The Rockford Education Association (REA) is the local union representing licensed professional educators in the Rockford Public Schools, District 205. We are classroom teachers, instructional leaders, interventionists, and coaches, school nurses, psychologists, social workers, school librarians, speech & language pathologists and other faculty. We are affiliated with the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) and use the term professional union to describe our organization because we are both a professional association and a union.
As a professional association, we are committed to preparing our community’s children for success in life, career, and citizenship and providing them the best possible education. We provide training opportunities for our members, professional consultation, and research. We also engage with the District administration and school board to improve student learning and promote member professionalism.
As a union, we are recognized by Illinois law as the bargaining representative for the professional staff of the Rockford Public Schools. We negotiate a Professional Agreement that determines the salary, benefits, and working conditions for our members. Our members, building leaders, elected leadership, and professional staff ensure that the Professional Agreement is followed and quality education is being pursued. We also engage in political action and lobbying in pursuit of government policies that benefit kids, education, and the community, as well as school employees and their families.
As a union we are strongly committed to the active pursuit of social justice, forming alliances to improve schools and help all students succeed. We believe that educators must engage with the community and the world–and that everyone is responsible for protecting children and providing for their growth and education.
The REA is democratically run association, operated first and foremost by dedicated, unpaid building leaders, known as Association Representatives, in each school building in Rockford. Our elected Executive Board and officers set policy for our association and determine what programs we will provide for our members. Every member participates in electing our leadership.
The REA is also a member of the IEA Region 21 UniServ Council. This council is the organizational vehicle that helps develop and provide all of the services that we offer for members and conducts elections for our state and national affiliates. The other IEA/NEA affiliated unions of District 205 employees in the Region 21 Council are: the Educational Office Personnel Association (EOPA), for school secretaries; the Rockford Building Maintenance Association (RMBA), for tradesmen; and the Educational Interpreters Association (EIA), for hearing enterpreters.