California Educator

February/March 2024

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 59

" I T 'S A M A Z I N G T O T H I N K about how few workplace protec- tions we had before the contract," says Hayden Gore, president of High Tech Education Collective (HTEC). "All of these things have contributed to a work environment that is more sustain- able. The contract has transformed our working lives." Across the state, educators in charter schools are unionizing and organizing to win sustainable teaching and learning conditions at the bargaining table, build- ing their locals from the ground up and fighting for first contracts that include foundational on-the-job rights and pro- tections that most public school educators have the moment they are hired. Due to what is known as the "mega waiver," the stat e's more than 1,300 char t er school s are exempt from many important sections of California Education Code — including the laws that guarantee basic r i g h t s a n d w o rki n g c o n diti o n s t o a l l public school employees. For years charter managers trumpeted flexibility and lack of regulation as the rec- ipe for success for their students. But the mega waiver instead became a race to the bottom for charter school management organizations, creating separate classes of educators with vastly different rights and working conditions. It's a big part of what motivated educa- tors at Downtown College Preparatory in San Jose to unionize in 2020. In the early months of COVID-19, teachers felt like they Organizing Pro Tip "The key to our organizing was individual connection. The union is us, and we built it like that because we did it in an interpersonally connected way." —Hayden Gore, High Tech Education Collective High Tech Education Collective members won their first contract with powerful unity and a commitment to better. The Power & Joy of the First Contract Charter educators secure basic rights for the first time at the bargaining table By Julian Peeples 22 Feature

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February/March 2024