Your Right to Form a Union
To organize a union, bargain collectively your employer, and have a greater voice at work
If you don’t have a union, you already know the boss can do whatever he or she wants. You really don’t know from one day to the next what could happen to your pay, your job, or even your workplace.
Without a union, you leave all of your rights outside when you walk through the door to work. But you — and the people you work with — can change this. It’s your legal right.
A union gives you the power to make your employer pay a fair wage, provide a decent place to work and a voice in the decisions that affect you. It’s the organization that represents and defends workers from unfair treatment — and it really works.
Public Schools & Colleges
After numerous attempts starting in the 1950s, the CFT in 1975 introduced and lobbied successfully for passage of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), which gives teachers and classified employees the right to bargain collectively with their public school and community college employers. This landmark legislation became law on January 1, 1976.
Only three years laters, the CFT lobbied similarly for passage of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Act(HEERA), bringing collective bargaining to university employees. HEERA became law on January 1, 1979.
- The California Public Employment Relations Board is the governmental agency charged with administering and enforcing state collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California’s public schools, colleges, and universities, and other groups of public workers.
Educators and support staff who work for private sector employers have the right to organize a union under the National Labor Relations Act, passed by Congress in 1935. The NLRA is a federal law that grants employees the right to form or join unions and engage in protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions.
- The National Labor Relations Board is the federal agency created by the NLRA that oversees collective bargaining laws in the private sector.