Here at the 2011 NEA Representative Assembly, we’ve reached the cutoff for new business items and we now have the full list available.
Most of them toe the line of years past (support for national-board certification, condemnation of “privatization”), but there are a few that caught my eye.
Here’s a list of four to watch:
• New Business Item 37, which just passed a few moments ago, calls on NEA to inform members about the “anti-public education agenda behind the ill-informed intrusion of billionaires on education.” (The NEA’s independent foundation, by the way, receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but never mind. Disclosure: Education Week is also a former recipient of Gates Foundation funding.)
• New Business item 46, which we’ll get to this afternoon, would require the NEA to organize a “national campaign” to seek a U.S. constitutional amendment guaranteeing all workers the right to organize a union and bargain collectively with their employer. The resolution carries a price tag of $300 million for the NEA!
UPDATED, July 4, 11:33 a.m. The item was amended on the convention floor to direct NEA President Dennis Van Roekel to send a letter to members of Congress and state legislators in support of such a constitutional amendment. With the hefty price tag all but eliminated, the item passed easily.
• New Business Item 59 would require NEA to use unionized employees for services provided to delegates at future RAs, or pay nonunionized ones a prevailing wage and overtime. Apparently, a delegate chatted with one of the bus drivers that ferry delegates to and from their hotels and discovered he wasn’t unionized and wasn’t being paid overtime. Oops.
UPDATED, July 4, 5:25 pm: The item passed by a standing vote.
• New Business item 93 would require the NEA to publicly oppose Teach For America contracts when they are put into place in districts with no teacher shortage, to “reduce teacher costs,” or to “silence union voices.” (Not sure I get that last point; TFA teachers are members in mandatory-bargaining states.)
UPDATED, July 5, 5:49 pm. A modified version of the item passed.
Check back to this page to see how these items fare later in the convention.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.