If you have been thinking about leaving the Illinois Education Association or find that they are no longer representing your views, there is good news.

The Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME on June 27, 2018 means teachers nationwide are no longer required to be part of a teachers union in order to keep their jobs. You can stay a member if you’d like, but you are also now free to resign from the IEA NEA, or any other teachers union, and stop paying dues.

What You Need to Know About Illinois Teachers’ Rights & Options

Deciding to leave your teachers union is not an easy decision.

Even if you disagree with their political involvement or feel like you’re not being supported, you may feel like leaving the union would betray or offend your colleagues. You are not alone.

Many teachers have been guilted, coerced, even bullied into staying with their union, even when it is not in the best interest of their students, or even their school. Sharon, an educator and former union representative, shares her story.

Just remember – the Supreme Court gave you the freedom to decide what is in your best interest, and in the best interest of your students and colleagues. Whatever you decide is the right decision!

If you opt out of the teachers union, you will not lose your teaching contract, seniority, or other benefits.

You may be concerned that leaving the IEA NEA means you will lose your teaching contract, seniority, tenure, or job protection. That is not the case.

  • Any current teaching contract you have still stands, whether you’re a member of the teacher’s union or not.
  • Your job, seniority, and tenure are protected by your contract and state and federal law. Additional job protection is also available through non-union education associations.
There are affordable alternatives for liability insurance, job protection, and other resources.

The teachers union is not your only source for teacher liability insurance. There are many national and local teacher associations that provide liability insurance, employment rights coverage, and the other forms of support you need to do your job!


How to Opt Out of the IEA NEA

If you have decided to opt out of the Illinois Education Association, the process should be straightforward.

  1. Go to the Illinois page, and download or email yourself a copy of the standard opt out letter.
  2. Fill in the letter with your information and mail copies to your union and employer.


What If You Get Pushback or Are Told You Missed the Opt Out Window?

Some teachers unions limit their members to a limited period of time where they can resign from their union membership. If you send your opt out letter to the IEA NEA and employer and are told you have to wait, you can ask them to keep it on file for that window, or get help opting out sooner.

Some experts believe that the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME means teachers should not be locked into a membership they were forced to have as a condition of employment and are free to opt out any time. Several organizations are successfully working with teachers to help them resign outside of their union’s opt out window. If you need help, please contact us at info@teacherfreedom.org.