Wednesday, July 15, 2015

About that endorsement of Hillary Clinton by the American Federation of Teachers

“…What is most destructive in the AFT’s endorsement of Clinton is that it has disempowered members at precisely the moment when we most need revitalized teachers unions to save a system of education that is being destroyed as a public good by powerful elites and the politicians they control.

“Instead, a rushed decision was made without any semblance of legitimacy. The questions and answers about the process offer few specifics except that the national union conducted polls of members and interviews with (some) candidates. According to the union, the endorsement was made based on this information, though people who know Washington politics have been aware for many years of the public love fest between AFT President Randi Weingarten and Clinton. The process of seeking member opinion was an embarrassingly transparent cover for Weingarten’s longstanding desire that Clinton be the AFT’s candidate…

“Bernie Sanders’s teacher supporters are probably the most outraged by the endorsement. They understand that Clinton supports the bipartisan policies that have de-professionalized teaching and made public education a profit center for transnational corporations like Pearson. But even those who think the AFT should support Clinton should be disturbed by this endorsement because it undercuts the union’s power. A fully democratic endorsement process would truly inform and mobilize members, strengthening the union nationally and locally, making us stronger in the election and beyond…”

Lois Weiner is a professor of education at New Jersey City University who is on the editorial board of New Politics. Her newest book is The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice.

For the entire article, The AFT’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton Is an Insult to Union Democracy by Lois Weiner, click here.

A reiterated commentary on this blog:

"Unions, organizations formerly steeped in the doctrine of class struggle and filled with those who sought broad social and political rights for the working class, have been transformed into domesticated partners of the capitalist class. They have been reduced to simple bartering tools. The social demands of unions early in the twentieth century that gave the working class weekends off, the right to strike, the eight-hour day, and Social Security have been abandoned” (Chris Hedges).

Who do you think the NEA/IEA will endorse?


  1. If IEA wants to retain our righteous image then they will not endorse Clinton. The people In our nation have lost trust in H. Clinton. Please keep your eyes open for 36,000 e-mails that H. Clinton lost on her computer.

  2. Glen,
    The IEA will make no endorsement other than what the NEA makes, which will be for Hillary. And Lily will not repeat Randi's error (and Van Roekel when he endorsed Obama two years ahead of time) by endorsing early. But the NEA will endorse Clinton just the same. There is a minority base of support for Sanders among rank and file teachers from what I saw in Orlando at the NEA RA, but it is a minority. Most members support Hillary in spite of her corporate Democratic Party education policies.
    But before the 2016 elections devour us and our attention, I think the more immediate issue is what role the IEA and the state labor coalition is playing in the current struggle with Governor Rauner. Why are they letting Michael Madigan lead our coalition with no indpendent demands or plan of action? Would this be the perfect time to start to create the pro-union, working families political coalition that we needed to beat Rauner in the first place. Or will we wait again until it too late, focusing all our attention on the 2016 election in which we have very little influence anyway.
    - Fred Klonsky

  3. In WI Walker just took away the weekend!