While IEA is your advocate with state policymakers, your IEA local association will have the greatest daily impact on you as an education professional.
Your local association operates democratically. The local’s members elect their officers and these elected leaders choose members to serve on key committees, such as an executive committee that helps steer the local and the bargaining committee, which negotiates the professional contract.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
Your local is your voice in negotiating your professional CBA with your school board that spells out compensation (pay and benefits) for all employees in the bargaining unit as well as the workplace rules under which you and your colleagues will work.
Your local negotiating team is comprised of local members just like you. They are assisted in negotiations by IEA staff professionals, including experts in research and legal matters. You help determine what goes into your CBA by letting your negotiating team know what is most important to you and what you need to do your best work for students.
Once the CBA has been agreed to by bargaining teams for the school district and your local, and you and your colleagues have been informed as to the CBA’s content, you get to vote on whether to accept (ratify) the CBA.
The CBA is crucial to ensuring you and your colleagues are treated professionally at all times.
The CBA establishes how workplace problems will be resolved. Having a process in writing helps make sure that resolutions are fair.
Should you ever be called into a meeting with the administration relating to discipline or your job performance, the CBA allows you to be accompanied by a union representative who will make certain you are treated fairly and all rules are followed.
Your local is your voice in your school and district
Your local can advocate for students and education in a variety of ways, such as organized participation in local elections and by presenting important news about your school to civic leaders, community organizations and the news media.
Your local is important to your community
Working through their locals, IEA members routinely identify needs in their communities and then organize projects intended to students and others who could benefit from some help.
Questions? Ask a local mentor
In your local, you will find experienced professionals of all types — in your grade level, your subject matter, disciplinary issues, parent-teacher relationships. These are your co-workers and can be your mentors, too. Many locals have formal and informal mentor programs. Seek out those resources.
One of the great things about being an IEA member is that, while expert advocates are working at the state level on funding and policy matters affecting all educators, your IEA local is in your district, your building, supporting you personally, every single day.
Please take a moment to learn more about your benefits of membership.