The Metro Nashville Education Association, the local teachers’ union, has undergone a leadership shakeup, with the organization’s former vice president taking over as president.
Stephen Henry, who recently served as the union’s vice president, became the new president July 15, replacing Erick Huth, who had occupied the leadership post since 2007. Huth, who was term-limited from serving another two-year term, is now MNEA’s vice president.
Henry’s promotion came after a vote by members in March. He ran unopposed.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Henry told The City Paper.
Henry is assuming leadership of the union at a precarious time. A new state law approved during the most recent legislative session has sought to curb the ability of teachers’ unions to collective bargain with school boards. The law has instead outlined a new concept called “collective conferencing.”
Teachers’ union leaders from across the state fought the legislation to no avail.
“With the legislature, suddenly there are all kinds of new rules,” said Henry, who called the changing landscape “new territory.”
“But every year, regardless, there are going to be challenges and opportunities,” he added. “This just presents others”
Henry said the union has established a “very collaborative working relationship” with the district.
“I don’t see that changing.”