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Important ESEA Member Information


ESEA Members In Action: Voting NO on Disaffiliation

The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) have a long and proud tradition of representing public education employees. NSEA and NEA were disappointed when it received notice from the nine members of the Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) Board that they would be asking ESEA members at the General Membership meeting to approve changes to the ESEA Bylaws that would allow disaffiliation from NSEA/NEA.

Thursday, May 30, 2013, hundreds of ESEA members turned out to the general membership meeting at Rancho High School to vote on bylaws to disaffiliate from NSEA and NEA. Members resoundingly voted NO on disaffiliation, 346 to 55.

The gymnasium bleachers at Rancho High School were filled with passionate, dedicated members and a democratic vote took place on these issues. Members voted NO on changing the bylaws to disaffiliate from NSEA and NEA. ESEA will remain affiliated with NSEA and NEA. There will not be a loss in any NSEA/NEA benefits or services.

Members also voted to reject the tentative agreement between CCSD and ESEA. Members should expect a message from ESEA on next steps.

NSEA would like to acknowledge the hundreds of members who attended, expressed their wishes, raised their concerns, and who cast their ballots. We know that many of you could not attend this meeting, but in the days leading up to the meeting you made it clear: we are stronger together.

Now we move forward. We urge ESEA leadership to work with NSEA and NEA so we can continue the fight for support professionals together.

FAQ's ON DISAFFILIATION

Q. What is “disaffiliation”?

A. “Disaffiliation” is when a union severs the entire relationship between itself and its state and/or national organizations.  It is extremely rare, since it can have a profound impact upon member services and can destabilize bargaining relationships.  Most unions know that going out on their own deprives members of the protection, resources, and power that come with being part of a state-wide and national organization.  

Q. How is disaffiliation accomplished?

A. Not surprisingly, many unions require that a vote of all affected members be conducted before a disaffiliation is permitted.  ESEA’s bylaws do not contain a specific process for disaffiliation.  Rather than putting this critical issue to the full membership for a vote, ESEA leadership has proposed amendments to the bylaws that write NSEA and NEA out of ESEA’s governing documents.  Those amendments will be presented for a vote at the General Membership meeting on Thursday, May 30th.  At the same meeting, you may also be asked to vote to disaffiliate from NSEA and NEA.  The proposed amendments do not include a process for ESEA’s full membership to vote on this critical decision.  As a result, members who are not able to attend the May 30th meeting will have no say in whether ESEA takes this very serious action.

Q. What do I stand to lose if ESEA leaders cut ties with my state and national union?

A. The loss to ESEA members will be significant. Upon disaffiliation, ESEA will immediately lose millions of dollars worth of programs, services, and staff who advocate for ESEA members.  Among other things, ESEA members would immediately lose access to:

• the NEA Legal Services Program that provides high quality, no cost representation
that is offered only to NSEA/NEA members; 

• NEA Member Benefits programs that provide group rates for life insurance,
professional liability insurance,  and a variety of discount programs as well
as a variety of other important member services.  Half of ESEA’s members
currently participate in these programs;

• powerful advocates for your issues at the state and federal levels of government
where many decisions are made that affect you and your job; 

• professional and political support during your collective bargaining process;

• all of the staff at ESEA, who are funded by NSEA and NEA to work
with ESEA and advocate for ESEA members on your issues; and

• for information on your current benefits and how ESEA disaffiliation will specifically impact you and your family, please contact NEA Member Benefits toll-free at 1-800-637-4636 or by e-mail at ask-us@neamb.com

Q. If ESEA disaffiliates from NSEA/NEA, what will happen to my dues?

A. ESEA leadership may tell members that the bylaw amendments and disaffiliation will reduce your dues and put money in your pocket.  You should know that the published bylaw amendments do not address what dues will be, nor how much they will increase to support ESEA operating independently. It is reasonable to assume that duplicating the services offered by NSEA and NEA will result in a significant ESEA dues increase to ESEA members or a reduction in program and service offerings to make up for the significant lost revenue. 

Q. What are the financial implications of a possible ESEA disaffiliation?

A. At this time, ESEA has not provided its members with a specific business plan to address how it will fill the void of lost products, benefits, services, and financial support from NSEA/NEA should ESEA disaffiliate. Support from NSEA and NEA are very significant. For example, since 2010, NEA has provided $2.2 million to ESEA to support membership recruitment and organizing efforts, and this amount doesn’t take into account the thousands of hours of NSEA and NEA staff work on behalf of ESEA in Clark County nor does it count the more than $1 million allocated to protect ESEA from raids by other unions that would undermine ESEA’s strength and ability to advocate for its members.

Q. Can ESEA “go it alone”?

A. Going it alone isn’t only risky, it’s expensive. Moving forward we can restore trust in the association and restore the level of respect and support ESEA members expect. Trying to replicate the services NSEA and NEA offers, as a stand-alone union, would be formidable and costly; a cost that would be passed on to members. Working together we see a future where a united ESEA and NSEA/NEA are stronger for all members.

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