Why Unions Matter
"What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures."
- Samuel Gompers, a founder of the American Federation of Labor
Learn more about unions and labor issues:
Unions have a long and proud history of standing up for working families in Pennsylvania. From coal miners, steelworkers and garment factory employees to teachers, education support professionals, health care workers and others, unions have championed the rights of workers.
Unions make sure workers are compensated fairly and their rights respected. They make sure workplaces are safe. They advocate for social justice.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association represents more than191,000 teachers, education support professionals, retired educators, health care employees, higher education professionals, students studying to become teachers, school counselors, school nurses, dental hygienists, social workers, and school psychologists.
The NEA, PSEA, and the hundreds of local associations across Pennsylvania have a clear strength - the collective voice of many is stronger than the voice of one.
We come together as an organization to support the rights of our members to be paid fairly for their hard work. PSEA members are the individuals who spend every working day making sure Pennsylvania’s children receive the best education possible. PSEA members work in higher education and health care facilities.
We work together to make our schools and classrooms great places to work and innovative, effective learning environments.
We work together to advocate for the resources schools need to give every student a quality education.
We are a community of workers, students and retirees from many fields who are dedicated to a cause.
The collective action of our members at the local, state, and national levels has achieved great things. PSEA members stood in front of the state capitol in 1968, telling public officials with a strong voice that teachers deserve the right to collectively bargain for better salaries. In 1968, our voices were heard.
Not so long ago, female teachers in Pennsylvania could be dismissed for having children. PSEA members told school districts and public officials with a strong voice that this practice was unfair and unacceptable. Our voices were heard.
For nearly a century, American workers have united to advocate for the compensation, fair treatment and resources to do their jobs effectively. America's labor unions have led the fight for working families, winning protections such as the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week, overtime rights, and access to health care and retirement security. Today, the fight continues both to retain these rights, to advocate for a living wage, and a safe and healthy workplace.