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Union Rights

Attacks on Workers' Rights

Attacks on workers’ rights are not just taking place in states like Wisconsin and Ohio, they are happening at the federal level in Congress too. 

Congress has passed anti-worker, anti-union provisions as part of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.  The provisions in question would be devastating to workers’ rights and labor relations.  Learn more about the latest attacks on working families.

The right to organize and join a union is, for most employees, a fundamental employment protection under federal and state “labor” laws. America’s labor unions have led the fight for working families, winning protections such as the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week, overtime rights, and access to health care and retirement security.  Today, the fight continues both to retain these vital rights and to ensure a fair minimum wage, and a safe and healthy workplace. Workers in unions earn 28 percent higher wages on average, and are 62 percent more likely to have employer-covered health coverage.


To help NEA and its affiliates promote and defend collective bargaining, NEA has developed four factsheets for use with such audiences as legislators, school board members, parents, and the general public. They may also be helpful in educating members and organizing non-members.

  • Setting the Record Straight (PDF icon PDF, 725 KB, 4 pgs.)
    This factsheet discusses several hot-button issues, including public employee pay and benefits, tenure, seniority, and dues deduction and provides no-nonsense facts in response. 
  • Professional Development Benefits Students (PDF icon PDF, 463 KB, 2 pgs.)
    This factsheet focuses on the importance of professional development in the complex, ever-changing teaching profession. The factsheet summarizes key aspects of quality professional development and emphasizes that collective bargaining between teachers and their employers can create a culture of professional learning. 
  • What It Is and How It Works (PDF icon PDF, 675 KB, 3 pgs.)
    This factsheet includes a step-by-step outline of the bargaining process to demystify bargaining for those who aren’t familiar with it. The factsheet emphasizes that collective bargaining is good public policy and gives workers a voice in their workplace.
  • Bargaining Benefits Everyone in Education (PDF icon PDF, 717 KB, 2 pgs.)
    This factsheet explores how bargaining can improve teaching and learning conditions and stresses that through bargaining, “everyone connected to the school—students, teachers, education support professionals, administrators, and taxpayers—benefits.”


  • Union 101
    You and Your Association: Knowing more about your union and being active in it can pay big dividends.
  • Education Issues 101
    Are you up on the education policy issues that could affect educators this year?