There are a number of NDU Ambassadors, commissions and committees that carry out approved policy and recommend action to the NDU Board of Directors. These groups deal with long-range planning, resolutions, negotiations, government relations, teacher rights, public relations, instruction and professional development and minority affairs. In addition there is the NDUPAC, a separate arm of NDU that deals with the financing and election of political candidates who are deemed "friends of education."
NDU conducts a statewide instructional conference each year in October for the professional development of its members. The instructional conference involves two days of "section meetings" in about 25 areas of teaching discipline, all designed to improve teacher classroom skills and give them the latest teaching ideas and methods. It also includes top speakers and approximately 150 exhibits. The NDU Instructional Conference is the largest professional conference conducted in North Dakota, and usually generates approximately $1 million dollars to the city chosen to host the Conference.
NDU provides a number of opportunities to help educators deal with current issues and concerns and to help them sharpen their teaching skills. Information to topics ranging from how to maintain classroom discipline and increase parental involvement to the latest developments in special education is offered through Association-sponsored activities.
The Association knows how important it is to bring public education's message before the community, business, and political leaders. We regularly launch major public relations campaigns and form coalitions with other education and community organizations.
Every decision that affects education is a political decision. That's why NDU has developed a comprehensive program to help make public education issues an important part of the campaigns of candidates at all levels. Through our political action arm, NDUPAC, Association members interview candidates about their views on education related issues, issue recommendations on which candidates are most supportive of public education, and work to help get pro-education candidates elected. Once the elections are over, however, the NDU goes to work as one of the most influential lobbying groups at the state Capitol.
Local association bargaining teams have made significant strides toward making teaching salaries competitive and in improving working conditions for education. Armed with the latest facts and figures from NDU Research and with training and support they get from the NDU headquarters and UniServ staff, Association members are able to clearly define the procedures and policies that govern job transfers, leaves, schedules, supplemental pay, and staff reduction.
The NDU Advocacy division retains an attorney, who is an expert in school law and employment-related issues. The attorney, along with the six UniServ directors, protects members' rights in cases ranging from performance issues to threatened contract termination. Association members are also entitled to a $1 million liability insurance policy to protect them against job-related legal action.