NEA & AFT Participate in 31-Union Coalition Launching OrgNet
NEA hosted (with AFT) the launch of OrgNet, a networking and information sharing program through Education International. The Center for Organizing, in conjunction with International Relations of the Center for Governance, represented NEA at the meetings.
The 31 education unions present represented colleagues from across the globe, including Argentina, Australia, Poland, and Uganda; and the network will be open to all Education International affiliates. OrgNet’s purpose includes establishing a network of education union organizers. In addition, it is tasked with identifying, collecting, and publicizing innovative strategies and practices within national organizations and other public service unions. OrgNet commits to promoting international cooperation for the betterment of organizing educational unions for quality public education. There will be a concerted focus on researching and assessing the new challenge of organizing private education operators, an issue stressed by NEA Executive Director, John Stocks.
During the two-day meetings discussion revolved around topics such as: “Community Engagement,” “Turning Union Challenges into Success,” and “The Future of Organizing in the 21st Century.” Participants discussed the importance of technology and social media to network data and strategically use information for organizing members and participating in elections. Jim Messina, the Campaign Manager for “Obama for America 2012,” delivered the plenary speech and stressed the issue of using data to create niche-specific messages that empower potential, new, and existing members to take on activist roles.
The Education International OrgNet will benefit NEA, and its state and local associations, by identifying education union organizing best practices that can be applied in the United States.