A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

Former North Dakota Executive Director Named Alabama Education Association Trustee

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jun• 02•15

I had the name Greg Burns last week, but couldn’t confirm if he was the NEA national trustee named to head the Alabama Education Association or just an interim executive director until such a trustee arrived.

It’s now confirmed, although you will still be hard-pressed to find any information from AEA about Burns, the trusteeship, why AEA’s elected officers took this step, or anything else related to the union’s current status – financial and otherwise.

Burns is the former executive director of the North Dakota Education Association (now North Dakota United).


The Growing Teacher Union Militancy Movement

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jun• 01•15

Click here to read.


The More You Know

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jun• 01•15

Here’s the logo for the National Education Association Representative Assembly next month.


Why would I show you this? As a public service, of course.


Inside a Union Organizing Drive

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 29•15

Gawker Media runs some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including Gawker, Deadspin, io9, Gizmodo and Jezebel. Next Wednesday, writers and members of its editorial staff will vote on whether to unionize under the banner of the Writers Guild of America.

The election is unusual in a couple of ways. First, it’s a rare (perhaps unique) effort to unionize writers who work exclusively in digital media. Second, the secret ballot election is entirely self-organized, without the oversight of the National Labor Relations Board. As the joint management-union statement explained:

The traditional process of union authorization runs through the National Labor Relations Board. But by mutual agreement we are bypassing this route in favor of holding our own secret-ballot vote, to be held on Wednesday, June 3, because we believe the cumbersome and often fractious process of unionization is premised on an assumption of complete antagonism between management and labor.

Nothing of the kind exists at Gawker Media. We are united in our belief that writers should decide for themselves whether to organize to protect their own rights through collective bargaining, and we hope the labor drive at Gawker Media, culminating in the June 3 election, can serve as a new model for cooperation in digital media.

Yesterday Gawker posted an open thread for writers and editors to comment about the union vote and though it is categorized under the heading “Too Insidery” it is a welcome look behind the scenes of a union representation campaign and vote. At last count there are some 900 comments.

It is worth examining no matter your position on unions, since on both sides there are fatuous arguments, misinformation, disinformation and no information. It’s a fascinating read.

An unscientific analysis would suggest the union will win in a close vote. But secret ballots have a way of confounding public perceptions so we’ll just have to wait and see.


Hawaii Challengers File Suit Against New Election

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 28•15

Honolulu Civil Beat has posted the request for an injunction against a new election and a demand that the victorious challengers from the Hawaii Teachers for Change caucus be installed as the duly elected officers of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

The incumbents are defiant. “The media and some angry members are having a field day casting aspersions on the members of your board; including the notion that the decision to re-vote was a way for the old guard to remain in power. This assertion could not be any further from the truth,” said HSTA executive director Wilbert Holck.

“The decision [for a revote] was made with care and diligence and we will continue to move forward with the elections,” said term-limited president Wil Okabe.

The results of a new election will either ratify the previous results or, if the incumbents win, will be challenged internally and in court for the extraordinary procedures that were followed. This could drag on for quite some time (see Fresno for a similar case).


EIA Exclusive: Alabama Education Association Placed Under NEA Trusteeship

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 27•15

The Alabama Education Association, beset by financial problems and waning political influence, was placed under national trusteeship by the National Education Association this month.

The action was taken at the request of AEA’s officers after they received the results of financial and staffing audits and forced the resignation of executive director Henry Mabry.

I have no information yet regarding whom NEA named as AEA’s trustee and I can find no evidence yet that the members have been notified – formally or informally.

AEA becomes the third NEA state affiliate to be placed under trusteeship, joining the South Carolina Education Association and the Indiana State Teachers Association.


The Stand, The Banned, Supply and Demand

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 26•15

Click here to read.