NEA promises to post the video of General Counsel Bob Chanin’s farewell speech. I’m looking forward to it, because it began as a fascinating recital of the early history of public school teacher collective bargaining. Chanin was in on it from the very beginning. If he wasn’t the architect, he was certainly the mason, welder and custodian of the teacher union as we know it today.
Whether it was Chanin’s retirement, Van Roekel’s new emphasis, or a spontaneous paradigm shift, this year NEA finally embraced the labor union label it has downplayed for 25 years. Delegate after delegate touted unionism and identified themselves proudly as part of the broader labor movement. Chanin told the crowd that while professional issues were important, “NEA and its affiliates should never lose sight of the fact that they are unions”...
Whatever you think of Chanin, he is to be applauded for his clarity in an age where obfuscation is the norm in politics. We shall not see his like again.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
NEA Finally Admits It's A Labor Union
If it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. But not to the NEA. No, for years they've avoided the word "union" like a plague, preferring instead "association". But now they've dropped the pretense.