More to the Story: May 16 Strike and The National Education Association (NEA)

What did the teachers strikes in multiple states across the country have in common? One is that the strikes all took place in red or purple states. The other was that they were all orchestrated by the National Education Association (NEA) and their state-level affiliates.

The National Education Association

What did the teachers strikes in multiple states across the country have in common?

One is that the strikes all took place in red or purple states. The other was that they were all orchestrated by the National Education Association (NEA) and their state-level affiliates.

Below are the states where the NEA lead or helped orchestrate teacher protests. This list is accompanied by the most recent union membership numbers and the increase or decrease in that membership from the prior year:

  • Arizona (18,515 members in 2015-16) (+5.8% from prior year)
  • Colorado (36,999 members in 2015-16) (-.8% from prior year)
  • Kentucky (43,540 members in 2015-16) (+2.3% from prior year)
  • North Carolina (32,918 members in 2015-16) (-8.6% from prior year)
  • Oklahoma (19,843 members in 2015-16) (-5.9% from prior year)
  • West Virginia (9,915 members in 2015-16) (-2.6% from prior year)

SOURCE: Education Intelligence Agency

Take a closer look at the membership losses of North Carolina’s Association of Educators (NCAE).

Over the last five years, the NCAE’s membership has plummeted by 40.8%. In addition, the NCAE was running on over a $750,000 deficit in 2016 despite the NEA giving them just shy of a million dollars that same fiscal year.

Why is it important to know the NEA’s affiliate membership numbers?

Because these protests were basically a political point-scoring membership drive:

 “In particular, NEA representatives pointed to recent protests against low teacher pay and per-student spending in Arizona, which the NEA reports led to a growth of 1,700 new members for the union in a matter of days.”

The NEA is trying to hang onto their power and to stay afloat in anticipation of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the Janus v. AFSCME case. The NEA is slashing $50 million from their budget and expecting to lose 307,000 (nearly 11 percent) of their members:

“The nation’s largest teachers union plans to reduce its budget by $50 million in anticipation of an unfavorable verdict in Janus v. AFSCME, a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in February that challenges the right of government unions to charge non-members for representing.

When delegates to the National Education Association meet in Minneapolis in July, union leaders will introduce a two-year budget that cuts expenditures by $50 million, an estimated 13 percent reduction from this year.

NEA’s budget committee forecasts a two-year loss of 307,000 members if, as expected later in the spring, the Supreme Court eliminates agency fees — mandatory costs to workers who don’t become union members but are covered by union agreements. Those near-term losses will almost entirely occur in the 22 states where fees are still charged, erasing post-recession membership gains in places like California, New Jersey, and New York.”
SOURCE: The 74 Million

It was also about attacking the tax reform in states like North Carolina, which has been popular with taxpayers and has slashed Democratic mid-term poll leads down to nothing.

“Union officials say the demonstrations will last just one day without the possibility of a longer work stoppage, and will focus on "standing up to a general assembly that has ... given tax breaks to the wealthy while starving our public schools."
SOURCE: Politico


A Few Quick Facts about the NEA:

  • For the fiscal year ending in 2016, the NEA brought in $365,874,541 in membership dues and paid out $62,267,619 in “salaries and other wages.”
  • Current NEA President Becky Pringle was the NEA’s Vice President in 2015. Pringle was paid a salary of $333,329 plus an additional $118,829 in from outside entities. That’s right, Pringle was paid nearly half a million a year – a total of $458,158.

The NEA also sends truckloads of money to prop up their state affiliates, like the NCAE.

Since 2009, the NEA has dropped over $5.1 million dollars into the NCAE. In the fiscal year that ended in 2016, the NEA gave the NCAE $919,954. The year before that, the NCAE received $809,105. 

Check out the NEA finances for yourself.

If you want to view the NCAE’s finance, that’s a little trickier. The NCAE has not one, but three separate 501(c)6 entities and each one has a different employer identification number:


Out of State Union Leaders Show Up In North Carolina

A teacher union leader present at the North Carolina Strike was the President of the West Virginia Educators Association, Dale Lee(Image below: Dale Lee, far right)


According to the WVEA website, “The WVEA is West Virginia’s statewide arm
of the National Education Association."

West Virginia's Dale Lee even marched side by side with Mark Jewell, the President of North Carolina’s NEA affiliate, the NC Association of Educators (NCAE).

Mark Jewell NCAE - Dale Lee WVNEA

While local North Carolina media outlets like the News and Observer’s Will Doran did cover West Virginia’s union leader being at the march, there was actually a much bigger union fish there.

Will Doran - News and Observer - Dale Lee WVNEA

What bigger fish?
Meet NEA President, Becky Pringle. She had a front row seat right on the stage.

NEA President - Becky Pringle - Resolute Free Press Image

On Social Media, Pringle made sure to let everyone know this was political.




What Other Unions or Outsiders Were at the North Carolina Strike?

Other evidence of union activity and possible outside astroturfing of the crowd includes a report in the Jackson Daily News. The article gives details of a North Carolina legislator who interacted with protesters from both New York and Georgia.

“Shepard said he engaged rally participants who drove from Georgia and upstate New York to attend the day-long event. And outside the chamber where legislators met, teachers and those sympathetic to their cause chanted “remember, remember, we vote in November.”
SOURCE: Jackson Daily News

ABC 11 tweeted out that “more than 50” charter buses had been spotted making their way to the Raleigh for the strike.

ABC 11 May 16 tweet - 50 Charter Buses

While many North Carolina teachers were said to have taken charter buses to the strike in Raleigh, some of our staff were stuck in traffic behind 2 buses with out of state plates from West Virginia and New York.

Excerpts from leaked an email sent by the Left-leaning non-profit Southern Vision Alliance’s “May 16 Coalition”, the plan for the NCAE’s Social Justice Caucus, Organize 2020, was exposed.  

Southern Vision Alliance - Organize 2020 - Leaked email 1

In the leaked email, Organize 2020 states their intention of using the Chicago Teacher’s union as a template for a union in North Carolina. This would be disastrous, as the unions in Illinois, including teacher unions, have crippled the state’s budget. and Organize 2020 state in the email that the NEA affiliate in W. Virginia has shown them ‘a new way’ to force a union in NC and confirms what North Carolina legislators had alleged prior to the strike – that this wasn’t an organic event, it was pure union activity:

Southern Vision Alliance - Organize 2020 - leaked email 2


It wasn’t ‘Personal’, it was Politics

Looking at the union activity, the far Left non-profit involvement and all of the other angles of the North Carolina strike, it almost feels like a campaign event that was planned months in advance.

CMS Association of Educators - Roy Cooper - Mark Jewell

“Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators with Governor Roy Cooper
and NCAE President Mark Jewell at the Governor's Mansion on March 25, 2018.”
Source: CMAE Facebook Page

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