This issue arose when the Wisconsin Education Association Council and AFT Wisconsin put together a plan to merge. The two unions later postponed the vote, but WEAC would have been the sixth NEA state affiliate to merge with its AFT counterpart. This would have put the union at the cap set in the wake of the failed national merger in 1998.
There are no other looming mergers, and a renewed effort for national merger is completely off the table. This decision removes a barrier, but my estimate is that no one will get concerned until there are 10-12 mergers. Only then would merged affiliates become a significant bloc with NEA’s representative assembly.