1) NEA Gets Into the Real Estate
Business. The next time someone tells you that the
National Education Association Representative Assembly (RA) is "the
world's largest democratic deliberative body," ask him or her about the
RA's deliberations regarding the
establishment of a trusteeship over the Indiana State Teachers
Association (ISTA), the
$2.5 million loan to help bailout ISTA and its insurance trust, and now,
the creation of an Indiana real estate firm run by the national union's
I'm sitting here looking at the articles
of incorporation for NEA Properties Inc., a non-profit entity created on
July 22, 2009 and headquartered in the ISTA offices, which is convenient,
because the corporation was apparently formed for the sole purpose of
purchasing the ISTA building in Indianapolis, along with its branch offices
in Evansville and Bicknell.
ISTA will continue to occupy its offices
in all three locations, but NEA Properties Inc. will be owner and landlord,
assuming ISTA's outstanding debt for the holdings.
It is difficult to put a dollar amount
on the transaction from the available documentation, but
ISTA's 2006-07 IRS filing showed the total worth of its fixed assets
(buildings, equipment and furniture) at $4.2 million, with an accumulated
depreciation of more than $3.4 million, leaving it with a net book value of
NEA Properties, Inc. enlisted the
services of the Indiana real estate law firm of
Wallack, Somers & Haas to handle the paperwork, and named as its
principals Bill E. Thompson (NEA's director of financial and membership
services), Lily Eskelsen (NEA vice president) and Rebecca Pringle (NEA
2) I Just Happened to Be in the Neighborhood. NEA President Dennis
Van Roekel told members of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association that the
"will support any compensation system that a local bargains," in
response to the Tulsa Teacher Effectiveness Initiative. The plan will
include performance pay and
eliminate salary increases for advanced degrees and additional
"Compensation systems, plain and simple,
are a local issue," Van Roekel said. "It's bargained between management and
the union. It should never be imposed, and it's what you believe is a fair
system - you've got to know what you're paying for, how to measure it, and
then you distribute the resources."
If it's so obviously a local bargaining
issue, what was Van Roekel doing in Tulsa? There are other places.
3) Contract Hits.
Wherein we highlight a contract provision from the current agreement between
the National Education Association and its largest staff union. This is
Article 23, Part D, Section 3:
"NEA may make short-term
transfers/reassignments (up to one year) of employees in order to maximize
the deployment of available staff in priority efforts of NEA, subject to the
(a) Every reasonable effort will be made
to harmonize the employee's preference with NEA's needs.
(b) Employees will not be disciplined,
adversely evaluated, or in any way disadvantaged in regard to their regular
position if they are unable to successfully perform tasks unrelated to their
regular position description.
(c) Extensions to the time frame shall
be agreed to by NEA and the Union on a case-by-case basis."
4) Last Week's Intercepts.
Intercepts, covered these topics from August 10-17:
Top 10 Most Annoying Teachers on Your Staff. I didn't come up with this,
but I wish I had.
Dogs and Cats Living Together. Signs of the apocalypse.
The Cheese Is Not the Only Difference. California and Wisconsin union
officers take different approaches to the Race to the Top guidelines.
Revolving Door. The labor market for teachers is good… or maybe it's
Die Hard (Drive). How I'll spend the rest of my summer.
5) Quote of
"There is an undeniable correlation between teacher salaries and resources
given to teachers and student achievement." – William Leibensperger, vice
president of the Ohio Education Association. (August 16