For those who think having a union means nothing, I suggest you look very closely at the data below from the National Education Association.
Which state ranks highest for average teacher pay? NY is number one. It is fully unionized. The UFT started that charge for better conditions for teachers in the 1960s and early 70s. Then, the unionized Westchester and Long Island teachers led the way to increase NY teacher wages from the 80s until the Andrew Cuomo years. Do you think NY is number one without unions? The states that round out the top five are all heavily unionized.
Where are teacher wages rising fastest now? You guessed it if you said it was mostly states where teachers were willing to go on strike. Washington is number one followed by Oklahoma. West Virginia is at four. NY is in the middle of the pack here at 22. I think the last teacher strike in NY State (illegal of course) was 1999.
Please note also that Wisconsin, where teachers have to opt into their unions each year and collective bargaining rights were decimated by former Governor Scott Walker, now ranks 45th in terms of rising wages. I think we can safely conclude that the data shows that in states where unions are weak, the teachers don't do very well.
I am not saying unionization is the only factor that leads to higher wages but following this fairly simple formula that is easier said than achieved will generally succeed:
Educators United + Militancy = Better Wages and Working Conditions.
What are you doing to make this happen?