California Educator

October 09

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What does CTA mean to you? opposite left to riGHt: Adelanto District Teachers Association members and husband and wife Michael and Kim Smith. Victor Valley College Education Association member Lisa Ellis. Education support professional and Potter Valley Classified Association member Duval “Sam” Phillips. that to happen, we need to increase public awareness and educate our membership. Often politicians and the media blame unions. But it’s the unions that help people earn a fair wage and live better lives. More people should know that.” In Mendocino County, education support pro- fessional Duval “Sam” Phillips is a utility mainte- nance worker in the Potter Valley Unified School District, where he was the grievance officer before becoming president of the Potter Valley Classified Association. NEA recently flew him to Washington, D.C., for a focus group on student bullying. The invitation re- minded him of CTA’s affiliation with the 3.2 million- member NEA and all of its resources. “By working in the union, you learn about re- sources,” says Phillips, a member of the Round Val- ley tribes and an advocate for Native American is- sues and for special education students. “You learn you can call on CTA at any time — and that’s im- pressive. A lot is happening in education in Califor- nia. We all need to have a bigger voice.” I think it’s teachers working for teachers and taking care of teachers. If we have an issue, we can talk to each other, and if we have a problem, our union people work with us to help us solve our problems. The union stands up for us. Debra Vittore, Mariposa County Teachers Association Fourth-grade teacher, year 8 It’s about negotiating good things for teachers and support professionals, like benefits. It’s about fighting for good salaries. It’s about fighting to protect these things when our district tries to take them away from us. Madline Cabading, United Educators of San Francisco Paraeducator, education support professional To me, CTA means support and networking. CTA is an acknowledgment of what I do as a teacher, and it is an organization that says we are important. To me, that’s the most important thing about being a member of CTA. Maya Escudero, Gilroy Teachers Association English and CAHSEE prep, year 4 CTA is about ensuring equity for all children. It’s about developing competent professionals and supporting new teachers with literature and the Internet, and offering new information to present fair-minded discussions about issues of importance that are happening statewide and nationally. Susan Seyan, San Jose Teachers Association First-grade teacher, year 3 CTA is about camaraderie and sharing a common vision of how our students should be learning, irrespective of their grade level. CTA is the voice for what students really need, because we are the professionals and the ones who know what is best for our students. Venetta Cormier-Walker, San Lorenzo Education Association San Lorenzo Adult School, year 5 “CTA is about giving information to teachers about their career path opportunities and making people aware of what they can do and how to implement that.” Chance Carrico, Student CTA Student at CSU Stanislaus interview by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin California Legislature passes the toothless Winton Act, permitting school employees to “meet and confer” with employers about employment conditions. School boards have the fi nal say. Visit us online CTA offi cers talk about what CTA means to them. who/our+union.htm. California becomes the most populous state. CTA membership passes 125,000. NEA merges with the American Teachers Association, formerly the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools. CTA establishes schools for children of migrant workers, and leads the authorization of bilingual instruction classes for English learners. CTA adopts policy in support of collective bargaining. CTA establishes Negotiations Department. With the phasing out of the sections, CTA becomes a thoroughly integrated organization, with one governance structure and one staff. 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 >>>> 1970 1971 october 2009 | 11 Page 13 Photos by Scott Buschman

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