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Press Release



April 24, 2019
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

AAE Member Survey Reveals Teacher Support for Negotiating Individual Contracts

Mission Viejo, CA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national non-union, professional educator association, released findings from their 2019 National Membership Survey that reveal a significant number of their members would prefer to negotiate their own contract rather than participate in union collective bargaining agreements. AAE members are primarily public district and public charter school teachers and are located in all fifty states.

Sixty-five percent of AAE members who completed the survey said they would prefer to negotiate their own contract, which would allow them to secure a salary and benefits package that best suits their needs and goals and better reflects their skills and effectiveness. Among teachers under the age of 40, the percentage of respondents who prefer negotiating their own contract increased slightly.

The survey also revealed that eighty-one percent of respondents preferred an “à la carte” benefits package, which would allow educators to personalize their compensation from a range of options. “More money is only part of the conversation,” AAE Foundation Director of Advocacy McKenzie Allen commented. “Districts and unions would be well-served if they would embrace more options and more personalization to better reflect each educator’s needs and career goals.”

Notably a third of AAE’s members were not interested in negotiating their own contract at this time, even though some of them were interested in the “à la carte” benefits proposal. Sharkey noted, “Numerous AAE members are satisfied with their current contract, especially those in independent local unions, and are not ready to negotiate for themselves at this time.”

A national survey released earlier this month by the Teacher Freedom project, which is supported by AAE Foundation, revealed that thirty-five percent of teachers would like to negotiate their own contract. Support increases to forty-eight percent among teachers under the age of 35. Teacher Freedom’s survey was conducted by Dynata and included a sample of 2,000 teachers in the twenty-two states most impacted by the 2018 Janus decision.

AAE conducts online surveys with dues-paying members several times a year on issues of importance to educators. More than sixty-five percent of 1,226 educators who completed the survey answered “agree” or “tend to agree” in response to this question: “I would prefer to negotiate my own contract so that I can negotiate a salary and benefits package that best suits my lifestyle. For example, I would prefer a higher salary in exchange for fewer sick days.” This response is consistent with previous AAE member surveys asking a similar question.

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student-oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources and many other benefits. Visit for further information.