The National Education Association said yesterday it has agreed to register itself as a labor organization under the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959, which will require disclosure of its financial and other records.
The 128-member NEA board of directors agreed at its quarterly meeting here Feb. 17 not to appeal a January order to register issued by U.S. District Court Judge George Hart.
NEA executive assistant Robert W. Miner said the NEA had earlier resisted the order because of the "heavy administrative effort" of providing the necessary financial reports and documentation.
The NEA had also argued that only a tiny proportion of its 1.8 million teacher members in 8,500 affiliates were employes of private educational organizations who would be covered by Landrum-Griffin, the labor-management reporting act. Judge Hart ruled that no minimum number could be set and that the NEA would have to eliminate its privatesector membership in order to escape registering.
The decision follows a recent Internal Revenue Service ruling that altered the NEA's tax status from that of a professional association to a union, reflecting the NEA's lobbying activities. "We're a hybrid, both a labor union and a professional association, and there's nothing like us anywhere," Miner said.