Does this make you sad?

iamnothere 2012/07/03 13:13:46
The USA's largest teachers union is losing members and revenue, potentially threatening its political clout.

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the NEA, says the union will not be weaker despite membership losses.

The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 100,000 members since 2010. By 2014, union projections show, it could lose a cumulative total of about 308,000 full-time teachers and other workers, a 16% drop from 2010. Lost dues will shrink NEA's budget an estimated $65 million, or 18%.

drop 2010 lost dues shrink neas budget estimated 65 18

NEA calls the membership losses "unprecedented" and predicts they may be a sign of things to come. "Things will never go back to the way they were," reads its 2012-14 strategic plan, citing changing teacher demographics, attempts by some states to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights and an "explosion" in online learning that could sideline flesh-and-blood teachers.

"We may be a little smaller, but we won't be weaker — we'll be stronger," NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said. He said teachers "have been energized" by lawmakers' bids in some states to make it harder to join a public-sector union.

The losses hit as thousands of delegates convene this week in Washington, D.C., for NEA's annual meeting. Democratic candidates for the White House traditionally have lined up to court the group and its 2.2 million members. This year, President Obama will skip the event. Vice President Biden is scheduled to address the teachers today.

Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, said it's unclear whether Obama skipped the event because he can easily count on NEA's support or because its political influence has waned, in part because of bruising battles over collective bargaining in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan. Either way, he said, proposals that NEA has long fought, such as private-school vouchers, are gaining traction.

"Obviously in Democratic politics, if they have a half-million fewer members at some point and a lot fewer dollars, there's absolutely a point when they're going to matter less than they do today — and that's going to hurt them," said Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, a non-partisan think tank.

Losing that many members is "the kind of shift in the landscape that can force union leaders to shift their stance on issues," Hess said.

Demographic changes are shaping union membership numbers. Public schools rely more heavily than ever on young, inexperienced teachers who quit after just a few years and are less likely to join a union than in previous years. In 1988, the typical teacher had 15 years of experience, according to research by the University of Pennsylvania's Richard Ingersoll. By 2008, it was down to one year. "An increasing number of them are not sticking around," Ingersoll said. "There's this constant replenishment of beginners."

Even with the losses, teachers still value their unions, research shows. In findings due next week from Education Sector, a Washington think tank, 81% of K-12 teachers surveyed believe that without a union, teachers "would be vulnerable to school politics or administrators who abuse their power."
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  • hasher 2012/07/04 01:27:03
    this is great news!!! why would i be sad???
  • iamnothere hasher 2012/07/04 02:12:08
    I am sad.. because there are still enough to make them a political force and the kids still come last
  • DJL 2012/07/03 18:25:19
    Why would I be sad?

  • none 2012/07/03 17:11:12
  • Ken 2012/07/03 17:10:53
    No, this makes me happy as hell. Teachers should have the right to not join the NEA if they so choose.
  • jdemme 2012/07/03 16:59:38

    I'm afraid of what will happen to this country once the unions are gone.
  • iamnothere jdemme 2012/07/04 02:13:13
    it is the benefits not the salaries
  • jdemme iamnothere 2012/07/04 17:58:51
    The chart includes the middle class' assets as well. Hence "Middle Class Share of National Income."
  • iamnothere jdemme 2012/07/05 04:03:39
    ok.. and your point??
  • jdemme iamnothere 2012/07/05 17:03:25
    I'm trying to figure out what yours was...
  • iamnothere jdemme 2012/07/06 13:09:13
    correlations do not always appear to be what you think they are.. there are other causes for decline in income other than unions..
  • jdemme iamnothere 2012/07/06 18:32:05
    The charts show that as Unions decline, the middle class shrinks. Now, either they're directly related, or they're affected by the same thing. Either way, it's not good for the middle class to see a decline in Unions.
  • iamnothere jdemme 2012/07/07 02:17:39
    since private sector unions amount to 5 -7% of the national work force I would think they are just a microcosm of what is happing with the work force and middle class. your argument was the tail wagging the dog..
  • Ed 2012/07/03 16:43:31
    Oh yeah I am totally heart broken, can you see my tears tolling down the street?

    Does that mean they will have no contributions this year for the White House Occupier's Campaign?

