California Educator

December 2015

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Page 11 of 63 WHAT CTA IS ALL ABOUT As CTA moves full speed ahead with the strategic plan to ensure we're best positioned to help all students and educators succeed, we're focused on what CTA stands for. SCTA STANDS UP FOR COLLEAGUES When California Faculty Association members demonstrated recently for higher wages, Student CTA members were there, standing in solidarity with their higher education colleagues. WE HONOR RETIRED MEMBERS Nominate a CTA/NEA-Retired member who continues to serve the association, education and the community for an Ellen Logue WHO (We Honor Ours) Award! Deadline Feb. 1. winterholidays SAY HELLO TO THE HOLIDAYS! As we celebrate a host of family traditions such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, CTA wishes everyone happy holidays and a happy new year! My Story, My Union. Steve Comstock, Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association, was inspired by organizer Marshall Ganz's workshop at October State Council to tell his story. See how Steve found his purpose as a teacher — and his voice as a union member. #OurVoiceOurUnion (search for "Comstock Bakersfield") Debbi Binger-Smith Education ought to be the leader in pro-family employ- ment policies. Way to go, Grossmont! Rosa Lara Fernandez It's a step beyond, but less than 2 months is still ridic- ulous. Many Occidental countries have 4 months and some, like Sweden, have a year and a half. Victoria Marie Salas Salcedo I didn't get pregnant this summer, and now we have to wait until next summer because of my district's lack of paid leave. I can only afford to have a baby at the end of a school year or during the beginning of summer. So frustrating that leave is what dictates our family structure. Tonja Byrom In the Kern High School Dis- trict, teachers are required to first use their sick days and are then docked the substitute pay out of their own paycheck. Ruth Luevanos There is NO paid maternity leave in my school district (the largest in the state). Every mother I know, including myself, lost money and was penalized financially for going on maternity leave! Angela Biletnikoff What about those who choose not to have children? How about paid medical leave — I had foot surgery and had to use sick leave. I didn't choose to break my foot, but one can argue the women may have chosen to have children. Angela Badami-Knight Oakland Unified lets you take accrued sick leave. You can use private disability insurance after you run out of days. I think we should bargain for paid leave next go-round! Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez People outside education are always shocked when I tell them I had to come back to teaching in the fall, as a mom to a newborn, with ZERO of the sick leave days I had earned over my eight years of teaching. A day off for a doc- tor's appointment went unpaid and was a hit to my retirement years of service. Tiffany Matto I actually just researched this as I'm due March 8. I have 75 sick days accrued (used 48 with my first kiddo) and will be allowed to take 12 weeks (59 days) without putting my job in jeopardy. I have to use my sick leave and FMLA concurrently. If I take more than 12 weeks, I could be moved involuntarily to another site. JOIN THE CONVERSATION: @cateachersassoc californiateachersassociation For the latest news and stories, see WHAT'S NEW AT CTA.ORG Video Our recent Facebook posting about Grossmont Union High School District, which in November became the first district in California to approve six weeks of paid maternity leave, provoked lively comments (below). "Grossmont educators are proud to be on the cutting edge of educational change by honoring the family and setting a new standard for other institutions to do so as well," says Frances Zumwalt, president of Grossmont Education Association. "We're pleased that negotiators on both sides agreed that valuing teachers and their families would result in attracting and retaining the next gen- eration of educators for the district." At right: Several of the Grossmont educators affected by the new policy. 10

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