EAG Exclusive: Teachers Union Staffers Set Sail on 7-Day Caribbean Cruise

Kyle Olson

2/7/2012 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson

Imagine your organization is facing attacks from all sides. Imagine it’s losing members and revenue. Imagine governors and mayors – of both political parties – publicly denouncing your industry as “broken” and move swiftly to stifle your power and influence, while you flail away helplessly.

What to do? What else to do but go down drinking?

That’s what members of the National Education Association’s National Staff Organization have apparently decided. The NSO is an association of sorts for teachers’ union staff – political and communications types.

Following an “Advocacy Retreat” with the theme “Building Our Unionism,” members set sail on a 7-day cruise from Miami on February 5th “with stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Isla Roatan.” Sounds fun! [In case the Facebook link disappears, never fear: here’s a PDF of the NSO newsletter.]

Guess what union staff? There are going to be cameras all over the ship documenting your every move – from every Fuzzy Navel to every game of shuffle board. Just think how your rank-and-file members might appreciate seeing all the “fun in the sun” you’re having, courtesy of their dues dollars.

Dues payers – especially those in states with compulsory unionism – can think fondly this week about their “employees” cavorting in the Caribbean as they’re looking at layoffs, decreased pay and increased insurance co-pays.

(Technically, NEA staffers exist to serve the union members. That might come as a surprise to some, considering that those roles have been reversed for decades.)

Incredibly, this isn’t the first cruise NEA staffers have taken. Last year, the destination was the Mexican Rivera, according to the trip’s contact person. Next year, who knows? As long as the members keep paying, who cares?

As the union staffers set sail, I hope they’ll remember the eyes of their dues-paying members are on them. Bon voyage!