Stronger United


This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up Janus vs. AFSCME. This case will likely dramatically impact the way public sector unions, including the IEA, operate. The Supreme Court’s decision could result in a change in the law and may mean public sector unions can no longer collect fair share dues. Regardless of what the Justices decide, the Janus case is an opportunity to help us grow and build a stronger IEA. The decision gives us the opportunity to build and refocus on how we were born, the kind of powerful, grass roots advocacy the IEA was founded on that helped pave the way for significant legislative and legal victories. History proves we are stronger united. It means we can and will create a more powerful membership and a more powerful organization. We will continue to represent school employees and provide them with the strong voice they need to support good schools and a quality education for all students in Illinois. We will continue to move forward. We are 135,000 strong and have a powerful voice that cannot be ignored when we stand united.

What we do

Unions have played a critical role in building and protecting the middle class in America. We provide hard-working people economic stability for their families and give them the tools to build a good life, home and education for themselves and their children. Unions raise wages for both union and nonunion workers. They advocate for policies that benefit all working people such as increases to the minimum wage, affordable health care and great public schools.

Through collective bargaining, members of strong unions are scoring victories that help entire communities.

Education Wins with the IEA

The IEA was organized by superintendents, principals, teachers and other friends of education in 1853 and was originally known as the Illinois State Teachers’ Institute. In 1936, our name was officially changed to the Illinois Education Association to better reflect our evolving mission. In the more than 150 years we’ve been in operation, the IEA has achieved innumerable wins for both public education and our students. Learn more about how education wins with the IEA.

Why unions are being targeted

Corporate wealth is fueling these attacks because they want to eliminate unions, maximize their profits at the expense of their employees, and take away the collective voice of the working and middle class. The Janus case isn’t about what’s good for us or our students. It’s about making it harder for working people to get ahead, making it harder for us to stand united and fight for our students, our schools, our paychecks and our benefits. As members of a union, you should know you will likely be getting mailers, seeing billboards and hearing lots of people saying negative things about the IEA and other unions. In fact, you may receive phone calls at home or knocks on your door from people who want to engage you in anti-union conversation. That rhetoric is a blatant attempt to break up the union and steal our power. By standing united, we stay strong.

How you can help

Get the facts:
View and download the toolkit.

Spread the word:
Talk to your friends, family and community about the IEA.
Share our message on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Be an advocate:
Join the Illinois Educators Action Network to make your voice heard in your community.
Talk to your friends and family about why your union is important to you.
Share the real truth about unions on social media.
Reach out to IEA Connect for help making an impact.