ISTA on the Grassroots Level
ISTA is the statewide Association under which all the local education associations in the state are unified. Local associations are the most grassroots representation for members established in school districts or counties. They are the voice of members with administrators and act as the collective bargaining team to negotiate salary and salary-related benefits for its members. Local associations can be organized by teachers and education support professionals.
Local Representation on the State Level
Connecting your local association to ISTA is achieved through a democratic process of elections. Local associations elect a colleague to represent them on a District Council. A District Council is a regional panel of members representing local education associations. District Councils comprise a larger regional board called a Governance Unit of which there are 23. Governance Units are entitled to an elected representative on the ISTA board of directors for every 1,400 members. Education support professionals, higher education professionals and ISTA-Retired hold governance positions through their statewide Governance Districts.
Local Service and Support
ISTA UniServ staff are assigned to local education associations, District Councils and Governance Units. UniServ is an abbreviation of “Unified Service,” a program created by the National Education Association (NEA). A UniServ director is a professional staff member who provides support and expertise to locals during bargaining, assists in connecting members to legal support or other benefits, dispenses advice to locals when talking with administrators and participates in community organizing.
Local presidents and UniServ directors work in conjunction to ensure locals receive the support and expertise needed to successfully bargain contracts and connect members to benefits and services.