Frequently Asked Questions
Why EASL 3616?
Our society has become one of the most litigious in the world. As a teacher, you are responsible for the students in your classes on a daily basis. The possibility of a misunderstanding is great. You need LEGAL and PROFESSIONAL PROTECTION. Just as none of us would dare drive our cars without insurance, nor we should not step into a classroom without protection either.
We are the only organization that provides you with this legal and professional protection and it is included in your dues. We provide each member with a $1,000,000 professional liability insurance policy. Hopefully, you will never need this protection, but if you do it is available for MEMBERS ONLY. Plus… As a member, you are only a phone call away from someone who can assist you with problems at your worksite.
EASL 3616 has both a full-time President and Vice-President available to assist you by attending meetings with supervisors, etc.
Do I have to join EASL 3616?
There are many, many reasons to join the union, but because Florida is a “Right to Work” state, you are not obligated to join. Currently, we have over 2,000 members who believe that their membership is a valuable tool for improving themselves, their working conditions, and their profession. You don’t have to join, but why wouldn’t you?
Is the EASL 3616 a political organization?
No union dues are used to support political causes or candidates. However, we realize that educational policies and funding are entwined with politics at a local, state, and national level.
We have a separate political action committee (PAC) called TIGER/COPE (Total Involvement in Government and Education Reform/Committee on Political Education) that helps us advocate for educational issues on the local through national levels. You can contribute to this organization through payroll deduction even if you don’t become a member of the EASL.
What other organizations are affiliated with the EASL 3616?
We are affiliated with the Florida Education Association (FEA) in Tallahassee, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) in Washington and the AFL/CIO state and national organizations.
We are one of only a few state organizations that is merged with both the AFT and NEA. This means we have a statewide organization of over 120,000 members which gives our members the benefits and the resources of two national organizations.
What is the EASL 3616?
EASL 3616 is a professional organization that is the exclusive bargaining agent for teachers and paraprofessionals in St. Lucie County.
This means, in addition to providing MEMBERS ONLY opportunities such as free professional development, we negotiate your salary, benefits, working conditions and rights. We represent and advocate for MEMBERS ONLY in cases of contract violations.
What Other Benefits Does the Union Offer?
Because we are affiliated with state and national unions, our members become part of a massive network of education professionals and other union members. There are many discounts, special offers, and exclusive training opportunities available for members only.
When you become a member, you will receive highly regarded, exclusive professional journals, invitations to attend exclusive training through the Education, Research, and Dissemination program, and a membership card that entitles you to many discounted rates on everything from movie tickets to car insurance and dry cleaning. Union membership certainly has its privileges.
What is Collaborative Bargaining?
We use a process called Interest-Based Collaborative Bargaining in St. Lucie County to solve problems and negotiate the best pay and working conditions for our members. It affords the union the opportunity to participate in almost every level of decision-making throughout the district. Our voice is heard by the School Board, the Superintendent, and school-based administrators because we are invited to be a part of the process.
The collaborative relationship, as opposed to a more adversarial one, has proven very successful in the two years we’ve used it here. Our first priority is always to advocate for our members, but we are professional in our relationship with administration and do join with them when necessary to further the cause of public education in St. Lucie County.