The 900-member Carmel Clay Education Association (CCEA) in Indiana is getting pounded both top and bottom. The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) informed the local it was no longer “in good standing” because of its failure to pass the required state dues up the chain. That means CCEA representatives will not be seated at state assemblies until the dispute is resolved.
At the same time, CCEA is facing a decertification challenge from a group of teachers who formed the Carmel Teachers Association. CTA wants to be an independent union and has already successfully filed for a representation election. CCEA is stalling the process on procedural grounds.
CCEA doesn’t want to lose power, and ISTA can’t afford to lose another 900 members. The state union never recovered from the financial collapse of its insurance trust in 2009, and its candidates were crushed in the 2016 election.
It’s still way too early to call this a trend, but the number and size of these breakaway locals are increasing. Lost members means less money available to subsidize other weak affiliates, leading to more breakaway locals. That’s no merry-go-round for NEA and its state unions.