“NEA Convention by the Numbers” from Ace Union Reporter Mike Antonucci Plus New Report Coming Soon

Mike Antonucci is an amazing reporter in the teachers’ union space. There is not anyone who spills more ink reporting on the teachers’ union, and he always seems to get great “scoops.” If you want to keep an eye on the teachers’ unions here and around the country, he is the guy to read.

Minnesota teachers pay dues to two national unions, the NEA and AFT, as well as the state union, Education Minnesota. In fact, the bulk of teachers’ dues goes to national and state unions even though the local does the most important thing: collectively bargain and talk to teachers on the ground.

Here is his report on the NEA Convention held in Minneapolis last summer, just a few days after the big Supreme Court ruling in Janus v AFSCME that said everything the unions do is political, and therefore teachers could not be forced to fund them:

Each year the National Education Association holds its Representative Assembly and each year it compiles statistics about the delegates and the proceedings. Here are a few noteworthy numbers:

* If the full allotment of delegates from every state attended the convention, there would be more than 16,000 delegates. At the 2018 convention, there were fewer than 6,200.

* NEA has about 13,000 local affiliates, but about 9,000 of them have fewer than 75 members.

* The average age of a 2018 convention delegate was 50.4 years old. Less than 2.8 percent of the delegates were under the age of 35.

* Delegate submitted 128 new business items and spent 15.5 hours debating them. California delegates submitted 50 of those NBIs. Only one other state – New Jersey – was in double figures with 14.

* It took 8 minutes to introduce past NEA presidents, executive directors, and other high-level staff to the delegates.

* The delegates spent 3 minutes debating the union’s 2019-2020 budget.

Educated Teachers, a project at the Center, will shortly publish a paper about the Janus case and what it means for educators. It also details what we know about teachers’ union spending here in Minnesota over the last several years, including the 2016 presidential election and 2018 mid-term. Below is a sample of how the union spends money (in this case PAC dollars taken from union dues).

The paper reports that nearly all the dues teachers send to Education Minnesota went to fund the DFL in Minnesota and the DNC and related left-wing groups here and around the country. Even if you think that is a good idea, and many teachers do, we hope that Center readers find the details interesting and share them with their favorite teachers and ask them to sign up for emails at info@educatedteachersmn.com (because the union will not report the information to its members).

Now that teachers have the legal right to withhold all financial support from the union, this kind of data is very helpful. Making the decision to leave the union is tough for most teachers; it is so deeply ingrained in the culture of teaching in Minnesota.

Mike Antonucci is not the only one with a “scoop.” Watch for our new report after Thanksgiving!