NEA General Counsel explains the real goals of teacher unions: MONEY and POWER

Story here at the Heritage Foundation.

NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin tells the world the top priority of the largest teacher union in the USA.

Are they concerned with providing a quality education for our children?

Here is the video:

And the transcript:

Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.

The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing drop rate rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, or collective bargaining.

That is simply too high a price to pay.

The Heritage Foundation notes that union dues are not voluntarily in many parts of the USA.

First of all, there is little that is voluntary about the millions in dues paid to the NEA every year. The NEA is strongest in states without right to work laws, and if you want to teach in a public school that is under an NEA contract in those jurisdictions (like California and New York), you must pay dues to the NEA. It is the law. There is nothing voluntary about it. Second, that is tax payer money he’s talking about, which is exactly what is so corrupting about public sector unions: the government is lobbying itself for its own expansion.

And what happens when you value the rights of incompetent teachers ahead of the rights of parents and children?

And what are “employee rights” and “due process,” you might ask? Well, those are what require New York City to pay 700 union teachers $65 million a year to do nothing. Same thing in Los Angeles, where 165 union teachers collect a total of $10 million a year from tax payers for doing nothing.

It is very important to note that he gets a standing ovation from the teachers present at the convention. These are the people who teach your children. Or rather, these are the people who want to indoctrinate your children to accept their values, and to be paid by you for doing it.

ECM also sent me this article from Betsy’s Page via Granite Grok.


Sometime last year, while negotiating a teacher contract for the KIPP Ujima Village charter middle school in Baltimore, founder Jason Botel pointed out that his students, mostly from low-income families, had earned the city’s highest public school test scores three years in a row. If the union insisted on increasing overtime pay, he said, the school could not afford the extra instruction time that was a key to its success, and student achievement would suffer.

Botel says a union official replied: “That’s not our problem.”

Such stories heat the blood of union critics. It is, they contend, a sign of how unions dumb down public education by focusing on salaries, not learning.

They don’t care about your children’s education or career.

3 thoughts on “NEA General Counsel explains the real goals of teacher unions: MONEY and POWER”

  1. I am a teacher at a high poverty school in NC. I have chosen not to join the teachers union for a few particular reasons! Everything I do regarding my career as an educator I ask myself “How will this benefit my students?” Teachers unions place the needs and wants of teachers before their own students! I know that on the surface they make it seem like teachers unions exist to “protect” the teachers and in some cases they do, but at what cost? Many teachers have simply lost sight of why they went into teaching in the first place. If a teacher chooses education as a career because it produces a paycheck, they are definetly in the wrong field. I did not choose teaching because it pays the rent, I chose teaching because I want and believe I can change the lives of my students. I did not enter teaching with the mindset of “what’s in it for me?” which is exacly what the teachers union preaches. I would give my left arm for anyone of my students, and I am certain all good, caring teachers would do the same. Is it tough? Yes. I am by far not a perfect teacher, I do my fair share of complaining when it comes to paperwork, uncompliant students and grumbling parents but at the end of the day I love my job, and know that I have done all I can to satisfy the educational needs of my students. Teachers unions may save a few of our jobs, and provide legal counseling when needed but ask any teacher who REALLY cares and loves the students and they will tell you, the students are the main priority, they are individuals each with their own unique dreams and talents not to be clumped together as if they are cattle and we are the ranchers. Kids have an uncanny ability to see right through those who actually care and those who just show up. They ALL posses hope and opportunity and it is our job and hopefully our goal and our passion to equip, inspire and motivate each and every student to set goals and believe in their own ability to succesfully achieve them. I will never be able to inspire the students the way they have me but I will continue to try and put them first not because it is my job but because they ALL deserve it.


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