By standing united, you and your colleagues stay strong and have a powerful collective voice that cannot be ignored. We are powerful. That’s why we’re a target. Education is the last great frontier. It’s an opportunity for big business to try to privatize education and make money off of our students and our public schools.
The latest in a series of attacks on public education working people by corporate CEOs, the wealthiest 1 percent, and the politicians who do their bidding is “Opt Out Today”, a failed multi-million dollar political operation run by the dark-money “Freedom” Foundation. They send unwanted, deceptive emails to union members at work and mailers to their home, pushing them to drop union membership in an effort to to decrease union membership among educators and public workers in our state.
Thankfully, you and your fellow members quickly see through their misleading leaflets, phone calls, and door knocking campaigns. In fact, far from detracting from our membership and power, the CEA has seen record membership growth over the last decade in which these organizations have been operative. More and more, educators like you and your colleagues have realized that joining your union means becoming a part of the largest Colorado movement to fight for the schools our students deserve.
WHY UNIONS ARE BEING TARGETED
Corporate wealth is fueling these attacks because they want to eliminate unions, maximize their profits at the expense of their employees and take away the collective voice of the working and middle class. This isn’t about what’s good for us or our students or public education as a whole. It’s about making it harder for working people to get ahead, making it harder for us to stand united and fight for our students, our schools, our paychecks and our benefits.
GET THE FACTS
Our public schools need you and your colleagues to advocate for our students, our schools and our communities. Being a part of your union, the Colorado Education Association strengthens your collective voice and improves the daily lives of education employees in all sorts of ways including by helping you access higher wages and addressing workload issues.
What We Do
Unions have played a critical role in building and protecting the middle class in America. We provide hard-working people economic stability for their families and give them the tools to build a good life, home and education for themselves and their children. Unions raise wages for both union and nonunion workers. They advocate for policies that benefit all working people such as increases to the minimum wage, affordable health care and great public schools. Through collective bargaining, members of strong unions are scoring victories that help entire communities.
Why You Should Stick With Your Union
Belonging to a union unlocks higher salaries and better benefits. We’re more powerful when we stand together, and more able to demand the compensation and respect we deserve. If you haven’t yet, the time to join your union is now! When you and your colleagues come together, you can have a powerful voice and influence on the issues that affect you and your students at the district, state, and national levels.
How Can You Strengthen Your Union?
- Share the real truth about unions on social media.
- Stick with your union and ask your colleagues to join our powerful movement
- Change your profile picture and display your STRONGER TOGETHER poster proudly.
- Talk to your friends and family about why your union is important to you.
- Reach out to CEA for help making an impact.
Become a Member
There is power in numbers. Joining together in strong union allows us to empower educators and give you a collective voice to negotiate and advocate for your students, your workplace, and your profession.
ANTI UNION GROUPS TO WATCH
Conservative foundations and think tanks are putting an increased emphasis on attacking public sector unions and public schools after the Supreme Court made its decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case.They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars across the nation to elect anti-labor and anti-public education candidates and to produce so-called “research,” television ads and mailings to bash unions. These groups try to bill themselves as pro-worker – they are not. They want to privatize our public schools, take away your voice for your students, lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy, block access to health care, cut pensions, suppress voters, gerrymander and weaken the political power of unions.These groups are already reaching into Colorado, advocating for vouchers, more charter schools, defined-contribution pensions and the destruction of public employee unions. Their goal is simple. They want to divide Americans across racial, religious and economic lines.
"Freedom" Foundation - Opt Out Today
The Freedom Foundation is an organization, acting as a political operation, based in Olympia, WA that tries to attack labor unions in an attempt to elect far-right candidates. In 2015, they stated their goal was to bankrupt and defeat labor unions, who they see as major funders of progressive candidates and causes. They attempt to destroy unions by harassing workers about their union membership. After investing eight years and more than $35 million, their anti-union campaign has become an embarrassing failure.
Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE)
Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE) is the state affiliate of the Association of American Educators (AAE). AAE, established in 1994, doesn’t represent teachers in collective bargaining and claims to be free of any political agendas or political activism. It provides members with liability insurance, legal counsel in workplace employment issues, and teacher scholarships and grants.
So far, AAE has about 6,200 members at most with state chapters in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho Kansas, Oregon and Washington and a partner organization in Louisiana. Two of its biggest donors are the anti-union Walton Family Foundation and Bradley Foundation. Several other conservative foundations have given the association grants as well.
Christian Educators Association International (CEAI)
This group was one of the plaintiffs in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Supreme Court case, one of the slew of cases brought on by anti-union interests before Janus v. AFSCME.
Despite its name, 95 percent of its members are public school educators. CEAI started in 1953 and now has about 6,500 members, experiencing much of its growth since 1991 when the association started to provide liability insurance.
The group’s mission is to “proclaim God’s word as the source of wisdom and knowledge,” including preserving “our Judeo-Christian heritage and values through education” and “the legal rights of Christians in public schools.”
The Independence Institute is a so-called “think tank” that pushes a right-wing agenda in Colorado.The Independence Institute is part of an $80 million nationwide State Policy Network (SPN) that works to rig the system against working families by pushing for privatizing public schools, blocking expanded access to health care, lowering taxes for corporations and the very wealthy and undermining workers’ rights and unions. SPN and many of its affiliates are members of the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where corporate lobbyists and special interest group representatives vote as equals with state lawmakers behind closed doors on “model” legislation that in many cases ends up benefiting the corporations’ bottom line.
Project Veritas, a conservative media organization dedicated to secretly infiltrating progressive organizations to produce unflattering and deceptive videos, is targeting educator unions across the country.
The organization was founded by James O’Keefe, a protégé of Andrew Breitbart, in 2010. Project Veritas has frequently been criticized for editing its videos to deceive its audience and misrepresent its subjects. Operatives have targeted a number of high-profile organizations through the years including ACORN, Planned Parenthood and, most recently, National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) affiliates around the country.