I found an interesting book in the local library this week. It's called The Worm in the Apple, and it's about the NEA (National Education Association).
Disclaimer: I previously belonged, grudgingly, to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Last year, I was teaching in a long-term position, and joined the NEA. In both cases, the amount I had to pay (they call it "Fair Share") was mandatory. It differed so little from the cost of joining, I decided to hedge my bets, on the off chance that I might need the "protection" of the union. (That sounds a little "Tony Soprano", doesn't it?)
In neither case did I receive anything of value from the union. I can't count the cheesy trinkets and candy I got on "Teacher Appreciation Day".
The author, Peter Brimelow, runs the VDare site. He can best be described as a long-time conservative. His particular passion is sounding a warning about immigration's potential to undermine America's cultural heritage.
The book is dense with financial information. It appears to have been well-researched, and, from what I can tell, is accurate. Brimelow peels the covers off the compensation secrets of union staff, and reveals many of the intertwined interests, including AARP and insurance companies (particularly Horace Mann).
Didn't know that there's a long-standing relationship between AARP and NEA? Neither did I. That connection, alone, should be enough to make you suspicious.
And, after reading this book, I'm inclined to forgo union membership in the future, and just join The Association of American Educators, an NON-union professional organization, that provides, among other things, liability insurance to its members at a fraction of the cost of the AFT or NEA.
Tags = School, Books, and Education