A large 2016 Oklahoma brush fire forced the arid landscape’s wildlife to flee the inferno. The disaster has parallels to news last week about the fallout of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision for teachers’ union NEA. Like the many animals running away from Oklahoma’s deadly blaze, teachers have been resigning and withholding agency fees in huge numbers.
From The 74:
New membership numbers obtained by Union Report show that NEA now stands at 3,001,570 total members — a decline of 17,000 since the last report in April. This erased much of the membership increase the union saw in 2017 [emphasis added].
More damaging to the union’s coffers is the loss of its more than 87,000 former agency fee payers nationwide after the court’s ruling. The percentage losses are comparable to those of the Maryland State Education Association, reported here two weeks ago.
Very few of these teachers are opposed to the idea of unions. In fact, many strongly approve of their local union, which they interact with on a regular basis. which is only connected to the NEA through umbrella membership.
They chose to resign membership and withhold fees from the NEA because it gave them so little for their money. Instead of supporting teachers, the NEA spends most of its budget on political activism and bloated executive salaries.
At Free to Teach, we’re all about removing barriers to the simple joy of teaching, so teachers can focus on their passion for teaching kids without questioning the agendas they support. As the 100,000+ teachers who are fleeing the NEA would tell you, union corruption and coercion are more than a barrier: they’re a brush fire.