EIA Invites Illinois Members to Eliminate the Middleman. Someone thought I would find the February 14 issue of the IEA Insider interesting, and indeed, I did.
The Insider is a weekly, members-only publication of the Illinois Education Association “dedicated to keeping you informed about what your Association is doing for you, legislative news and to provide helpful teaching and job information.” It is beautifully laid-out by the union’s Department of Communications, and the Insider boasts of having been named one of the four best electronic newsletters in the country by the Association of Educational Publishers.
The February 14 issue contains information on pension bills pending in the Illinois General Assembly, hyperlinks for Black History Month, requests for donations of slightly used teaching materials, and other similar news items. It also contains a story headlined, “Your NEA RA Delegates Will Vote On This in July.” The story reads, in full:
“Each year, between 80 and 110 new business items (NBIs) make it onto the agenda of the NEA Representative Assembly and each one must be addressed, usually involving a debate and a vote. The placing of a new business item on the agenda currently requires only 50 signatures. However, since it is common for the last day of the four-day convention to extend into the wee hours so that all items might be voted on, it has been suggested that the number of NBIs might be limited if 200 signatures were required. Another idea proposed is to limit debates. Both ideas have met with limited success. NEA officials feel that the situation is becoming so untenable that this year they will offer a rules amendment giving the board of directors the power to determine procedures to limit the number of NBIs. The amendment will be placed before the convention delegates this July, and if approved, would require no further authorization — the board’s decision would be final. Let your delegates know your position on this matter.”
A news item like this would normally lead to coverage in the EIA Communiqué – except the topic had already been covered in the February 10 EIA Communiqué, in an item headlined “Fireworks in Store as NEA Tries to Limit NBIs.” The relevant portion of that item read:
“Each year, between 80 and 110 NBIs make it onto the agenda, and each one must be addressed, usually involving a debate and a vote. NBI debates eat up a lot of the four days, and it is common for the last day of the convention to extend into the wee hours in order to complete voting on all items. Attempts to limit debate meet with mixed success, and efforts to alter NEA’s standing rules to raise the threshold for submitting an NBI to 200 signatures failed overwhelmingly. However, NEA officials feel that the situation is becoming so untenable that this year they will offer a rules amendment giving the board of directors the power to determine procedures to limit the number of NBIs. The amendment will be placed before the convention delegates this July, but if approved as currently written, would require no further authorization of the details – the board’s word would be final.”
EIA is sending this communiqué to several hundred IEA members, inviting them to subscribe. When you can, it’s best to get your vegetables straight from the garden.