I got to the Representative Assembly a bit early this morning to avoid the coffee line and was promptly handed a bunch of yellow fliers from some staff from the Georgia Association of Educators.
“Fair Play!” it reads. “While the [Georgia Staff Organization] staff fights every day to insure fairness and professionalism for GAE members, the GAE Executive Director said not for his staff.”
Apparently, GAE management and its unionized staff organization cannot reach a new contract after about a year of bargaining. Sticking points, the staff organization says, include salary, insurance, and seniority.
It’s a good reminder that each NEA affiliate’s staff is unionized, putting its executives in a shoe-on-the-other-foot position when renegotiating staff benefits and perquisites. Whether you view this as a shining example of the principles of unionism at work or merely ironic probably depends on where you stand politically. But it’s in any case historically led to a few odd instances of the union picketing the Union. (NEA National narrowly avoided a similar situation during a period of reorganization last year.)
And that isn’t all the beef out of Georgia. According to the list of upcoming New Business Items, one apparently submitted by retirees wants the NEA to appoint an independent investigator “to correct all the injustices and disenfranchisement incurred to GAE-Retired in Georgia.”
(As I publish this, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel is ruling the Georgia NBI Out of Order, saying the issues must be handled through the union’s constitution and bylaws).
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.