Keeping Right to Strike Tops Agenda as IEA Teachers Union Tries to Motivate Its Members

It’s hard to believe that the Illinois Education Association is on the defensive with Democrats so solidly in control of the Illinois General Assembly, but reading the post card below certainly leads to that conclusion.

It was preceded by a phone call urging teachers to read it and follow its directions.

The address side of the IEA post card to union members that arrived recently.

The “ACT NOW” logo is on the address side of the oversized post card that arrived in the mail boxes of teachers belonging to the Illinois Education Association recently.

On the other side is

An Urgent Message to all IEA Members: Be on the Alert!

You can see the original below.  Note the large exclamation point:

The plea to teacher union members.

Here’s the message:

The Illinois General Assembly plans to go back into session right after New Year’s Day and the indications are that legislators may try to ram through legislation that could severely impact employee rights.

While some of the groups proposing these changes claim they are all “education reform” measures, the issues we believe are on a fast track include the right to strike, which we contend is strictly a labor issue with no relationship to education quality.

As members of the Illinois Education Association you are aware that IEA has spent years creating and promoting a strategic vision of what public education could be in Illinois if our state is wiling to invest in public education and focus on improving teaching and learning.

Ideas for reform that have the potential to enhance teaching and learning, such as linking performance evaluation to key personnel decisions, are subjects we are willing to discuss with the understanding that decisions will be guided by the IEA Legislative Agenda as adopted by the Representative Assembly.

Huntley School District 158 strikers.

However, the right to strike does not fall into that category and there will be no negotiation on that point.

IEA has long been a leader in education reform: the IEA mission statement, our legislative agenda, the IEA Representative Assembly resolutions and the Illinois Priority One initiative are the proof of our willingness to consider proposals for positive change. See our ideas for reform on the IEA website (

Looking forward

What we hope to do is to delay any action on education reform proposals until the spring legislative session so all involved can sure the new laws are well thought out and include the ideas of educators, those people who really know what works. Again, the right to strike, as far as the IEA is concerned, is off the table.


  1. We’re asking you to get involved now. Call your legislators immediately and tell them that education issues deserve a full and fair hearing in the spring legislative session.
  2. Stay connected for electronic notices and updates. Sign up for the IEA insider e-newsletter and the weekly Capitol Report right now by emailing your name and e-mail address to
  3. Go the IEA website for updates. Starting Jan. 3, visit the website every day for news.
  4. When the IEA puts out a call to action, please respond immediately. We could very well be asking you to call your legislators with only hours of time to impact votes.

IEA members and others who care about education must act now to ensure that honest education reform gets the hearing it deserves. The time to act is now. Call and contact your legislators. Stay connected.

The quality of Illinois public schools is at stake!


Keeping Right to Strike Tops Agenda as IEA Teachers Union Tries to Motivate Its Members — 1 Comment

  1. Well, now we know how the IEA is spending some of their $48 Million in revenue they generated last year.

    The teacher unions are the largest unions in the United States in terms of People and Money.

    I was at the IL House of Representatives, Special House Committee on Education Reform hearing at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, IL on December 16th and 17th as a parent and some of what I heard shocked me.

    If the Union was really for the kids they would have been fighting for many of these reforms years ago.

    Somehow the unions have managed to get huge end of career salary increases of 6% per year for 4 years (up 24%) for teachers who put in their retirement paperwork, but look at the reforms they haven’t been able to get for the kids that were proposed at the meeting.

    Streamlining Teacher Dismissal, Reforming Teacher Tenure, Linking Layoffs to Performance, Mutual COnsent in Teacher Placement, Strike Reform, and Enhanced School Report Cared. On the Education Reform Committee was Stand for Children, Advance Illinois, The Illinois Business Roundtable, and The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago.

    You can go to the Stand for Children website to get more details and there is a place that you put in your address and the web site calculates who your State Rep and Senator are and sends them an email that you support this.

    I am just a concerned parent not with Stand or any other organization.

    I am ok with unions and collective bargaining but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything they want.

    They are like a kid, if you don’t say no, they just keep asking and taking.

    Just like a kid, you can love unions but you don’t have to give them everything they want.

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