Signing up for the union

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by JenL, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. JenL

    JenL Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    I know some of you might freak when I say this but this will be my third year teaching. My first two years I taught half day and I didn't join the union because I really wasn't making enough even to get by let alone allocate some of that money to the union.
    Now I have a full time teaching position and I am wondering what are the pros and cons of joining the union. :thanks: in advance for your input.
     
  2.  
  3. Raising3boys

    Raising3boys Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    I really do not have any advice, but your topic does intrigue me! I am in South Carolina and we do not have teacher unions down here. I wish we did! Most southern states do not have them. I am originally from Ohio and am familiar with unions in general so when I moved to the south reality set in. Teachers or most workers for that matter are not protected.

    I hope you get the answers you are looking for. I will be keeping an eye on this thread because I would love to hear the thoughts on unions. Who knows, maybe someday I will be in a state that does have teacher unions!
     
  4. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    They have your back in case something goes wrong. The security of not having to worry about getting fired for a stupid reason and other things are worth it IMO.

    The guy who had my job before me did not join a prof. organization (That is what they call them in Texas since we do not have Unions). He was fired because a kid said something that he did not do but because he did not belong to a prof. organization he could not find anybody that was willing to take his case and fight for him.
     
  5. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    Minnesota does have Unions...and a majority of teachers are in the local district union they teach in

    Some benefits:
    - they have your back (ie. you will get legal representation if something happens in your classroom or with a student)
    - 1,000 voices is better than 1: Unions fight for better wages and working conditions
    - Many districts force you to pay a percentage of dues even if your not in the union

    Negatives:
    - whatever the union decides you must live with (ie. Striking even if you are morally against leaving students without teachers)
    - Dues (can be up to 500 dollars a year)
     
  6. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    Woo hoo. I'm proud of you. I'm very big into our union in Iowa. I was very active in college, and now I'm active in my second year of teaching. I would never teach without the backing of the union.

    In my state we can't strike, in Iowa it's a free to work state. Dues are a minor setback, but if you take part of the NEA's benefits you get your money back.
     
  7. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    105

    Aug 8, 2006

    I believe where I teach it costs almost exactly the same whether you join the union or not! I do disagree sometimes with union policy. But I am from a non-union state originally, and teachers where I am now have it way better off. I am making AT LEAST $10,000 more a year here than I would have if I still lived there. I figure the union dues are an investment that pay off very well.
     
  8. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    I wanted to join the Lake County Federation of Teachers as a Substitute Teacher, but had a hard time paying the dues to join the union. So, I'm estatic that I'll automatically become a part of a union as a Teacher's Aide with my new position at this district.

    Despite the union dues, I hear teacher unions are a good thing to join. Out of all the different unions out there, teacher unions, above all, are the best. In other words, they really do look out for their people.
     
  9. falcons88

    falcons88 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2006

    Whether or not you join a union, you really need to get liability insurance. You can probably add it to your homeowners policy if desired. You can get somewhere around a million dollars in coverage. It is extrememly important to have this.

    There are 2 unions where I am at and I know I will join one, just not sure which one to sign up with.
     
  10. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2006

    How many of you are joining NEA and your state Ed. Ass.?
     
  11. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Aug 10, 2006

    When i was pregnant and on long term disability,
    my district attempted EVERYTHING to not pay this and that, to make me work from home on lessons, grading, curriculum writing, etc.
    I was SHOCKED as I thought I was on excellent terms with the admin plus was in my 12th year of devoting my career to their district. My union and lawyers fought for me, and won, as I stayed home and nursed my son.
    TRUST ME, you cannot do without!!!!

    A recent first year teacher in another school used all her 3 ill days.
    When her father passed, they wouldn't even call for a sub the day of the his funeral!!!! The union fought for an unpaid day for her.
     
  12. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2006

    I'd like to, but can't do so since I'll automatically be unionized when I start me new job with this district.
     
  13. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Aug 10, 2006

    My entire district (teachers) belongs to our union. Our union works really hard for our contracts and helps save teachers at budget times. We have a strong union:) Its expensive, but I think the pro's outweigh the cons...plus I've heard that you can deduct your union dues on your taxes!

    Also, when my colleague was dianosed with cancer for the third time and she was out of sick days, my union pulled together and members donated some of their sick days so she could keep a paycheck for a little while. I think she got an extra month because of the days people donated to her. She had to retire due to medical reasons this year, but she was so grateful this spring to everyone.
     
  14. amedinaoh

    amedinaoh Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 12, 2006

    Can you give me a guidline of what you pay in dues each year? Does it vary depending on state or depending on union?:confused:
     
  15. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 12, 2006


    It really depends on each state. I paid about $350, because I was a first year teacher and a member of the student organization during college. This year I'll be paying about $500 and something.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Aug 13, 2006

    In my district the union negotiates everyone's contract so you must pay ( a fee) even if you don't join. You don't pay the whole membership fee but you do pay a percentage. When you were part time did they offer you a percentage membership (I'm not sure we do, just asking).... Almost NO ONE in my district opts for the not joining choice.
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2006

    This may be a silly question....but I am a first year teacher and I am a bit confused. My first question is: Is it possible for first year teachers to join a union? If so, how is it that when there's budget cuts, the new teachers are the first ones to go? And my next question is: If I am part of a union, will that protect me from being laid off in the future if the budget calls for lay offs???( Just wondering because my district is infamous for cutting costs in the education system).:confused:
     
  18. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2006

    I would definately join the union of your state and NEA. It won't help you from being laid off, but it will help with the process you go through. In a district that I live in, the union would help you get a job back in the district. Just think that you have some legal help from someone who specializes in education labor law. And you can depend that they will do the best job without having to worry.
     
  19. pfnw

    pfnw Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2006

    Join the union. You may not agree with all the political stuff at the state and national level, but you do have a voice at the local level. I have seen many people who thought they didn't need a union and not join only to regret it later when the admin disciplined them and they then had no recourse.
    If you do join, get a copy of your contract and know your rights.
    Get involved and go to the union meetings.
     
  20. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2006

    Thanks for the advice guys and gals.:p :thanks:
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Aug 14, 2006


    Yes join- they will protect you to the extent that they can...(like if there are contractual issues or you are not being treated according to your contract....)Budget cutbacks usually effect non-tenured first and then least senior employees in schools- they won't necessarily be able to keep a non-tenured or low seniority teacher not lose a job in the face of cutbacks. If you are RIF'd (let go due to 'reduction in force'--this is basically cuts in employees due to budgets) then you should be protected if funds become available-tenured teachers who have been let go usually must be offered the job when it again becomes available. Should be in your contract.
     
  22. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2006

    Now its all beginning to make sense to me czacza! Thanks, I will definately listen in on those discussions about the union when I attend my new teacher orientation next Monday.;)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. nstructor
Total: 332 (members: 5, guests: 304, robots: 23)
test