Arizona Education Association

Winter 2012/13

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Page 13 of 39

IN DEPTH LOOK On December 22, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) will celebrate 120 years of advocating for quality public education. The Association has gone through many changes through those years; however, our primary purpose of advocating for quality public education has remained the same. This story is part of a series of articles the AEA Advocate has featured commemorating the Association's 120th anniversary. How AEA Gave Members a Voice on the Job Collective Bargaining in Arizona In the last three issues, we've looked at AEA's role in supporting and lobbying for policies and legislation concerning education funding and teachers' rights. Another important role the Association has played is advocating for the right of public school employees to have a voice in policies that concern their profession, including salary and benefits and workplace issues, through collective bargaining. A New Direction In 1962, the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly adopted a reso- lution that moved the Association in a bold new direction. The NEA Assembly called on school boards to recognize the rights of teachers to be represented by NEA and its affiliates in determining wages and working condi- tions, and to develop mutu- ally acceptable procedures to resolve problems. Through this action, the NEA institutional- ized its push for collective bargaining. It also signaled 14 Winter 2012/13 x AEA Advocate a change within the Association from a broad- based educational organization to one that be- came more of a labor organization for teachers. Although bargaining may be a way of life now, back then this approach was a major change in direction for the Association. The collective action movement was also a sign of the times when the Civil Rights movement was creating increased activism across the nation. "Certainly there is no more pressing issue in the area of staff relationships today than insuring that the legitimate requests of teachers are listened to, discussed, and negotiated in good faith. Certainly, too, teachers are insisting more and more on the right to be consulted and considered in the determination of school policies." Jack Kleinmann, assistant director of NEA's research division speaking at the AEA Tri-conference session on profes- sional negotiations on Nov. 20, 1966 In January 1967, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) came out strong- ly in favor of professional negotiation and urged school boards and superintendents to adopt this procedure for tapping the "creative capacities of professional staff members." The AASA statement stated that collective action was a new phenomenon in education and part of a larger movement by which public employees are seeking greater recognition and more control over conditions of work. "The impetus toward professional negation has come from a constellation of several social-

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