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NEA Using Member Dues to Fight Employee Union

The National Education Association was accused by its employee union of using “anti-union delay tactics,” as NEA staff voted to authorize a strike. The NEA’s budget shows a $6.2 million increase in its outside services line item for the upcoming fiscal year, which would include money for negotiations with the staff union.

Members of the NEA’s employee union, the National Education Association Staff Organization (NEASO), say the teachers union is using hardball tactics at the negotiating table, including asking staff members to accept a contract with pay cuts, higher healthcare costs, and cuts to pension benefits. The NEA has said they “disagree with NEASO’s characterization of our positions.”

The NEA’s budget includes an additional $5 million for staff salaries and benefits for the upcoming year, a 4.5% increase, but the increased cost of benefits may be crowding out funds for salary increases.

The NEA’s $371 million budget is funded by $200 in dues from every member of an NEA affiliate. Member dues are projected to go up to $202 for the 2021-2022 school year, according to budget documents.

The NEA is also projecting a membership increase of 45,000, likely because of federal dollars expected to flow to school districts to hire additional personnel to combat the learning losses experienced by students after unions fought to keep schools closed during the pandemic.

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is Senior Writer and Researcher with Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Suzanne worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, as Policy Director with the Yankee Institute, as a contributor for The Hartford Courant, and as a regular commentator for WNPR’s The Wheelhouse.