Your rights as an IEA member

Your IEA membership guarantees representation at the bargaining table and ensures you have access to free legal services should the need ever arise.

Uniserv Directors – IEA’s Front Line

UniServ Directors (UDs), located at 22 offices statewide, are IEA’s front line support for your local association. UDs advocate for your best professional interests and support your efforts to provide high quality education. Your working conditions are your students’ learning conditions. Like you, IEA wants both to be the best they can be.

Contract negotiations

As a public education employee, your union, as your exclusive bargaining representative, has the legal right to negotiate the terms of your employment. Your contract is the basis for most of your employee rights. It spells out your working hours, evaluation process, work/life benefits, job responsibilities, use of social media and school safety. Your UD supports your local representatives as they negotiate contracts representing your – and ultimately your students’ – best interests.

Other areas of expertise

UDs also help your local association, at no additional cost, with:

  • Contract interpretation
  • Bargaining crisis preparation
  • Grievance processing
  • Retirement concerns
  • Job security protection
  • Public relations programs development
  • Training programs to meet local needs
  • Governance matters assistance
  • Employee counseling for work-related problems
  • Civil rights violations process
  • Arbitration case presentations
  • IEA/NEA benefits access
  • Unemployment information
  • Bargaining crisis preparation

Contact your local IEA office

Legal Services – Protects Members

Protecting your rights as a public school employee is at the core of IEA’s mission. IEA employs nine in-house attorneys and legal support staff, and when needed, calls on highly skilled outside legal expertise all available to you at no additional cost.

Legal Services staff are experts in education law who work directly with your UD and local leadership on issues such as:

  • Wage and hour laws
  • Education funding
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Negotiations
  • Layoff and recall
  • Discrimination
  • Retirement
  • Health and safety
  • Fringe benefits
  • Civil rights
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Contract enforcement

Financial safeguard – Educators Employment Liability (EEL) program

Working with children is one of life’s greatest privileges … and riskiest propositions. Education environments can expose even the best teachers and staff to situations that may give rise to legal actions.

Your IEA membership automatically provides you $1 million professional liability insurance coverage through the Educators Employment Liability program. This coverage includes attorneys fees, so you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket to defend yourself from employment-related civil lawsuits.

Download your NEA EEL Certificate of Insurance.


Legal Services provides extensive training to your local representatives and you. We ensure teachers understand laws governing their employment and how to steer clear of potential legal situations. When you know your rights and responsibilities, we can often locally resolve, and even entirely avoid, costly and time consuming legal action.

We also provide extensive training to UDs on recent education laws and how to identify potential legal issues. Your UD is prepared to evaluate any legal aspect of your work and provide guidance on your options.

Get to know your legal rights.

Attorney Referral Program

The Attorney Referral Program offers members two free 30 minute consultations with participating law firms on personal matters each year. These firms offer members a 30 percent discount in their areas of practice. The core areas covered under this program are:

  • Wills and estates
  • Real estate
  • Domestic relations
  • Consumer protection
  • Traffic violations

Learn more about the Attorney Referral Program.