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AFT Indiana has always been on the vanguard of teacher rights through collective bargaining initiatives. Prior to passage of the bargaining law, AFT Indiana initiated collective bargaining. In addition to this traditional commitment, AFT Indiana continues to lead in educational reforms that enhance teacher quality and improve student learning. AFT Indiana locals are among the first in the state to explore new relationships with school boards. We advocate an equal partnership for teachers in the decision making which will produce the schools of the future through teacher empowerment.
Building Local Strength
No one can represent your interests better than you! Mandates are never set by the state or the national organizations. By developing local programs, members gain ownership of their own union through strong leadership, a healthy local treasury, a locally designed professional development program, and locally identified educational issues. Locals can take advantage of professional resources of the AFT, AFT Indiana, and the AFL-CIO to build their own strength.
Because teachers and other school employees should take control of their profession, AFT Indiana members can receive state and nationally sponsored training in a variety of pertinent programs such as Educational Research and Dissemination and Union Leadership Institutes.
Democratic Decision Making
Like the AFT, AFT Indiana is governed by its members through an annual convention of democratically elected delegates. Federal law governs this process. The policies determined by the members at the convention are implemented by an employed staff under the direction of the elected officers. Likewise, local unions democratically make all their own decisions. Locals are autonomous and decide local issues. The organizations with which we are affiliated exist to serve all locals.
AFT, AFT Indiana, and AFL-CIO dues are set by their respective conventions, and local dues are voted upon by each local unit. The total amount depends upon the aggregate of these obligations. On the average total dues would approximate 1.5% of the beginning bachelor's salary. The outgoing dues for 2017-2018 (AFT, AFT Indiana, AFL-CIO) are $388.56. Each local should establish a local dues level that would sufficiently support your program and plans. AFT Indiana recommends $100/per member annually for a total dues of $488.56.
Benefits of Membership
Through their AFT/AFT Indiana dues, members have $1,000,000 professional liability insurance, $50,000 accidental death & dismemberment insurance and other valuable member benefits such as discount car rentals, travel plans, disability insurance and more.
AFT and AFT Indiana maintain defense funds to defend teachers in many important areas of job related needs. Legal reimbursement through the legal action trust covers $5000 regardless of the outcome/ $35,000 complete exoneration.
The first American Federation of Teachers union in Indiana (Local #4, Gary) was chartered in 1916. The Indiana Federation of Teachers (AFT Indiana) was chartered originally as the Indiana Council of Teacher Unions on February 16, 1938. AFT/AFT Indiana continues to represent K-12 teachers, special and vocational education teachers, and school related personnel.
Assistance to locals is provided by the AFT Indiana staff at the direction of local presidents. Together with local leaders, AFT Indiana staff works to meet the needs of locals and train their leaders for maximum effectiveness and independence.
Lobbying & Political Activity
Because education is tied to legislative action, AFT Indiana lobbyists work to make educational improvements a reality. The Committee on Political Education (COPE) spans the political gamut affecting elections for local school boards, the state legislature, and the U. S. Congress. These actions bring to the forefront issues relevant to better schools and better funding. AFT Indiana political strength is enhanced through its affiliation with the AFL-CIO, which gives it the broad-based support that is needed by any community. Reports, conferences, grassroots efforts, and email keep members informed.