IEA is an association of over 130,000 members composed of Illinois elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals, retired educators and college students preparing to become teachers. The IEA was founded in 1853 to serve the interest of public education in Illinois. The IEA became an affiliate of the National Education Association in 1857, an organization currently totaling 2.7 million teachers and school employees working to make our good public schools even better for all students.

The IEA Mission

Services are provided to our members through a network of 72 UniServ Directors assigned to 22 regional offices statewide. The IEA helps build strong local associations that negotiate for their members, lobbies to effect excellence and equity in public education, works to elect legislative candidates who are pro-education, provides professional development resources and ensures due process for educational employees.

Direct Services IEA Provides to Locals

Bargaining & bargaining preparation

  • Surveying and involving membership
  • University financial analysis
  • Research to compare with other colleges & universities, Consumer Price Index
  • Training leaders and negotiation team

Enforcing your contract

  • Processing grievances
  • Training grievance committees
  • Arbitration assistance from UniServ Director or IEA Attorney
  • The best attorneys on Illinois school law


  • A full-time professional representative assigned exclusively as an advocate for any job related problems and for due process and fair treatment
  • Free Life/Accident Insurance worth up to $50,000 covering you on the job or serving your local
  • Free liability insurance of $1 million to protect you against any work-related lawsuits
  • Multi-million dollar IEA and NEA legal defense fund to protect your legal and civil rights in a work-related dispute arising under current policies, at no cost to you.

Organizational Development

  • Constitution and Bylaws to structure your affiliate
  • Create decision-making bodies (Executive Committee), standing committees, communication structure (Department Reps), etc.

Political Action

  • Fight against unfair legislation
  • Full-time IEA and NEA lobbyists in Springfield and Washington, D.C. to secure funding for higher education, protect retirement benefits, and other interests
  • Organizing political power through votes and activism
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