Teachers Value Their Unions: American Federation of Teachers on Educators for Excellence (E4E) Initial Survey Results

WASHINGTON—E4E released today the initial findings of its survey, “Voices from the Classroom: A Survey of America’s Educators,” and the results indicate a vast majority of teachers—union members and nonunion members alike—believe teachers unions are essential, even if they disagree or have concerns with positions the union’s membership has taken on some issues. AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response:


“As we await the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, this poll, conducted by an educator group supported by philanthropists not known to be pro-union, confirms what we have seen nationwide: Educators—union members and nonmembers alike—believe that teachers unions play a vital role in their lives, and they value that voice and that representation. These initial results show the importance of strong representation and continued collective action like we’ve seen in the teacher walkouts around the country.

“Although we don’t always agree with E4E, we are encouraged that its poll shows 85 percent of all teachers regard unions as important, including 74 percent of nonunion teachers. What’s even more important about these findings is the value respondents place on the union even if they disagree with positions the union takes.

“So while the Koch brothers, Betsy DeVos and their right-wing allies spend millions to defund unions and divide teachers, it’s clear that educators still see value in union advocacy and want their voices heard. Unions help them fight for the funding and community respect their schools and students need.”

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