10 Rights New Teachers Dont Know They Have

Congratulations on landing your first full-time teaching job! You’ve spent the last several years focused on this moment. You’ve shed sweat, tears, and maybe a little blood to get here and now the real work (and fun!) begins.

You’re committed to giving your students the best learning experience possible. Why not make the same commitment to yourself? Before you automatically sign up to spend hundreds of dollars a year on teacher union dues, take a few minutes to make sure you know your rights as an educator.

  1. Your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your union membership status.
  2. The terms of the negotiated agreement, including salary and health insurance, apply to you regardless of your union membership status.
  3. You have the right to join a union.
  4. You cannot be required to join a union.
  5. Nonunion members cannot be required to pay union dues or fees.
  6. You have the right to join a professional association.
  7. You have employment rights regardless of your union membership status.
  8. You have the right to a representative at a disciplinary meeting.
  9. The Janus ruling applies to all public employees in unionized workplaces, not just agency-fee payers.
  10. The Janus ruling does not prohibit unions from offering local-only or contract-only membership categories.

What does all of this mean? It means you are free to choose whether or not you want to join a professional teaching organization. If you want to join one, you are now free to choose whether that association is a teacher union or a non-partisan alternative.

You cannot lose your job or any teaching contract benefits based on your decision. No one — not your school, not a union rep, not another teacher — can legally force your decision nor should they pressure or bully you.

Know your rights and exercise them by making the decision that benefits you most professionally and personally!