More teachers want control of their own contract negotiations, according to AAE survey
A recent survey of mostly public district and public charter school teachers finds that most of them would rather negotiate their own contracts as opposed to be bound by collective bargaining-reached agreements.
According to researchers from The Association of American Educators (AAE), 65 percent of the members belonging to the national, non-union organization agreed in a 2019 National Membership Survey that they would be best able to hammer out a deal “that best suits their needs and goals and better reflects their skills and effectiveness.” Researchers also found that the percentage of members feeling that way under the age of 40 was even greater.
“More money is only part of the conversation,” said AAE Foundation Director of Advocacy McKenzie Allen. “Districts and unions would be well-served if they would embrace more options and more personalization to better reflect each educator’s needs and career goals.”
The findings in the AAE study are not much different from those uncovered in a recent Teacher Freedom survey that found 35 percent of all teachers responding also expressed an interest in negotiating their own contracts. Of the 2,000 teachers surveyed from 22 states, the percentage of those wanting to make their own deal jumped to 48 percent among those under age 35.
Here in Illinois, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) has seen a steady drop in the number of dues-paying members in recent times. According to IFT, the number of members paying dues to the union dropped by 6.7 over a yearlong period, dipping from 101,046 in 2017 to 94,229 in 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court asserted that government workers are not obligated to continue paying union dues just to be able to keep their jobs.
Teachers in Illinois now have the option of joining groups like the AAE, which promotes itself as providing liability insurance and job protection for its more than 22,000 members “at a fraction of the cost of union membership.”