NEA Membership Down, Non-Union Groups Growing Stronger Than Ever
posted by: Alix | October 21, 2011, 06:10 PM   

In the wake of unilaterally negative press and legislative and legal battles across the country, the National Education Association is undoubtedly coping with new fiscal realities. According to its latest financial disclosures, the NEA has lost over 100,000 active members since the 2009-10 school year. While non-union groups, like AAE and its partners, are experiencing tremendous growth: nearly 30% during the same time frame.

If the strength of the country's largest labor union is in its members, then this news proves that the NEA is losing both power and influence, particularly in states where teachers are finally free from paying dues as a condition of employment. What's more is that the declining membership is among certified staff and education support employees, not student or retired members. The fact is the NEA is losing real teacher members who pay the highest dues.

What this will mean to the NEA and its long term interests remains unclear; however, experts assert that this will lead to some belt tightening at the national office in Washington, D.C. and potentially in states facing uphill battles like Ohio. In Wisconsin, for example, the downsizing has already begun as the NEA affiliate was forced to lay off half their staff, further proving that educators are leaving the union in droves in the wake of teacher choice.

Conversely, AAE and state partners throughout the country are growing by leaps and bounds. Not only has membership grown exponentially across the country, but in states that are at the forefront of the education and labor debate including Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana.

Clearly the affordable, non-partisan, professional choice is resonating with teachers everywhere, particularly in states where teachers have finally been given the choice in selecting an organization that aligns with their beliefs and budget.

What do you think about the NEA's declining membership?

Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Technology Instructional Facilitator
written by Lisa Smith Wyoming, October 29, 2011

I joined my local NEA union do serious teacher pressure. I decided at the end of September to get out no matter what ramifications I would encounter. I asked my local president and she told me that by signing my name on the list I signed a contract and therefore could not get out. Not knowing my personality, when someone tells me I can't do something, I tend to prove them wrong. I contacted the president of our state organization, and she told me to contact another person. I contacted this person and he would not respond to my email. I month later I received a letter that tried to guilt me into keeping my membership. Now I have to fight the payroll department at our school to quit the auto deduction. I have spent $7000 in dues over the las ten years. I have received nothing for this amount of hard earned money. I do not believe in the issues that the NEA stands for, I do not believe in tenure, and God forbid I say that out loud in my school district, I could be tarred and feathered. I want to be involved in an organization that represents what is best for students not lobbyists and politicians. I want to feel that my voice is being heard. I am willing to put my full efforts into an organization the truly has teachers and students as the main focus. I am still trying to get out of the NEA so that I can join the AAE. I am angry with myself that I aloud to be peer pressure to persuade me to join again! I am smarter than that.
written by Nancy, OH, October 23, 2011

This is much welcomed news. It is a very sad thing that unions & the federal Dept of Ed have literally made teachers the whipping boy in our public education system. They need to be unleashed from those entities so they can do what they do best: educate children.

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