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10 Things You Should Know About NEA Higher Education

1. We have the power of numbers.

With 3 million members, the National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the nation. We represent more than 200,000 faculty, including contingents, plus academic professional staff, education support professionals, and graduate assistants. Our collective voice can be heard from community and technical colleges in Washington State to research universities in Florida.

2. That power carries to Capitol Hill.

We fight hard for the rights of students to a high-quality, afford- able higher education, and the rights of educators to determine what that looks like. Our lobbyists and members have helped make the case for college affordability measures, including Pell Grants and low-interest government loans, plus federal funding for faculty research and college access programs.

3. We have the people you need:

NEA’s organizers, researchers, policy analysts, lobbyists, attorneys, and communication specialists can assist your union with on-campus organizing, using financial and policy analysis to bargain, and more. We also have the data you need, including the College and University Data Analysis System, which provides faculty salaries, numbers of staff, trends in revenues and expenditures, and other data, from institutions across the country.

4. And also legal expertise you need.

NEA counsel has filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on be- half of academic freedom, affirmative action in higher education admissions, and the rights of graduate students to collectively bargain. Additionally, our legal services program protects members subject to dismissal or severe sanctions, and we cover every member with a $1 million liability policy.

5. Hone your leadership skills.

The NEA Emerging Leaders Academy is an intensive nine-month experience that results in great staff and faculty leaders. The program, open to members from all categories of higher ed employment, offers field training to new and future leaders in organizing, mobilizing, and messaging, with an emphasis on effective collec- tive action.

6. Read on...

NEA Higher Ed members get the scoop from the NEA Higher Education Advocate, recently named “best association newsletter,” and they also receive, referee and write for NEA’s journal of higher education, Thought & Action. Plus, for the latest research on funding, workload, and collective bargaining check out the NEA Almanac of Higher Education.

7. We lead the way on progressive policy

NEA’s updated policy statement on digital learning, approved by the NEA Representative Assembly in 2013, embraces technology’s potential while making clear that decisions around digital learning must be made by the people who know best—and that’s not for-profit “educational industry” vendors—it’s educators.

8. We will help you “Thrive in Academe.”

NEA’s partnership with the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in higher education has produced a robust library of “Thriving in Academe” guides that help NEA Higher Ed members teach postsecondary students. Learn how to build better syllabi, teach with social media, or “flip your class- room.

9. We put our heads together.

Once a year, hundreds of NEA Higher Ed members get together to re-invigorate our collective work. The NEA Higher Education Conference, which has gathered union faculty and staff for more than 30 years, offers the opportunity to grow our know-how around organizing and bargaining, policy development, and other trends in higher ed.

10. The benefits of membership:

Maybe you don’t join a union for hefty discounts at restaurants, hotels, and car rentals...but NEA Member Benefits also include financial services around home ownership, student loan repayment, and retirement planning, plus exclusive member rates on life, auto, and home insurance, and access to the NEA long-term care program.

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10 Things You Should Know About NEA Higher Education
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Emerging Leaders Academy