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Why Join?

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Unionism
VTO is your union.  As a union we negotiate our contract.  The more you are a part of your union the more we can improve our work conditions and salaries.  By definition a union is that which is united, or made one; something formed by a combination or coalition of parts or members.  The United States of America are often called the Union. A teachers union is a coalition of teachers to improve public education and the work conditions of teachers.

Protection of Your Rights
Hiring an attorney for a job-related concern can easily cost thousands of dollars. Your VTO membership provides professional representation for all these issues and more.

  • Annual Contract Renewals
  • DCFInvestigations
  • Security Investigations (SIU)
  • Parent & Student Complaints
  • Student Assaults
  • Student Discipline Issues
  • Health & Safety Issues
  • Evaluations
  • Grievances
  • Letters of Reprimand
  • Drug Free Work Place Issues
  • Dismissals & Legal Representation at hearings and appeals
  • Surplus/Reduction-In-Force Issues
  • Payroll Errors
  • Administrative Harassment
  • Illness in the Line of Duty
  • Injury on the Job
  • Certification Problems and Legal Representative at hearings and appeals
  • Transfers
  • Tuition Reimbursement Problems
  • Conferences-For-The-Record
  • Constitutional and Statutory Rights
  • Any other issue which may arise as a result of a member's performance of his/her duties and responsibilities as a School Board employee
  • $1,000,000 Professional Liability Insurance covering civil claims arising out of professional activities.

If you have any problem contact your VTO Field Staff Representative at 238-1605.

The VTO Field Services Department also administers the VTO / School District Sick Leave Bank


Professional Opportunities

Professional Workshops
The VTO conducts professional workshops for union members that result in inservice credit for the teacher.

New Teacher Training
The VTO offers "prep sessions" to assist new teachers in passing Math, Essay Writing, Professional Education and Reading tests for the CLAST Exam.

TEACH - Professional Development
This program was designed by the American Federation of Teachers Educational Issues Department to offer teachers the opportunity to become better teachers through classroom-proven educational research. It is available to union members free of charge.  Points are available for each course.

AFT Scholarships
Three separate scholarships are awarded to AFT members or their children under the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program, created in memory of the AFT's long-time secretary-treasurer.


Communications

Be sure to keep up with all the latest news regarding education, politics, union issues and cultural awareness. These publications are provided free of charge to union members.

VTO Solidarity Reports
The weekly quick-hitting newsletter designed to give timely news and updates on issues that effect members daily lives as professional educators.

American Teacher
American Federation of Teachers' award-winning monthly newspaper.

NEA Today
National Education Association's award-winning monthly Magazine.

American Educator
AFT's quarterly professional journal.

VTOWEB
The VTO's top-notch WWW site.


Getting Involved

There are numerous ways to become more involved in your union. Read the listings below and if something sounds interesting to you, call the VTO at 386-238-1605 or 1-866-281-1605 and ask how you can get involved.

COMMITTEES/TASK FORCES:

  • Collective Bargaining Team
  • Legislative Committee (COPE-TIGER)
  • Civil & Human Rights Committee

Conventions & Conferences:

  • FEA's Convention - offers workshops and speakers on educational issues and union strategies.
  • FEA's Summer Leadership Conference - an intensive study of the latest trends confronting Florida educators.
  • American Federation of Teachers Biennial Convention - provides the same opportunities on a national level.
  • NEA Representative Assembly - provides the same opportunities on a national level.
  • AFT National QuEST Conference - an intensive study of the latest trends confronting educators.
  • VTO's Target Tallahassee - provides an opportunity to gain first hand lobbying experience with legislators on educational issues.
  • FEA Minority Affairs Conference - focuses on the needs of minority students and other issues relating to America's rich, diverse culture.
  • AFT Women's Rights Conference - presents issues and concerns of women in our society.

Consumer Savings

The VTO Economic Service Program provides members with a wide range of exclusive discounts on hundreds of products, services and entertainment centers throughout Florida.

The discounts cover a large spectrum of interests and tastes. Be sure to check your VTO Calendar  for the complete listing. As a member of the VTO, you should have your own personal copy. If you do not, e-mail us and ask for your calendar today.

FOR EXAMPLE, YOU CAN SAVE:

  • Special Promotions throughout the year to Orlando attractions e.g.: Universal, Sea World, Daytona Lagoon 
  • Corporate rates for cellular phones
  • Corporate rates for car rentals with all major companies nationwide
  • Discounts with numerous lawyers for non school-related problems
  • Hotel and travel discounts
  • Much, much more...

Financial Planning

Each VTO member is entitled to a free financial planning service provided by AIG VALIC, our endorsed financial planner.

Members are eligible for extensive savings when purchasing the following insurance programs:

  • Group Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
  • Disability Income Protection
  • Tax-Deferred Annuities
  • Auto Insurance
  • Mutual Funds
  • General Investments through a discount broker

AFT/NEA Savings
There are many discount programs available to you through the American Federation of Teachers, AFT and The National Education Association, NEA. Below are a few of them.

AFT Plus Online Discount Shopping
Your favorite retailers at discounted prices are just a point and click away!  A shopping site brimming with popular retailers offering quality goods and services at discounted prices.  Start saving today with a safe , secure, online shopping environment!

EF Tours
Tours for adult travelers wanting to see the world with friends, family, or spouses and group leaders interested in accompanying students on an educational tour.

Tours for Adults:
Go Ahead Vacations ~ Travel FREE with 10 others!

Tours for Group Leaders and Students:
EF Educational Tours ~ Travel FREE with 6 others!
EF Explore America Tours ~ Travel FREE with 6 others!

Flowers
Save 15% on every order (minimum order $29.99)

Hotel
Travel and stay at affordable hotels all at a 15-30% discount off the regular price as an AFT/NEA member.  

Legal Services
Working with the AFL-CIO, AFT has negotiated special rates with more than 1,230 union-friendly attorneys throughout the country, including a free 30-minute consultation. 

Magazine Services
Save up to 50% on subscriptions to your favorite magazines.

NEA Mastercard or Visa Card

AFT MasterCard
1-800-452-9425.  Customer Service: 1-800-622-2580 or to apply: 1-800-522-4000.  
Customized card for AFT members with no annual fee and an interest rate that, on average, is 2% below the national average.  Grace period and no-grace period cards available.

Mortgage Program
AFT'sand NEA's mortgage plan makes buying a home or refinancing your present home more affordable than ever before!

  • Competitive rates
  • Down payments as low as 5%
  • Special assistance for first-time buyers, including lower up front costs