for Members Undermines Unions' Strength
Steering Committee Member Tim Russ
the recent NEA Representative Assembly, delegates from across the country were
asked to weigh in on a dispute between two unions in
in a time of unprecedented attacks on our core industry, public education, AFT
and NEA must work to eliminate this impulse. Competition at the local level
poisons the potential for cooperation and undermines genuine opportunities for
solidarity and mutual benefit. It undermines the very core purpose of any union,
improving the lives of its members and in turn the society as a whole.
specifics of the case brought to the floor of the 2010 NEA RA are to some extent
murky, but they do illuminate how competition between affiliates brings out the
pettiness and irrelevance that weakens our movement for better public education.
Two locals in
In the end the success or failure of efforts to build stronger unions for members hinge on ability of our affiliates to work together, not to compete for members. A national merger of the NEA and AFT is one good way to communicate to all affiliates that cooperation is the future not competition.
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