Some folks asked me about unions and school IT jobs recently, I thought my response might be a good blog post:
Schools tend to be highly unionized organizations. Often, the licensed educators in the school are members of one union (and covered by a different master contract) than non-licensed employees.
Many factors affect whether an IT position in a school is included in master contract agreement. Whether one joins the union is a personal decision, but it is a position that is affected by the master contract, not the individual who holds it. Employees in a position covered by a master contract are expected to comply with those conditions regardless of their union status.
I take no position on the effects of unions in schools. I have been a member of unions for a long time and benefitted from them. I have also refused to join local associations because of actions the leaders. Just like every organization, the strength of union and the benefits they afford members vary depending on the local circumstances and the relationship between union members, leaders, and school boards
If you are hired into a union position, expect to be approached to join. One cannot be forced to join the union, nor are unions allowed to collect agency fees. While you will not pay dues, you also will not be allowed to participate in meetings, including contract ratification votes, and you will not be entitled to union representation or professional liability insurance.