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Unions Begin with You

When educators come together, they collectively contribute to positive changes for everyone in our public schools. Being part of a union enables teachers and educational professionals to negotiate for higher pay, better benefits, and improved working conditions. Across America, millions of educators from various backgrounds are union members. They understand that by raising their voices collectively, they can accomplish more than they would individually, leading to the schools our students deserve!

Crowd of people in red shirts on steps at Capitol Building in Denver supporting colorado teacher union

What is a Labor Union?

A labor union is an organization created by workers who join together and use their strength and collective voice in the workplace. Through the largest union for educators in Colorado, the Colorado Education Association (CEA), educators can engage in negotiations with school districts, leveraging their collective power on matters such as wages, benefits, workplace health and safety, job training, and other issues related to their work. The union also plays a crucial role in ensuring that management adheres to principles of fairness and treats workers with the respect they deserve.

CEA operates on democratic principles, where leaders are elected by the membership to represent the collective interests and concerns of the workers they serve.

Beyond the workplace, CEA also empowers educators to have a voice and advocate for educators, students, and public education at the state level. This involvement aims to pass legislation that positively impacts the educational system, ensuring better conditions for both educators and students.

Cherry Creek bus assistants rallying together

Why Do I need a union?

As a public service worker, your commitment to public education in your community is evident. By joining the Colorado Education Association (CEA), we amplify our impact on behalf of our students, neighbors, and colleagues. When we organize as a union, we acquire the strength to make real and lasting change. Together, our collective voice is impossible to ignore—neither by our employers nor our elected officials at any level.

CEA operates on democratic principles, where leaders are elected by the membership to represent the collective interests and concerns of the workers they serve.

Beyond the workplace, CEA also empowers educators to have a voice and advocate for educators, students, and public education at the state level. This involvement aims to pass legislation that positively impacts the educational system, ensuring better conditions for both educators and students.

CEA members sitting around a table in a discussion about colorado teacher professional development

Do Union educators get higher wages?

Yes. Educators who have a Collective Bargaining Agreement through their union, allowing them to negotiate with employers, earn, on average, 30% more than their peers in districts without a CBA, according to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Colorado education association educators stand together with rally signs in front of the Colorado state capitol during a Red for Ed day of action.

Do Union Educators get better benefits?

Absolutely. Union workers are more likely than their non-union counterparts to have access to health care, pension, and other benefits. This advantage is a result of their ability to negotiate through their union. Ninety-five percent of union members have health insurance and a pension plan available, compared to approximately 68 percent for health insurance and 63 percent for a pension among those not in a union.

CEA operates on democratic principles, where leaders are elected by the membership to represent the collective interests and concerns of the workers they serve.

Beyond the workplace, CEA also empowers educators to have a voice and advocate for educators, students, and public education at the state level. This involvement aims to pass legislation that positively impacts the educational system, ensuring better conditions for both educators and students.

Group of protesters march in front of the capitol holding a sign that says Colorado Education Association

Why join your union now?

Some politicians and critics often point fingers at educators, blaming them for America’s failing public schools. They argue that we earn too much, our benefits are too generous, and that we hold too much political power. They slash our budgets, come after our pensions, and try to outsource our jobs to private contractors who pay lower wages.

However, educators are the backbone of our public education system, working collectively to advocate for the best interests of students and the community.

Attempts to blame educators for the perceived failures of public schools jeopardize the strength and effectiveness of our education system. Those who are dedicated to fostering quality education, supporting educators, and building a strong foundation for students should resist such narratives.

It’s crucial to act now to counter the criticisms and ensure that educators have the support they need to provide a high-quality education. That’s why encouraging more educators to join unions and collectively advocate for improved working conditions and educational standards is essential.

As a union, we collaborate to garner support for the vital role educators play in shaping the future of our communities through quality education.

Join Your Union Today >>