Right to Work’s Spread Scares NEA Union Dons

As journalist Mike Antonucci recently pointed out, there are 14 states in which the number of working NEA union members fell by more than 30% between 2008-9 and 2017-18. All 14 are now Right to Work states.

Teachers With Free Choice Have Long Been Fleeing Union in Droves

Only a year-and-a-half ago, government union bosses wielded the power to get teachers and other public employees in more than 20 states fired simply for refusal to pay dues or fees to a union they didn’t want, and may have never wanted.

But since June 2018, thanks to the landmark Supreme Court victory won that month by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, its legal partners, and their civil service client in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, forced financial support for government unions has been legally prohibited nationwide.

“For Right to Work members and supporters, the main achievement of Janus is to give a real choice to millions of Americans who previously didn’t have a choice about whether or not to support a union financially,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King.

“No one can yet say how large a share of liberated civil servants, in states like California and New York, will exercise their right to stop bankrolling Big Labor. “However, data on government union membership trends for states where public employees’ Right to Work was protected pre-Janus, compared to data for the states where it wasn’t, are illuminating.”

Losses For NEA Union Bosses Must Run Into the Hundreds Of Millions of Dollars

In an analysis published by The 74 Million this August, Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency dug into the pre-Janus membership data for America’s largest government-sector union, the radical National Education Association (NEA).

The data cited by Mr. Antonucci show that, between the 2008-2009 and the 2017-18 school years, “NEA’s active membership — that is, members working in public schools and universities, excluding retirees and students,” declined by 9.0%, from 2.885 million to 2.626 million.

In states where teacher unionism was compulsory prior to Janus, there was actually an overall increase in NEA membership over this period.

But in the 24 states where public educators’ Right to Work was protected for the entire period in question, the NEA union’s working membership fell by 25.2%, or nearly 200,000.

Dues-paying membership for the massive government union also fell sharply in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, which went Right to Work after 2008.

Altogether, the NEA empire is undoubtedly already losing hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year as a consequence of individuals having a right to choose to support the union, or not.

Big Labor Officials Can’t Possibly Believe Their Own Rhetoric About Janus

Ms. King commented: “The fact is, teachers with a free choice regarding union membership have for many years already been fleeing the NEA union and its state and local subsidiaries in droves.

“This is true both of longtime Right to Work states like North Carolina, where the teacher union hierarchy has never been able to compel support, and of recent Right to Work states like Wisconsin, where the NEA-affiliated Wisconsin Education Association Council union was, until recently, a political powerhouse.

“Now NEA bosses are typically pretending, in their public statements, that the very Right to Work protections that have undercut their union’s operations for years in states where they were approved by statute will hardly affect union operations at all now that they are nationwide, thanks to Janus

“Of course, NEA kingpins don’t really believe their Janus ‘happy talk.’

“If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing for passage of laws, in state after state, that obstruct teachers and other public servants who are union members from resigning so they can exercise their Janus rights.

“Ever since and even before Janus came down, the National Right to Work Committee and its millions of members across the country have been fighting back against such political schemes.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure the right not to support a government union recognized by the Supreme Court last year is truly practicable, and not just theoretical.”