In 2020 both the NEA and the AFT voted to keep single payer out of the DNC platform.
As we follow the current fight by New York City public employees, including teachers, to keep retirement healthcare from being a forced Medicare Advantage program, we have to go back to before the Democrats nominated Joe Biden rather than Bernie Sanders.
Both national teacher unions supported Biden over Sanders.
Sanders supported single payer Medicare for All.
Biden opposed single payer and Medicare for All.
Supporting Biden meant supporting Biden’s platform. Both unions went all in on Biden’s platform even if it meant reversing previously held positions on single payer.
The the vote went against AFT’s policy.
The AFT had previously endorsed Medicare for All.
Because Joe Biden opposed Medicare for All, the AFTs Weingarten and the NEA President at the time, Lily Eskelsen García voted against putting single-payer health care into the Democratic platform.
Weingarten and the AFT’s approved delegates then came to the AFT convention where, dutifully following Randi’s directions, rejected a resolution opposing privatization of Medicare. . The convention refused to take up a resolution from the Boston and Los Angeles locals, “In Support of Single-Payer Healthcare.”
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In the case of NEA, my suspicion, given the outrageous compromises on pension and healthcare made my my local, JCTA (leader-for-life in power in Louisville, KY), is that money must have passed - to explain the sellouts we members have sustained under this leadership. The "I'm-taken-care-of, so-why-should-I-exert-myself" approach to protecting teacher benefits - seems to explain the sellouts.
We're going to continue having this sort of problem as long as we have no alternative to the Republicans.