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A Parent Guide to Teachers' Unions

“Mislead Own Membership; Nail the Negotiator; Neighborhood Nuisance; and Blast the Boss.”

Former NEA offical John Lloyd said:

To understand NEA -- to understand the union -- read Saul Alinsky. If you read Rules for Radicals you will understand NEA more profoundly than reading anything else. Because the whole organization was modeled on that kind of behavior which was really begun when NEA used Saul Alinsky as a consultant to train their own staff.

Last week I wrote about the thuggish behavior of teachers in Strongsville, Ohio, during a strike that has now dragged on for two weeks. The superintendent, John Krupinski, told Media Trackers Ohio:

It’s like a playbook. It’s based on a book -- a play-by-play replay of this book about how to strategize, and be successful in obtaining what you want. Rules for Radicals. ... If you’ve read that book, that’s exactly the game plan that they’re pulling off. That’s the OEA playbook: Rules for Radicals.

He is not exaggerating. An old copy of a NEA UniServ manual, following the Alinsky strategy, looks like a script for the Strongsville strike, and that strategy is the basic game plan for strikes across the country.

Alinsky Rule #3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.”

The first thing to understand is that union organizers often use Alinsky’s rules to dupe their own members. Alinsky's rules allow this, as he believed the ends always justified the means if the result was victory: "Ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning."

The first item on the Uniserv manual list:

Mislead own membership ... to gain sympathy and support among unit members. To begin the process of dissatisfaction.


Continue to mislead. Update the reports regarding the bargaining process, but only mention the Board’s proposals that, with editorial descriptions, will keep feelings high (or low). ... Start to personalize the conflict in the negotiations.

Union officials negotiate and often purposely create conflict, while teachers are given limited information on which to base their strike vote.