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A New Beginning for NEA and AFL-CIO?

The National Education Association is getting cozier with the AFL-CIO and its rival Change to Win, two umbrella labor coalitions that are themselves thinking of reuniting, according to this AP story.

The American Federation of Teachers is a longtime member of AFL-CIO but the NEA has always been a bit aloof about its status as a cross between a professional organization and a labor union. NEA did grew closer to AFL-CIO in 2006, when NEA and AFL-CIO struck an agreement allowing NEA officials to sit on local AFL-CIO labor councils. Now, it looks it's considering joining the larger labor movement.

One of the subtexts here, the story points out, involves creating a unified front for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, a labor priority. The bill would allow for union organization through "card check" or signature cards rather than through the secret ballot. If you've been following the KIPP unionization drama in New York City you'll want to get well versed in this bill. It could presumably make such organization easier in less labor-friendly states.

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