FAQ

ISTA (FAQ)

What is ISTA?

The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) is an organization of dues-paying people. Our purpose is to advocate for great public schools, the children of Indiana and for life-long learning.

What is ISTA's mission?

To provide the resources necessary to enable local affiliates to effectively advocate for members, children and for public education.

How many members does ISTA have?

Slightly more than 43,000 members in all of Indiana's 92 counties.

How many members does NEA have?

More than 3.1 million world wide.

What have been some of ISTA's major accomplishments?

Landmark gains for Indiana educators and other public school employees, including collective bargaining, early retirement, pregnancy law leave and protection for school employees against assault.

How many local affiliates does ISTA have?

331, including all "non-teacher" local affiliates.

What is the UniServ program?

It is a program of the National Education Association that provides expanded staff services to members and local affiliates. The word "UniServ" is an acronym formed from the words "Unifed Service." A portion of every NEA member's dues is used to help fund an office and staff to assist the member's efforts to improve education and solve his/her professional problems. ISTA and local affiliates co-fund the remaining staff and office costs.

What is a District Council?

It's a group of locally elected delegates representing locals in a given service unit. A District Council's taks include assisting in the selection of a professional staff person, coordinating services by establishing priorities and evaluating the quality of the services rendered.

What is a UniServ Director?

It's the title describing a UniServ professional staff who works with a service unit and District Council composed of one or more local association.

What is the ISTA Executive Director?

He/She is the chief administrative officer of the Indiana State Teachers Association and is responsible by the NEA for the total implementation of UniServ in Indiana.

Membership (FAQ)

Who may join ISTA?

ISTA members are educators from every level of public education, including students preparing for a teaching career, those teaching in correction and health institutions, education support personnel and those retired from the profession. Anyone interested in ISTA membership may contact their building representative, their area UniServ Office, or the ISTA Headquarters in Indianapolis at 317-263-3400 or 800-382-4037.

How do I join?

You may join by completing the online membership form. Or you may obtain a membership form from your local association president or building representative. You may also call the ISTA at 800-382-4037 and request a form be mailed to you.

What do I get with my membership?

Membership entitles you to participate in ISTA conferences, UniServ and legal assistance, personal consultation on issues such as employment, retirement, certification, etc., receive mailings and communications from both the NEA and ISTA, $1 million liability policy, NEA/ISTA Member Benefits, Dues Tab Insurance, Member Protection Policy, Child Abuse Allegation Assistance, and much, much, more.

How do I pay my dues? What methods of payment are available?

A variety of methods are available for payment of dues. They include: payroll deduction, credit card or personal check, electronic checking.

What services does ISTA provide members?

ISTA provides professional development, legal assistance, advocacy, special member only benefits and communications.

How does ISTA assist members in their classrooms?

A major focus of ISTA is strengthening the teaching profession, helping teachers teach and children learn. This is accomplished through:
· Member rights protection
· Bargaining assistance
· Representation before state agencies
· Professional development opportunities
· Professional resources
· Lobbying efforts
· Legal assistance
· Safe schools

How does ISTAs member protection program work?

ISTA’s legal assistance program assists members with employment-related situations. Staff is available locally to answer members’ questions and address their concerns. A member needing legal assistance should first call his/her UniServ Director. Members also may call ISTA Headquarters in Indianapolis at 317-263-3400 or 800-382-4037.

Where are the UniServ Offices located?

Click here for map of all UniServ offices.

Can I just join ISTA and not belong to my local association/affiliate or the NEA?

No. Unified membership requires members to join their local, state and national affiliates.

Does my dues money go to political candidates?

No. No dues dollars are spent on political campaigns. Only voluntary contributions designated for IPACE (Indiana Political Action Committee for Education) or NEA’s Fund for Children and Public Education are contributed to candidates who support public schools and the protection of children.

Why are ISTA members involved in the political process?

ISTA members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Regardless of their political affiliation, ISTA members are involved in the political process because they care about educating and protecting children and strengthening American public education.

The issues that unite us are protecting children, improving public schools and strengthening the teaching profession. These issues drive our involvement in the political process. They are the ruler by which we measure all political hopefuls and lobby our elected leaders. Because all education decisions – from the statehouse to the White House are political decisions, we need to ensure that our elected leaders measure up on important issues involving children and public education. ISTA members are involved in the political process for many reasons:
· To speak out in support of quality public schools and the rights of teaching professionals.
· To make the case that society must make a greater financial commitment to public education.
· To use the professional knowledge and skills educators possess to teach people of all ages.

How do I send address changes to ISTA?

ISTA members may use Edit Profile after they log in to correct their mailing information and remove duplicate mailings. They may also contact their UniServ Office, or the ISTA Membership Records office directly by email ( spotts@ista-in.org ), by phone 317-263-3400 or 800-382-4037, ext. 367.

Legal (FAQ)

How do I use the Attorney Referral Program?

Contact the office of your UniServ Director and tell them you would like to use your half-hour of free legal consultation afforded to you under the Attorney Referral Program. They will give you the telephone name and number of the attorney in your area that you may call for legal advice.

Will I have to meet personally with an attorney to receive my half-hour of legal advice?

No. The legal advice given under the Attorney Referral Program is usually handled entirely over the telephone. It would be helpful to have your questions written out before you get in contact with the attorney.

Does my half-hour per semester of time accumulate?

No. The two half-hours that you receive per year should be used for two different matters.

What kind of legal questions can I have answered through the program?

Legal matters addressed under the Attorney Referral Program should be on credit problems, domestic matters such as divorce or child custody, traffic violations or wills and estates. They should not be questions regarding your employment or employment-related matters.

What is the discount amount charged by attorneys in the program?

If you decide to retain the attorney for additional help, the attorneys in the program will offer reduced rates of 30%. Participating attorneys must agree to discuss fees before they render services.

Does the Member Protection Policy cover damage to personal belongings or my car?

Only personal belongings that are damaged as part of a personal assault by a student in your place of employment are covered. Damage to your automobile is not covered even if it is damaged at school.

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