Amanda: I am confused here. So, if someone is conservative and works for or is a member of an organization that organization is conservative? So does that mean that the TEA is a Liberal Organization? And no doubt, lots of NEA leaders were at the National Democratic Convention, some estimates say 1 in 8 were union teachers. I would ask the same question the other lady asked: Professional Educators did not endorse or give money to even one political candidate or political party ever. Sounds like that is neutral to me. I thought that was your complaint. I say they are neutral just like the editorial said.
I did some research too here is what I found out. You are using old information. 2 items, Professional Educators have a legal staff in house. Not only do they use an outside firm like TEA, but they also have in-house counsel. I believe the General Counsel’s name is Michael Sheppard. I called and talked to him at their offices today. Also are you not required to join the local union, the TEA and the NEA…all three? Are the dues not really closer to $600? And hasn’t the NEA just changed their insurance policy this year? I think easiest thing to do would be to compare the two policies and let teachers decide, which policy is best.
The limits of liability on the PET policy are $2,000,000 per member per occurrence and $3,000,000 per occurrence (if more than one member is involved), plus defense costs. Civil rights cases are covered within the above limits. There is no policy aggregate defense limit. I believe the NEA policy the limits of liability on the TEA policy are $1,000,000 per member per occurrence not to include any civil rights issues or claims; $300,000 per member per occurrence for civil rights issues or claims and not to include any other claims; $3,000,000 per occurrence aggregate for all claims, including civil rights and civil rights claims. In the legislature last year I believe both organizations agreed that both organizations had great insurance coverage, so let’s be fair.
You criticize PET for not being at the bargaining table, but isn’t it true most contracts that the union has with school districts keeps them from the bargaining table? And there is no doubt that the union has embraced a decidedly left agenda. A Wall Street Journal editorial noted, the union's financial disclosure forms "expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students." http://teachersunionexposed.com/dues.cfm. The NEA has long known that its political expenditures don't reflect the views of its members. According to the NEA's own "Status of the American Public School Teacher 2000-2001," only 45 percent of public school teachers are Democrats. But the best place to learn about the NEA is here http://www.eiaonline.com, not from the union themselves.
I have no problem with you extolling your organization, but why do you always have to tear down another organization that works so hard for Tennessee teachers and students. They are at the capitol during legislative sessions working hard for all Tennessee teachers, even those who don’t share their values or agree with them.
TEA’s dominance is history. Professional Educators of Tennessee’s era has just begun. After all, isn’t it time for all public school educators to collaborate for the good of the children and the profession? Have a great day.