The Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union, claims to speak for all teachers while subjecting its members to a constant barrage of leftist politics. This has been the case for years and remains true today, as evidenced by even a casual glance at OEA communications.
OEA’s adoration for far-left MSNBC host Ed Schultz, who was presented with the OEA “Friend of Education” award at the union’s spring Representative Assembly meeting, is a stark example of the teachers union embracing politics guaranteed to alienate a large percentage of educators.
In an announcement of the award, OEA wrote that Schultz “is a friend to everyone who works for a living, everyone who belongs to the middle class, and everyone who longs for an America that treats all its citizens with respect and fairness.”
Anyone who has watched thirty seconds of The Ed Show knows this is patently ridiculous; Ed Schultz is paid to spew his hatred of conservatives, with a special focus on any politician or pundit who speaks out against Big Labor.
Data for the current fiscal year are not yet available, but OEA spent over $58,000 on its 2012 spring Representative Assembly meeting based on its annual report to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Other recent examples of divisive liberal advocacy paid for with teachers’ OEA dues include:
- Using a photo from 9/11 to snark about “GREEDY UNION THUGS”
- Joining the call for increased gun control twice this February, twice this April, and again last month.
- Encouraging members to sign a National Education Association (NEA) petition calling for the Trayvon Martin case in Florida to be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice, because the outcome was not what leftist race-baiters and gun control advocates desired.
- Shrieking about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in not one, not two, but ten separate Facebook posts demonizing corporations, privatization, Scott Walker, the Koch brothers, “stand your ground” laws, and more.
- Celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.
- Twice promoting NEA’s “One Dream” campaign demanding amnesty for certain illegal aliens.
- Repeatedly pushing union-funded research bemoaning “income inequality,” a rallying cry of the predominantly socialist Occupy Wall Street movement.
- Cartoons demanding “a living wage” for teachers and snarling at “so-called right to work” supporters who “whine like a little baby” in attempts to take away teachers’ benefits; OEA liked the latter so much, the union posted it to both its Facebook account and its Twitter account. According to the Ohio Department of Education, the average Ohio teacher was paid $56,715 in 2012.
- Sharing farcical union propaganda against workplace freedom – above and beyond what the union produces through front group We Are Ohio.
- Championing other left-wing sacred cows that have little or nothing to do with education, such as the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Violence Against Women Act, and Voting Rights Act.
Though OEA is one of Ohio’s most powerful lobbying groups – reporting over $58 million in forced dues last year – the union releases a steady stream of propaganda positioning itself as a victimized ally of “the middle class.”
Many of these talking points carry the We Are Ohio brand, but OEA also shares “Unions 4 Workers” memes on a regular basis. Several examples:
- A quote from actor Matt Damon asserting, “There’s been a war on unions in general.” Damon, a vocal advocate of teachers unions, sends his children to private school.
- A cartoon imploring teachers to never cross a union picket line, “because they’re holding the line for all workers.”
- A cartoon insisting, “Unions insure and protect our work lives,” which isn’t exactly true for young teachers laid off as a result of OEA contract demands and OEA-dictated last-in-first-out firing policies.
- A cartoon showing “billionaires” on a balcony sneering down at “union workers” and “non-union workers,” with the message, “Don’t fight to pull down other workers whose benefits and wages are higher than yours… FIGHT TO RAISE YOURS UP!”
- A cartoon asking, “Yeah, if unions are ‘obsolete’ and ‘no longer needed,’ then why do corporations spend BILLIONS trying to systematically dismantle and destroy them?!”
Keep in mind, the average Ohio Education Association employee is paid over $100,000 per year in mandatory dues.
Like Ed Schultz, the OEA president and executive director are both paid well over $200,000 annually.
In schools across Ohio, educators can be required to pay OEA “fair share” dues even if they opt out of union membership. More than a dozen Ohioans are currently suing the union, claiming they were forced to pay for political activity which they disagree with.