    Oh Damn, damn, damn, now you're really gonna make cry. I see dead asses.
  • Ahrtal 2012/07/03 16:41:16
    Of course, it helps a bit that the NEA and the US Department of Education are joined at the hip. I am sure that the USDoE will help them out with grants, etc.
  • cmdrbnd007 2012/07/03 16:02:16
    Why would I think that is sad? That makes me happy. Unions are killing our schools.
  • Bevos 2012/07/03 15:37:03
    Nope! Doesn't make me sad at all!!! In fact, it does my heart good. Mich needs to get rid of all Unions before it goes totally under. Unions and Welfare are the two biggest reasons for Mich being in the shape that it is in!!! Which is not good at all !!!
  • Risk 2012/07/03 14:43:44
    If it was a good thing and the right thing it would grow, if it's not it will dissolve like anything else that's not meant to be. Having nothing to do with politics !
  • Roger47 2012/07/03 14:34:14
    It makes me fear for our country. Unions are the only major force out there that fights for the middle class. As the unions have shrunk, so has the middle class.
  • iamnothere Roger47 2012/07/04 02:14:53
    as the government kills jobs with laws and regulations.. that kills the middle class.
  • Roger47 iamnothere 2012/07/04 02:17:19
    The death of the middle class began during the Reagan presidency. The middle class was growing, in size and in income, until then.
  • iamnothere Roger47 2012/07/04 02:19:48
    sure did not grow under carter..
    and real job growth and income growth did happen under Reagan and pretty much ran all the way thru the last year under Clinton when the dot com bubble burst almost sinking the economy
  • ChristianOnly 2012/07/03 14:26:59
    Does it make me sad that one of the most corrupt unions in the country is losing members? No it makes me do a happy dance. Why would it make me sad?
  • iamnothere Christi... 2012/07/04 02:15:23
    did not make me sad either..
  • Sgt Major B 2012/07/03 14:25:05
    Sgt Major B
    I don't see a decline in any union's membership as anything but good news for America.
  • All American 2012/07/03 14:16:20
    All American
    I think the teachers union is the bane of our education system. How does this union help students learn?
  • TruBluTopaz 2012/07/03 14:11:30
    No. Most unions are losing members.
  • cynsity 2012/07/03 13:49:44
    I never joined althought I am pressured too all the time. And many of the teachers I work with will not join the NEA but do belong to smaller "Unions" or associations such as teh Christian Teachers Association.

    If everyone still thinks only governors can union bust they have another thing to learn. teachers are tired of having to pay people to vote for them.

    (sorry if there are typeos I can not see very well right now lost my glassed again)
  • Chris - The Rowdy One! #187 2012/07/03 13:43:19
  • ronbo51 2012/07/03 13:35:29
    not sad. just glad that the kids come first for a change and unions , stand an wait. all they have been doing is pushing for more dues and power and use the teachers as pawns.
    no checks and balances to prevent this. plus an onous ignorant present administration doesnt care. too busy with other AGENDAS.!
  • belle 2012/07/03 13:28:43
    I see it as a win for the people.
  • Tasine 2012/07/03 13:26:54
    It makes me happy. Hopefully the NEA will lose enough members to force it to close shop. Most of the teachers I know want no part of the liberal NEA. The NEA is a liberal sea of money on which leftist politicians float. And that money comes out of the wallets of teachers who cry and bemoan their lot in life. But they aren't qualified to do much of anything BUT teach.
  • Will on the road again 2012/07/03 13:23:48
    Will on the road again
    Union dues is the only true objective that Unions have.
  • Cognito22 2012/07/03 13:22:17 (edited)
    The NEA and AFLCIO are just political arms of the Democratic Party.
    They vote for the candidate that best serves their own interests (and not necessarily the interest of the student or education)
    The incompetent teachers find protection and new teachers can ill afford to pay the dues.

    If Democrats would allow vouchers, schools would compete and good teachers would be sought out and rewarded for excellence. The free market would sort out the bad from the good.
  • Sister Jean 2012/07/03 13:19:21
    Sister Jean
    not sure....they teach 180 days ..summers off and so get a weighty salary
  • iamnothere Sister ... 2012/07/03 13:20:33
    did not make me sad..
    all for the union and kids seem to be last on the list
  • Ahrtal Sister ... 2012/07/03 16:48:31
    It also depends on the school district. I was paid a yearly salary based on nine months, but had to work in the summer or save part of my monthly income to cover the summer. Since the kids were small at the time, I painted the county schools to make ends meet. That was Indiana and in the 1970s. My daughter teaches in Charlotte, and is faced with the same nine month situation----no checks in the summer.
  • Seonag 2012/07/03 13:17:43
    I dropped my "life time membership," taken when the NEA was an 'Association' working for teaching teachers to be better teachers, when the NEA took on Union status and began working for themselves rather than the children. Finally a lot of teachers are actually seeing the truth about the NEA.
  • iamnothere Seonag 2012/07/03 13:19:06
    this story made my morning
  • Bill in Niantic 2012/07/03 13:17:40
    Bill in Niantic
    This is great news. Maybe we can get back to teaching truth. Dissolve the DoE also.


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