California Educator

November 2012

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1 HOW A MEMBER'S BRIGHT IDEA BECAME A LAW " WHEN THE GOVERNOR SIGNED SB 12 91, IT WAS COOL TO KNOW I MADE A DIFFERENCE," SAYS ELK GROVE EDUC ATION ASSOCIATION MEMBER ALE X ANDRA CONDON. "IT FELT PATRIO TIC. BUT I COULD NEVER HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT CTA . " Jan. 1, teachers laid off because of Califor- nia's bruising education funding cuts will be able to collect unemployment benefits while retraining to fill other teaching posi- tions in California's shortage fields, like math and science. In the spring of 2010, Condon was When CTA-backed SB 1291 takes effect 9 MAY 29, 2012 one of hundreds of teachers in Elk Grove Unified to receive a pink slip. While she retained her job, others did not. She saw dedicated teachers lose unemployment benefits when they went to sub or get cre- dentials to stay in the profession. Condon had an idea to help and she knew how to make it happen. THE PROCESS "THE WHOLE PROCESS WAS A GREAT E X AMPLE of democracy and what our union can do. It was exciting to be a part of it," Condon says. "CTA has good work- ing relationships with just above every- one in Sacramento. I didn't realize how much good work legislative advocates like Patricia Rucker do in the background. It's 26 California Educator November 2012 Senate OKs bill 25-14. Assembly Insurance Committee and Assembly Appropriations review bill. amazing what they're able to do to make things happen." It took over a year for the bill to be introduced by state Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa). Then legislative hear- ings started. "I testified three times, and it was nerve- wracking! I didn't want my voice to crack. I wanted to be composed, the third hearing she felt more comfortable, so she watched the legislators' reaction when she described her situation. She told them that one day before her insurance ran out, she was hired back. " Condon says. By tors work while you talk. They come in and out because they're working other bills, too. Watching other bills being 'worked' is something I never experienced before. "It was fascinating how much legisla- " THE OUTCOME "I LEARNED I HAVE A VOICE — and you can have a voice in our union. We need our union to amplify our voice, says Condon. The education funding cuts that have slammed schools also damaged the teacher " Amendment requested by Republicans to maintain an annual report. Bill heard again by Senate Appropriations, sent to the floor. 7 6 SPRING 2010 Alexandra Condon, Elk Grove, gets a pink slip. Wants to stay in the profession. What to do? APRIL 24, 2012 Hearings in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and then in Senate Appropriations. Bill is passed out. 8

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