Association of American Educators Reacts to Heartland Institute Report on Non-Union Teacher Bullying
Alexandria, VA– Yesterday, the nonpartisan, Chicago-based Heartland Institute released a comprehensive report about non-union associations and teachers, and their quest for equal treatment in a union-dominated landscape. The exposé, authored by Education Policy Research Fellow Joy Pullman, highlights the Association of American Educators and AAE state chapter teachers and staff who have experienced harassment, discrimination, and bullying from union representatives keen on maintaining their monopoly in local schools.
Following the release of the report, AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner released the following statement:
"Since AAE's founding in 1994, our association and state chapters have been met with harsh opposition from both the NEA and its state affiliates. False claims about AAE's motives and benefits, coupled with districts shutting out non-union groups in favor of the union have been commonplace. While the non-union educator movement continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the playing field in most states is anything but fair.
As illustrated in this report, AAE leaders and member-teachers have experienced bullying, intimidation, and worse in states across the country. While it's no surprise that the teachers unions fight against the expansion of the non-union option, it is truly disturbing to see district and state leaders complicit with this practice. Although our quest for equal treatment is often an uphill battle, the release of this report is a turning point for our cause.
Interestingly, AAE has never sought to be the monopoly voice for teachers as the union so often states and fears. From the very beginning, the non-union educator movement has been about creating an option for teachers searching for professional benefits, like liability insurance and legal protections, at a fraction of the cost and without a partisan agenda. AAE is not a labor union and has no interest in bargaining contracts or telling members how to vote, but an entirely different entity, solely focused on professionalism and balancing the interests of educators and students to help create a world-class education system.
As the leader of the non-union educator movement, our hope is for teachers nationwide to be presented with the critical information needed in selecting an association that best aligns with their beliefs and budget. No educator should be persecuted for their beliefs or ideas. Teachers deserve a choice no matter where they teach."
The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators' association, offering an alternative to the partisan politics and non-educational agendas of the teacher labor unions. AAE does not endorse, support or contribute to any political cause or candidacy. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits. Visit aaeteachers.org for further information.