Springfield Education Association (SEA) is a local association that was chartered in 1961, from the collective assembly of Springfield 186 educators and education professionals. Its membership consists of approximately 1300 professionals from within Springfield Public Schools District 186 and is an affiliate of Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). It represents all teachers, school nurses, applied behavior analysts, and all regular certified personnel, including all full-time and part-time Workforce Investment Area, alternative education teachers, and adult and continuing education teachers, all full-time and regularly employed part-time security personnel and teaching assistants, including Early Start Teaching Assistants, Kindergarten Teaching Assistants, Classroom Teaching Assistants, P.E. Teaching Assistants, Vocational Teaching Assistants, Technology Facilitators, Sign Language Interpreters, Braillists, Title 1 Teaching Assistants, TAOEP Assistants, Occupational and Physical Therapists and their assistants. It is entirely funded from the voluntary dues of its members, and local strength comes from the member’s commitment to be honest about public education, advocate for ourselves collectively, display our connections in the community and tout the great work we do for students and families that we all serve.
We are a purposefully diverse organization, striving to become ever more so. We are committed to work around inclusivity and tolerance, proudly welcoming those of all sexual orientations, beliefs, creeds and religions. 10% (130 members) of our union self identify as minority. However, 18% of our building Association Representatives are minority. Additionally, roughly 10% (125) of our members are employed in classified positions such as teacher’s assistant, security professionals, occupational therapy assistants and braillists. And our minority members and classified members have key leadership roles within our organization as Executive Officers and Chairs of respective committees.
The purpose of SEA is to promote the general welfare of the membership, provide and maintain a professional staff of superior quality, provide effective channels of communications in all matters affecting the profession, strive for an educational system that seeks to meet the educational needs of all persons, encourage educators to exercise their rights and privileges as citizens and to accept leadership in civic affairs, and provide leadership and coordination in the efforts of the membership in the attainment and maintenance of a comprehensive matters agreement.
We are a transparent organization, with varied political viewpoints that are constantly seeking our member’s viewpoints and engaging with the community. We have recently bargained language around analyzing the issues within our district boundaries… issues centering around community challenges, neighborhood issues, lack of resources, attendance, and boundaries. begin working on adult and student trauma, equity of schools and how to better support our people within Springfield Public Schools. Also, we have also joined forces with the Partnership for Resilience, an IEA-based partnership that focuses on helping to improve education through proactive resilience work within varied portions of the state. We have begun purposeful conversations, centered around education, with local churches and Alderwomen and Aldermen and legislators. And we have been a long-time partner with the Consortium for Educational Change (CEC), which focuses on challenges by building internal capacity for continual improvement through a union/management collaborative approach.
If you are interested in learning more about, would like to consider joining our organization or find that we may have common interests, please contact Treva Grant, IEA Administrative Assistant, at 217-787-7060 and firstname.lastname@example.org or the SEA President, Aaron Graves, at SEApresident186@gmail.com.