A group of teachers in Waterville, WA decided that they weren't getting the best representation possible from the Washington Education Association and withdrew their membership. From there, they formed their own independent representation association. This is their story.
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Like any profession, there are good teachers, average teachers and poor teachers. Schools and school districts—like the neighborhoods and communities they serve—face different challenges in widely varying environments. Unfortunately, we have a labor relations model developed in the 1930s that treats all teachers and often all schools and districts the same.
This paper offers alternatives to the almost century-old, cookie-cutter labor relations model that no longer benefits all teachers. After briefly describing the current bargaining models in the 50 states, three alternatives are offered: the Competitive Representation Model, the Community of Interest Model and the Free Agency Model. Each represents a departure from the traditional bargaining model and each teacher or district should decide which, if any, might work best for them.