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Press Release



August 20, 2015
Contact: Alexandra Freeze

National Teacher Survey Demonstrates Support for Labor Reforms

Alexandria, VA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union educators' organization and founding partner of National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW), today released its Workforce and Pension Membership Survey for 2015. Poll results show forward-thinking stances toward labor reform, particularly with regard to the changing profession and collective bargaining.

With policymakers considering sweeping changes to the profession, it's critical that educators' opinions and experiences are taken into account as these labor reforms are debated and implemented. As a member-driven organization, AAE brings credible teacher voices to the policy table, providing invaluable input from professional educators in classrooms across America.

"AAE is pleased to give educators a professional voice," stated AAE Chairman and President Gary Beckner. "The opinions expressed in this survey are those of real educators eager to see their profession progress."

As educators retire and the demand for great teachers rises, policymakers are examining initiatives that attract, retain, and support great talent. Teachers are answering the call:
  • 68% of members support a system that would require teachers to demonstrate increased teaching efficacy and growth to advance to higher licensure levels/ increased pay.
  • 72% of teachers would support a hybrid teaching role that would split time spent in the classroom with other roles and responsibilities in a school or district.
  • Of the 72% of members who support a proposed North Carolina law that would give teachers an 11% pay raise in exchange for electing to give up tenure, 32% would elect to participate if given the chance.
  • 72% of teachers disagreed with policies that retain teachers solely on seniority, wise known as "last in, first out" or LIFO.
  • 53% of members surveyed cited "increased professional autonomy" as the key contributor to improved job satisfaction.
Collective bargaining and labor reforms are also considered by AAE member teachers:

  • 98% of educators support a teacher's right to choose an association that best meets their needs.
  • Just 8% of members surveyed report participating in a union certification election, indicating that the vast majority of teachers surveyed have never voted to be represented by a union organization in the first place.
  • 68% of AAE members would prefer to negotiate their own contract so that they could secure a salary and benefits package that best suits their lifestyle.
  • 84% of teachers agree that a one-size-fits-all collective bargaining agreement does little to recognize excellent teachers.
  • 70% support Worker's Choice, a new proposed policy that would allow a teacher to opt-out of the collective bargaining agreement in their district and negotiate their own salary and benefits package. 68% of members said they would be interested in participating in such a policy.
  • 59% of teachers agreed that the possibility of negotiating individual contracts is critical to advancing the professionalism of teachers.

Transparency and budgets also plays a key role in the future of our system. AAE members support efforts to engage stakeholders:

  • 89% of teachers would support a portable pension system that would allow teachers to take the pension money earned during their time in a school system to be rolled into a 401K in another job.
  • 73% of survey respondents agree with a new Colorado law requiring school boards to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations.

"We are proud to represent educators who are thoughtfully considering commonsense labor reforms," stressed Beckner. "We hope these findings will be a useful tool for policymakers and stakeholders on all levels."

Complete results of the survey can be found here.

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator's organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE members are forward-thinking professionals who are committed to student-centered reform efforts including school/teacher choice, accountability and technology. AAE has members in all 50 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 development resources as well as a host of other benefits. Visit for further information.