PEI FAQs

Who can join PEI? What does it cost?

Memberships are available for teachers, coaches, administrators, nurses, paraprofessionals, drivers, support staff, and office personnel. See the chart on the membership page for more information. To join now, visit our online membership form.

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I am a second year teacher interested in PEI.  Can you give me information on your union?  Will I be represented and given assistance?

PEI is a professional association, not a union.  That differentiates us clearly in our benefits — our objectives are for professionalism and doing what is best for students.  PEI works on educational issues and does not get sidetracked by social or other extraneous issues.

We represent our members on issues that are grievable and work through issues that are not.  We do so keeping in mind that the law dictates what will be winnable on a legal standpoint, but that many times ethical issues of what is right will prevail regardless.  There are many, many, teachers in their classrooms today because of our effective representation.

Our low annual fee of only $240 buys you more than any other organization offers.  We give a $2,000,000 liability benefit along with the highest guarantees in legal protection dollar amounts in the state. PEI was formed by Iowans for Iowans and is not a subsidiary of a national organization.

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Does PEI lobby?

Each year, we gather information from our legislators concerning the issues which may arise during the session.  We survey our members, and when 75% of membership is in agreement, we lobby those issues before our legislators.  As bills or controversial legislation arise in the session, we poll our members to do their will instead of selling them on our decisions after the fact.  We also lobby on legislation that protects our members in labor laws as well as the education laws.

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I am looking for an alternative to the NEA. How do you differ? Do you have any PAC?

Politics – We do not endorse candidates, have PAC’s, or become involved in non-educational agendas such as: second amendment rights, war policy, Pro-choice, Pro-life, and many more. Review the resolutions of the NEA here.

Classification – PEI is a Professional Association (501 c 6). ISEA/NEA is a union (501 c 5). Functionally there are some overlaps, (providing liability coverage, attorney assistance, additional insurance benefits, etc). In attitude and philosophy, the differences are extensive, as exemplified by NEA’s General Counsel, Bob Chanin, when he stated:

“Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas, it is not because of our position, it is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision for a great public school for every child.  NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.  And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues each year.”  

Bob Chanin, Retiring NEA General Counsel
NEA National Convention 2009