The National Education Association is feeling the first effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, which ended the practice of public-sector unions charging fees to nonmembers. New membership numbers obtained by Union Report show that NEA now stands at 3,001,570 total members — a decline of 17,000 since the last report in April. This erased much of the membership increase the union saw in 2017.
More damaging to the union’s coffers is the loss of its more than 87,000 former agency fee payers nationwide after the court’s ruling. The percentage losses are comparable to those of the Maryland State Education Association, reported here two weeks ago.
NEA already cut its budget in anticipation of these losses, but it is looking for additional ways to reduce expenditures. The first proposal is to cut the number of days at its annual convention by two, saving $1 million. The Representative Assembly itself, where the union’s delegates debate and vote on policies, endorsements, and the budget, would continue to last four days; some pre-RA activities, which previously ran for about a week, would be eliminated or consolidated.