Friday, August 2, 2013

The Value of Belonging to a Teacher Organization

In Texas, teachers are not allowed to have unions. However, we do have several organizations we can join.

I've been a member of one such organization for decades, and I'll continue to do so until my retirement. And here's why:

First and foremost, Legal Representation. In the event I need legal counsel with regards to my job, it's offered free of charge 24/7. I know teachers who've faced wrongful termination of their contracts, as well as lawsuits brought about by parents, and this benefit was a lifesaver. If I should ever need a lawyer, and had to pay out-of-pocket, there's no way I could afford one. And although membership to my organization can be a bit steep, it more than pays for itself for the peace of mind it affords.

Secondly, I'm kept abreast via email and US mail of what's happening in the field of education via our state capitol, and Washington. Plus, I know teachers have representation there.

Third, I get some neat discounts to places and for services.

I know several teachers who've noted the cost of yearly dues, but I think of it this way. Divided by 12 months, it runs about $15 a month, or approximately 50 cents a day. Plus, some school districts allow you to have your dues divided into several payments and deducted straight from your paycheck, rather than having to come up with the whole enchilada all at once.

Do you have to join an organization? No. But, when asked if it's worth it, my question to them is, "Why would you want to take the risk not to?"

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