Learn about collective bargaining
Perhaps the greatest areas where you can exercise the power of standing united is in your own local bargain. Collective bargaining is your opportunity to have an equal voice in wages, hours and working conditions - offering the chance to make significant improvements to your classroom and work environment. Educators and education support professionals (ESPs) have a vital voice that must be heard in shaping our schools and colleges. After all, a teacher's working conditions are a student's learning conditions.
Collective bargaining is responsible for a wide range of improvements. Here are some gains that many locals have won through bargaining:
- Strong non-discrimination rights
- Paid leaves including sick leave, emergency leave, personal leave, child birth and many others
- Defined evaluation procedures and criteria
- Class size guidelines including consideration of special needs students
- Specific work days and hours
- Safety provisions to protect staff and students
- Academic freedom
- Additional pay for extra time and responsibilities
- Fair grievance procedures
- "Just cause" provisions protecting teachers from being unfairly disciplined
- Fair layoff and recall provisions
- Inservice training opportunities
- Job posting and transfer rights
- Prohibition against assigning teachers non-teaching duties
- Fringe benefits including medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurances and more
Training programs and bargaining support
Collective bargaining requires special abilities and skills. But you have the support of your union behind you. Tap into WEA trainings for basic and advanced strategies to use at the bargaining table. Individual locals and regional councils have access to WEA's highly trained bargaining experts.
Training programs include:
- Statewide bargaining conference in the Spring
- Bargaining and leadership courses during Summer U and during the school year.
- Learn more about Advocacy and Organizing trainings.
Know your rights
- You have the right to union representation during investigatory interviews. Contact your local and UniServ representative immediately if you are being investigated.
- As a WEA member you are eligible for Educator Employee Liability insurance.
- The WEA also provides members some discounted legal rates via the Attorney Referral Program.
- You're entitled to view your local contract, most districts post these on their websites.
- Understand the grievance process and what to do when a district violates your contract.