The union that represents teachers in San Diego Unified, the San Diego Education Association, voted yesterday to join the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, signifying a tighter relationship between unionized teachers and other organized labor across the region.
Evan McLaughlin, political director of the Labor Council, said the teachers union would join the regional group as one of its largest unions, bumping its overall membership from 181,000 to 189,000 people. It also makes the teachers union, which is affiliated with the National Education Association, the largest chapter of the national union to affiliate with the AFL-CIO — a move that has been happening across the country over the past three years thanks to an agreement that allows local chapters of teachers unions under the NEA umbrella to join with the AFL-CIO. (You can read about that move from a critic here.)
Camille Zombro, president of the teachers union, said the move merely formalizes their relationship with the Labor Council and will not impact dues. It will cost between 53 cents and $1.50 per member per month, divided among the local, state and national AFL-CIO groups, which will be absorbed in the teachers union budget.
“We believe this is a very positive cultural change,” Zombro said, “Our teachers are a part of the broader labor community in a more significant way. Given what’s happening around us, it’s important for all of us to stand together in whatever way we can.”
Correction: This post initially stated that dues would increase slightly due to the change. Zombro said that while SDEA will be paying to join the Labor Council and its affiliates, dues would not go up because the costs will be absorbed in their budget. I regret the error.