The MEA Advantage for Public Education

With 150,000 members working together to improve educational outcomes for their students and working conditions for school employees, MEA is far and away Michigan’s largest and leading education organization.

At its core, MEA membership means better contracts together. Members work together, harnessing their collective power to bargain collectively for fair wages and working conditions.

However, MEA is more than a union — it’s an association that provides a real sense of community for all who are involved in public education. Despite their differences as individuals, the teachers, education support professionals, higher-education staff, students and retirees who comprise MEA form a massive and powerful alliance of professionals with one common goal: to provide the best education possible to all Michigan students.

No matter what challenges they might face, MEA members are never alone. There is always another member in the same building, district or state who understands the challenges and rewards that come with working in education.

From the corridors of the state Capitol in Lansing to the halls of school buildings across Michigan, MEA staff members are hard at work advocating for students and employees at all levels of public education in Michigan.

MEA’s Public Affairs Department includes experts in public policy, politics, communications and advocacy, who work side-by-side with school employees to make sure their stories are told to policymakers, media and the general public.

The Public Affairs Department also keeps members in the loop via member-only communications such as the MEA Voice, Capitol Comments and other electronic updates, which keep members informed on issues facing public education in Michigan. (Visit www.mea.org/signup to subscribe.) Meanwhile, MEA’s external outreach through traditional and social media outlets ensures that public education stays on the front-burner of the collective consciousness.

MEA’s local and statewide screening committees make recommendations to help members identify pro-public education candidates at the local, state and national levels. Electing friends of public education — from the local school board to the governor’s office — is extremely important, since elected officials have such a huge impact on the careers of school employees and the quality of education our children receive.

In addition, MEA’s UniServ directors and Public Affairs staff help with advocacy and communications projects in local communities, helping to tell the positive stories of school employees and promote the overall value of public education.

Furthermore, MEA provides numerous ways for members to interact and share their experiences. Local association meetings provide excellent forums for members to connect with their local colleagues.

At the state level, MEA holds numerous conferences that allow members the opportunity to meet other school employees from across the state and develop new skills together.

Social media tools like MEA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts provide yet another outlet for members to discuss and mobilize around issues facing public education.

Finally, members are eligible to vote for (or run for) leadership positions at the local, state and national levels.

Join the conversation. No matter where you turn, there’s an MEA member nearby who’s ready to talk, ready to help and ready to act.