Education Intelligence Agency

Public education research, analysis and investigations

Teachers, Not Teamsters, Are the Typical Union Members

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Mar• 03•14

March 3, 2014

Teachers, Not Teamsters, Are the Typical Union Members. We can watch the ebb and flow of union membership from year to year, thanks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and unionstats.com. And we can watch the ebb and flow of teacher union membership from year-to-year if I can continue to pry it from a secretive National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. But there has not been much tracking of how much of a share NEA and AFT have of union membership overall in the United States.

I have put together a table and posted it on the EIA web site that shows the combined active NEA and AFT membership for each state and DC in 2012 and the share it constitutes of active public employee union (PEU) membership and total (public sector + private sector) union membership. It illustrates that teachers’ unions make up the bulk of the public employee labor movement, and a growing percentage of organized labor overall.

* Nationwide, NEA and AFT members comprise 21.2 percent of all union members, and 41.5 percent of PEU members.

* The five states where teacher union members make up the largest share of the total union population are Nebraska, Alabama, North Dakota, Vermont and Idaho.

* The five states where teacher union members make up the smallest share of the total union population are Mississippi, Hawaii, South Carolina, Maine and Texas.

* The five states where teacher union members make up the largest share of the PEU population are Alabama, Nebraska, Idaho, Virginia and North Dakota.

* The five states where teacher union members make up the smallest share of the PEU population are South Carolina, Mississippi, Hawaii, Louisiana and California.

* Teacher union members are more than one-quarter of the total union population in 22 states.

* Teacher union members are more than half of the PEU population in 21 states.

(click for larger version or follow this link)

Recent Intercepts. EIA’s daily blog, Intercepts, covered these topics February 25-March 3:

* Breaking: Wisconsin Unions Postpone Merger Vote. WEAC cagey about why…

* Dues Issues Stall Wisconsin Union Merger For a Year. …but we find out anyway.

* Let the File Shredding Begin! New York’s largest locals declare for Revive NYSUT slate.

* Temperatures Rise in South Florida. Broward Teachers Union at it again.

* Whatever Happened to Ohio’s Charter Union Drive? Sound and fury, and dues money.

* “Final Clicking of the Tumblers.” Something’s definitely rattling.

Quote of the Week #1. “We can’t just assume that what we as leaders believe is exactly what our members believe.” – Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. (February 24 Associations Now)

Quote of the Week #2. “Incented by federal grant programs, the influence of the 45 states that have now agreed to adopt the Common Core of content standards may have passed the ‘tipping point’ in forcing this issue on every state. Nebraska can be proud of its local and state autonomy in determining its own course. For as long as we are able, resisting the national folly of an immutable educational uniformity will be this state’s gift to its children.” – Craig R. Christiansen, executive director of the Nebraska State Education Association. Nebraska is one of the states that has not adopted the Common Core Standards. (March 2014 NSEA Voice)

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