Teachers’ unions in the United States rank among some of the most consistently successful labor organizations in the country. A primary reason why teachers’ unions have remained not just viable but in this day and age but broadly attractive to teachers is the fact that they do provide important benefits to their members.
Teachers are the Only Focus of These Unions
There are a number of large unions in the United States that represent workers from different occupations. While some unions have retained a sharp focus on a specific category of worker, many have not. According to AFT, teachers’ unions have been firm in not expanding to represent individuals from other professions, even certain occupations that might have a tangential connection to education and teaching.
Although many local schools and school districts do strive, at least to some degree, to better the teaching profession and support those in it, schools and school districts have competing interests. By that it is meant that schools and school districts typically find themselves involved in one balancing act after another when it come to teachers.
Negotiating Salary and Benefits for Teachers
A major benefit provided by teachers’ unions is the negotiation of salary and benefit packages. Unfortunately, throughout the country, situations arise when teachers in a given area need to battle to obtain appropriate compensation and suitable benefits. Success on this front nearly always depends on the coordinated efforts of teachers’ unions.
Legal Support for Teachers
Another significant benefit of teachers’ unions is the provision of legal assistance and support. Teachers’ unions provide legal advice as well as representation in a variety of situations. For example, teachers’ unions provide legal representation to teachers who become involved in some sort of lawsuit arising from the course of their employment. Unions also provide teachers legal representation if they face some sort of disciplinary process.
Continuing Professional Development for Teachers
Teachers’ unions have become regular providers of continuing professional development opportunities for teachers. These opportunities are designed to meet continuing education and professional development requirements established by state boards of education and by local school districts. Unions are adept at providing a broad spectrum of quality professional development programming that consistently prove to be of value to teachers.
Support when Sick or Disabled
Yet another benefit that can be derived by joining at teachers’ union is support when sick or disabled. Examples of how unions assist teachers who are sick or disabled include negotiating a phased return to work as well as workplace adaptations to provide appropriate accommodation to an ill or disabled teacher.
Financial Benefits and Perks for Teachers
Finally, among the benefits afforded teachers through unions are certain financial benefits and perks. For example, membership in a teachers’ union can include discounts from different retailers and service providers. These discounts oftentimes cover a broad spectrum of services and products.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Master’s in English Language Learning Online
A person studying to become a teacher should take some time to explore what teachers’ unions have to offer in those locales in which a student is considering working after graduation. Teachers’ unions typically offer special memberships for students as well as for teachers during the early years of their careers.