California Educator

August/September 2021

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Page 42 of 75

Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples CLOVIS: School psychologists file for union recognition Clovis school psychologists in June filed a petition with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to form a union, Association of Clovis Educators — the first ever for certificated profession- als in the school district's history. Nearly 75 percent of Clovis Unified School District's 78 school psychologists signed a union support peti- tion, only a few months after a historic organizing campaign began among Clovis educators. A union of school psychologists is a first step toward a larger organizing effort designed to give all Clovis educators a real voice in education decisions, currently under- way and expected to continue into the next school year. Once the union support petition is certified by PERB, representatives from ACE and the district will sit down and begin discussing issues and negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement. " This pandemic has revealed how very critical it is that schools prioritize student mental health in the upcoming year," says Tamara Soemali, a school psychologist who has been with Clovis Unified for 25 years. "Our union, a building block to our larger efforts to organize throughout the district, will allow us to have a meaningful seat at the table as critical decisions are being made surrounding the unprec- edented state and federal resources available to our schools. Our voice will help ensure that our students not just recover but thrive after this pandemic." On April 5, Clovis teachers, psy- chologists, itinerant specialists, school counselors and other educators in the district announced the formation of ACE to build a union so that educators could have a meaningful, independent voice in decisions that impact students and schools. "We are very proud to be paving the way for other educators' organizing efforts and call on the district to respect our right to organize and speak with a unified voice on behalf of the students we serve," Soemali says. For more information about ACE, go to "Our voice will help ensure that our students not just recover but thrive after this pandemic." —Tamara Soemali, Association of Clovis Educators 41 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 21 A

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