Wrye feels “the agony of da feet” as teachers tell T.E.A. to take a hike.
Nothing like losing nearly 1/5 of your union’s membership in one day to brighten up the Holidays, eh?
In a stunning and crippling defeat last week, the Memphis-Shelby Education Association, with over 4,500 members one of the two largest teacher’s union locals in the state, voted a stunning 81% to 19% to withdraw from the TEA and go their own way.
Their reasons for doing so ranged from accusations of mismanagement by the TEA and misappropriation of dues all the way to the TEA’s dissing of the state legislature’s Black Caucus by taking away contributions from their best legislative allies and giving more money to the Republicans.
Whatever the reasons, the guy who got left holding the bag of flaming poop was TEA’s government relations operative, Jim Wrye. Jim Bob, who left the notorious Alabama Education Association just ahead of that union’s near total collapse, is left explaining why anyone in the LP should pay attention to the TEA now since their membership has likely now dropped below 30,000 (after a high water mark of nearly 60,000 back when their buddies in the Democratic party were in charge in Nashville). Wrye will try to prop up the unions’ influence by trying to buy off avaricious Republican leaders with an increase in campaign contributions (minus, of course the$1.4 million in annual des pad to TEA by its Memphis local). That in turn will lead many armchair politicos to turn their attention to the likely targets of this Hail Mary largesse, such as GOP caucus chair Glen Casada – a pol who has never met a campaign contribution he didn’t like, regardless of its source.
The forecast for the next session: Look for increasing desperation with a 60% chance of increased chaos as the two unions each hire their own lobbyists, with a near 90% decrease in influence in the legislature.
It’s a cold wind blowing from the west, so bundle up Jim (or perhaps bend over). But no worries – things are about to get much hotter for you next month.