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Teacher with elementary school students

Together, we can achieve better Educator Pay & Benefits

NEA helps build collective action for competitive pay, health benefits, and retirement security so we can attract and retain the best educators for our students.

The Educator Pay Gap

Educators make 81 cents on the dollar compared to their professionals with similar experience and credentials. To make matters worse, this educator pay gap is growing, forcing many out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis that threatens our students and communities.

three educators in a school hallway, two women and one man.

Educator Pay Facts

Tired of hearing the myths used to justify inadequate teachers pay? Here are the facts to clear up those misconceptions.
Teacher in TSTA shirt

Run a Successful Campaign for Better Pay

There is no single way to run a campaign for better professional pay, but we have assembled some of the best, most successful tactics.

Do Educators in Your Area Make a Living Wage?

Showing the gap between what you earn and what you need is key to advocating for a fair salary.
photo of Betty Collins
Our students deserve fully funded classrooms. Our teachers and support staff need to be able to afford to do the jobs they love. Now isn’t the time to rest.
Quote by: Betty Collins, eighth grade teacher, Oklahoma

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining gives educators a voice. NEA members negotiate for more than their economic security—they also advocate for increased funding and the resources and opportunities their students need.

The “Bargaining for the Common Good” approach leverages collective power in new ways to build strong partnerships with parents, students, and other community stakeholders. By coming together around common values, we can bring in more public resources, reduce class size, increase student learning time, reduce unnecessary testing, and gain affordable health care for children and their families.

NEA members and leadership in a school classroom

Collective Bargaining: What it is and How it Works

This is how to make collective bargaining work for you.
Group of members in conference

The Benefits of Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining creates better schools, more student achievement, and stronger communities.
Diverse Classroom

Advocating for Students

Download The Road to Student Success to learn how you can implement and advance a student-centered agenda.
Maggie Gannon
Being able to bargain collectively makes it a more personal, local experience whenever you're talking about contracts. We can speak to our members, see what the needs are, and advocate for those specific things.
Quote by: Maggie Gannon, 2nd Grade Teacher, Culpepper County, Virginia

Retirement Security

Pensions provide a secure and dignified retirement for millions of working people.

retiree talks to young educator

Why are Pensions Better Than 401(k)s?

Data, research, and educator experience all show why pensions are far superior to 401Ks.
Teacher at Chalkboard

Are Pensions Causing our Teacher Shortage?

NO! Pensions are a key component of attracting and retaining educators
Man crossing his hands

Retirement Security Challenges

Most educators have strong pension protections built into law. This is why we must resist attempts to weaken them.
grandfather with granddaughter

Responsible Pension Investment

Resources for Pension Fund Trustees who want to avoid investing in private prisons and detention facilities
U.S. Capitol Building

On Capitol Hill

Learn more about and take action on legislation that could hurt or help your retirement security.
Black woman retiree

Public Pensions Reduce Retirement Inequality

Defined benefit pensions play a critical role in delivering adequate retirement income for older Americans while providing a key buffer against economic hardship for women, Blacks, Latinos, and those without a four-year college degree.
Dollar Bill

Take Action

Make your voice heard on legislation related to social security, pensions, GPO, WEP, and more.

Health Benefits

NEA and our Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy Department (CBMA) team works closely with state and local affiliates to secure quality, affordable, comprehensive health coverage. We offer expertise to affiliates working in both bargaining and non-bargaining contexts. 

We're here to help:

  • Tactical and strategic advice on health benefits and health policy issues,
  • Assistance with bargaining proposals and initiatives in labor-management health care committees,
  • Making sense of your health insurance options.
teacher mental health

Health Benefits & Policy

NEA strongly supports access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care coverage for all residents of the United States.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.