(Pardon the title.)
I have never been in any industry where unions have been a part of life until now. I’m honestly not that big a fan of unions, although I recognize their importance and function, especially in education where they play a role in mediation and contract negotiation (which of course applies to other industries as well). So I’m just getting my feet wet in this kind of stuff.
Our local union, which is a part of NEA, met today to elect officers. No one really wanted to volunteer to be a part, so most of the current officers were re-elected. One of our co-presidents, however, voiced her strong opinions about NEA leadership and her objection not to helping out the local union but to supporting the national organization. Much of it had to do with controversial retired General Counsel Bob Chanin (check here for a taste, although I’m not too enthusiastic about the reliability of many of these sources). It’s all politics.
That was the timbre of my first real union meeting: no one wants to be in charge, and we don’t much care for the higher-ups.