a public education nowadays anyway. It couldn't be worse without teachers.

Just F.Y.I. I linked to your article from How to Destroy a Downtown Business District