“A union allows teachers to be stronger,” says Cooperative Education Services Education Association building rep Marilyn Della Rocco. “Together we can accomplish more and have more of a voice.”
Della Rocco, a preschool teacher at Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School in Bridgeport who also serves as co-vice president of her local association, says it’s very important for teachers to be engaged with their union because there are many groups who seek to erode teachers’ rights.
“The rights to a half-hour lunch, being able to have prep time, having class sizes that are appropriate to the developmental stage of the children—these are all things teachers enjoy today because our union has fought for them over the years,” she says. “Without a union, things would be very different.”
Della Rocco says she makes a point to explain to new teachers the many benefits that union membership provides.
“The union is there for you all the time—with everything from help with a DCF referral to special member-only discounts for CEA and NEA members.”
Having used many NEA Member Benefits programs herself, Della Rocco recommends them highly to other teachers.
“I purchased a car through the NEA Auto Buying Program,” she says. “I put all of my information into the online system, and it came back with three dealerships with three wonderful offers. Thanks to NEA Member Benefits, I found a dealership that had exactly what I wanted and I ended up saving $4,000.”
Della Rocco says she’s also frequently purchased Restaurant.com gift cards through NEA Click & Save, and she planned a vacation to Niagara Falls using NEA Member Benefits’ travel discounts.
“All teachers should remember to check out the discounts available to them through NEA and CEA member benefits,” she says. “Those savings are just one great example of the many benefits that come with being a CEA member.”