Tennessee teachers can, and should, negotiate their contracts through PECCA

TEA is the authority on the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (PECCA), helping teachers improve salaries, benefits and working conditions through negotiations with local school districts.


Tennessee law allows teachers to initiate contract negotiations, bargain MOUs (a type of contract) and move the public education profession forward in their local district through improvements in their contract.


Contact your UniServ Coordinator to see whether your local association is engaged in PECCA and how you can help. 




7 key areas of PECCA screenshot


More than half of Tennessee’s teachers work with the benefit of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) — a contract covering everything from salary and benefits to teaching conditions and evaluations. MOUs are negotiated by teachers and school systems through collaborative conferencing, a form of bargaining allowed by the state law known as PECCA.


This year has seen a sharp increase of teachers initiating the PECCA process, with local associations completing the first step of collecting petition signatures of 15% of eligible teachers. The next step is an election with a two-part ballot where teachers vote yes for collaborative conferencing and then vote for the organization they want representing them in negotiations.  


TEA local affiliates have won more than 95% of the seats for PECCA teams across Tennessee. Teachers recognize TEA as good negotiators and as experts in PECCA, with the ability to get the strongest MOU. 


PECCA elections take place most often in November. It takes half of all eligible teachers, members and non-members alike, to vote yes on conferencing for negotiations to begin. 


If you work in a system that is having an upcoming PECCA election and want to help get out the vote, contact your local president or UniServ Coordinator. If your local has not yet engaged in PECCA, it may be time to consider starting the process of achieving an MOU.


TEA is ready to help local associations in every step of the PECCA process, from petitions and elections to sitting down with school systems and negotiating a helpful and effective MOU. 


PECCA helps teachers and administrators by establishing in an MOU procedures on many work-related issues, while also improving and protecting important gains in salaries and benefits. Having a collaboratively conferenced MOU is also an important opportunity for teachers and school boards to speak in one voice to local government about what is fair and needed for school funding.


Most importantly, the voices of teachers are heard in PECCA. Negotiating with school board members and administrators through collaborative conferencing is an opportunity to bring up topics and issues that often do not get discussed in any other forum, let alone negotiated into an agreement.


PECCA has proven itself to be an effective way to negotiate.   


Frequently asked questions about PECCA