I have been a teacher for 34 years and have been a union member for that period of time. In my state (Queensland, Australia) the union fought for equal pay for female teachers, who make up nearly 70% of the teaching population, as late as the 60's early 70's. I had the opportunity to receive professional development as part of my teaching hours, because the union fought for it in our enterprise bargaining. I was able to introduce changes to practices in schools, because I had the support of the union. When I suffered personal trauma, it was the union who supported my case and ensured I received appropriate support. I'm not sure how unions work in other countries, but education would not be where it is today without the ongonig efforts of my teachers' union.