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Join the Union

We are excited to have you join us as a member!

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to become a member:

  1. Contact the following individuals and let them know that you are interested in joining our Association:
    • SEA's Membership Chair (currently Amelia Hames - click on her name to email her)
    • Your SEA Building Rep(s) - you can find their name(s) and contact info here: SEA Executive Board members (click on the link to see a list)
  2. Complete the online membership form, which you can find here: SEA Unified Dues Online Sign-Up Directions 2023

Once you information has been processed by


Eric Kain | September 28, 2011 | |

I support teachers unions because they are the best chance this country has to improve and strengthen public education for the long haul. No other organization will step in to protect teachers from political blowback and the reform-trend-of-the-moment. The Gates Foundation may have its heart in the right place, but the big foundations can’t protect teachers from slashed budgets or political retribution. Charity-propelled education reform may very well be a sincere effort, but in the process its leaders have offered up a lot of bad choices for teachers. Too often charity reform translates into little more than corporate reform.

Teachers are on the front lines of the fight to keep America’s egalitarian system of public education public. Faux privatization schemes and for-profit schools threaten to undermine the system itself in the name of choice. But what about democracy? What about a system built around the ethic of society rather than that of the individual?

Certainly our public school system could be better. Nobody is suggesting otherwise. Maybe there are radical ideas out there that really would work if given the chance, and I do support experimentation which was the original purpose of charter schools. Let’s keep trying things. Let’s keep experimenting, innovating, and learning from our mistakes. But let’s not do this on the backs of our teaching workforce without bothering to include them in the process.

Teachers are one of the last bastions of workplace democracy left in the country, and once they’re out of the picture anything goes. Including public education.


Professionalism, the status of being considered a true professional, is not a technical or legal distinction. Rather it is a social contract between a group and society that is based on trust. The social contract carries with it certain responsibilities and corresponding privileges:


  • To establish and continually advance a valid body of knowledge that is applied for the public good.
  • To share knowledge freely among the members of the profession and make it available for public scrutiny (not monopolize it for purposes of gainful leverage).
  • To maintain professional capability within

There are many valid reasons that you should consider joining a union. Those can include:

  • Teachers unions provide legal protection and advice. In today's litigation-obsessed society this protection alone can be worth becoming a member.
  • Teachers unions provide support, guidance, and advice. Most teachers unions have representatives that its members can call to seek advice in a variety of areas.
  • Teachers unions allow you a voice in hot educational trends, debates, and topics that you feel strongly about.
  • Joining a teacher union builds power to the bargaining position of the union for contract and labor negotiations. The more members a union has, the bigger voice they have.
  • Teachers unions provide several discount program opportunities including life insurance benefits, credit card opportunities, mortgage assistance, etc.
  • Teachers unions often provide terrific professional development opportunities for members.

One of the enduring myths of legislation designed to bring ‘right-to-work’ laws to the states is the notion that these laws actually have something to do with the right to work.

They decidedly do not...

... this seems an appropriate moment to set the record straight on what these laws are, in actuality, intended to achieve.

Let’s begin by noting that many Americans continue to believe that unionism  is based around the concept of the ‘closed shop’ —an agreement between an employer and the union representing the employer’s workers requiring that the employer hire only labor union members or, if nonmembers are employed, they must become a member of the union within a stated period of time or lose their job.

Not true.


The Purpose and Value of Unions

"Why Unions?" | Canadian Labour Congress |

The labour movement was created by people standing up together for fair wages, safe workplaces and decent work hours. Many of the benefits and standards won for our members are enjoyed by all workers today, such as minimum wage, health and safety regulations, and overtime.

Having a union on your side makes your job and your workplace safer and fairer. You get paid better and are more likely to have benefits that help you balance work with life at home. Your health and ability to do your