Ohio Teachers Union Calling for Big Labor “Phalanx”

North Eastern Ohio Education Association (NEOEA) will bash Big Labor’s critics and call for “all good union members to form a phalanx” at an annual conference this weekend, according to a conference agenda posted on the union’s website.

NEOEA, one of ten Ohio Education Association (OEA) regional districts, “serves members in 192 local professional staff organizations.” From 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on February 22, NEOEA will serve its members a large helping of reheated union rhetoric from the OEA Collective Bargaining Conference.

In a ”When Ideology Threatens Education and Educators’ Jobs” session, attendees of NEOEA’s Megaconference will learn ”the scope and main goals of key local and national anti-union and anti-public education groups pushing the corporate school reform agenda as well as the privatization of public schools.”

“We will explore key major opposition and corporate reform players, including the Koch brothers, Students First, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Tea Party Patriots, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law and the Ohio School Board Leadership Council,” the agenda states.

The session will be led by OEA staffers Cristina Muñoz-Nedrow and Jeremy Baiman. Based on OEA’s latest report to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2013 Muñoz-Nedrow was paid $165,551 with money taken from teachers, while Baiman was paid $49,881.

NEOEA’s Megaconference agenda lists Leadership Development, Personal Development, and Professional Development tracks. Of 35 sessions, only “When Ideology Threatens Education and Educators’ Jobs” is listed as a “double session.”

In a “Look for the Union Label” session, representatives of AFL-CIO’s Working America, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), AFL-CIO North Shore Federation of Labor, and other unions will discuss the importance of putting union considerations first.

“Now is the time for all good union members to form a phalanx,” the session description asserts.

“There is a war going on and it is against workers everywhere. Come and meet some of our brother and sisters. The members of this panel represent some of the many organized groups who are soldiers with us. It is essential that we as union members understand how we are connected. ‘Right to Work’ is the latest but not the last battle ground.”

In addition to telling members how to “form a phalanx” against the exact list of enemies OEA highlighted during its Collective Bargaining Conference earlier this month, NEOEA has planned an anti-workplace freedom session with the same content presented at OEA’s conference.

“Participants will examine the basics of the collective bargaining law, and look at why right to work arguments must be countered in order to preserve collective bargaining,” NEOEA’s Megaconference agenda states in the session description for “Right to Work: What’s Wrong with It?”

Right to Work laws only prevent unions from forcing workers to pay union dues or “fair share” fees, but don’t expect the session led by OEA Assistant Executive Director Kevin Flanagan to acknowledge that fact. Last year, Flanagan was paid $177,386 with money taken from Ohio teachers.

NEOEA’s conference will also tell union leaders how to pressure public school boards for contract terms on health benefits, planning time, and other issues.

In Leadership Development Track sessions led by Dan Ramos — who was paid $103,991 in teachers’ dues in 2013 — NEOEA conference attendees will also learn how to screen legislative candidates and encourage donations to OEA’s Fund for Children and Public Education (FCPE).

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