What was once unthinkable among NEA state affiliates is now becoming commonplace. The Rhode Island AFL-CIO celebrated the inclusion into its ranks of NEA Rhode Island at its convention.
The process has been three years in the making, and won’t be concluded until the end of this year, but NEARI will join NEA’s five merged state affiliates (Florida, Minnesota, Montana, New York and North Dakota) in the labor federation, with the Hawaii State Teachers Association likely to follow.
How much of this is an evolution of philosophy within NEA, and how much is a circling of the wagons, remains to be seen. But since a national merger with AFT seems to be off the table for the foreseeable future, the AFL-CIO affiliations themselves are unlikely to have significant operational consequences.