Field service employees at the National Education Association, which represents teachers, voted Monday to authorize a strike.
The NEA, the nation’s largest union, usually stokes strikes across the country, but Axios noted that the NEA is dealing with its own internal troubles among its 48 employees.
Despite the small staff, the union represents around 3 million education professionals from preschool to graduate school. It has been without a contract since May.
LaToya Johnson, the staff union’s bargaining chair, told Axios that NEA staffers are asking for the same kinds of benefits that they are fighting to get for teachers.
“The NEA is going to have to step up and honor the values of the organization,” Johnson said.
The union is asking for a raise in line with inflation. Unless both sides reach a deal this week, a two-day strike will begin Friday with a picket line at an NEA conference in Atlanta.
The staff rebellion comes amid a year of labor-movement resurgence, typified by the United Auto Workers strikes that have shut down dozens of plants as workers seek higher wages, better benefits, and new protections.
Even within those strikes, divisions have begun to surface. UAW members at some Ford and General Motors plants in Kentucky and Michigan rejected a tentative agreement between the car unions and companies.
Teachers’ strikes also are heating up, notably in Portland, Oregon, where the public school district just offered a significant salary increase. However, local unions rejected the proposal.
“When it comes to class sizes and caseloads, there was no improvement,” said Portland Association of Teachers President Angela Bonilla.
“For planning time, it’s the status quo for a majority of our members and less planning time for a portion of our educators. When it comes to a cost-of-living increase, there was no movement beyond a small one-time cash bonus.”
Luca Cacciatore | firstname.lastname@example.org
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.