Well, WE did it! Thanks to all of you for taking action and making your voices heard on behalf of the students you work for and with each and every day. Our collective hard work led to the OVERWHELMING passage of legislation that protects students, fixes 27-year-old broken charter laws, guarantees educators paid parental leave and much more. Give yourselves a round of applause! 👏👏 Gov. Newsom has until Oct. 13 to act on the bills that cleared the legislature and are now on his desk.
Bills We PASSED ✅
AB 1505 allows local school boards to consider the fiscal impact of charter petitions, ensures every student has a credentialed teacher in the classroom, and holds all taxpayer-funded charter schools to the same high standards as public schools. AB 1505 was written by Assembly Member (and Long Beach high school educator) Patrick O’Donnell.
AB 1507 requires charter schools to operate within the boundaries of the district that approved it. This was REALLY important.
CTA-priority bill AB 500 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez requires K-14 districts to provide certificated and classified employees paid leave for a length to be determined between the employee and their doctor for a minimum of six weeks for pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and recovery. That’s in addition to using your sick leave or unpaid leave.
A bill we DEFEATED ❌
AB 1078 (Weber): Extends the probationary period for certificated educators to 3 years. Weber is a Democrat and a college professor in San Diego. At one time, she proposed a FIVE-year probationary period for new teachers which CTA fought and defeated like this one.
Need your help on this one.
After midnight, the Assembly passed Senator Anthony Portantino’s school start time bill, SB 328 , which CTA opposes. SB 328 has elementary starting some time before 830am and high school starting some time after 830am. There is plenty of research that shows elementary kids learn better earlier in the day. The same research shows that high school students learn better later in the day. However, SB 328 is a bad bill because not all school districts are equal and would place financial and athletic program impacts on individual school districts. CTA supports each school district deciding what is best for their students. Send Gov. Newsom an email today and urge him to veto SB 328 and ask him to sign these other bills that we support.
Next week is our MEA Rep Council Meeting at 4:15pm on Wednesday, September 18. You’re always welcome to attend. Food, fun, and prizes as we support each other in our profession.
Paint Night is Thursday October 3rd, starting at 5 pm at the MEA office.
I will let you know next week when you can sign up. Paint Night includes dinner, raffle, cold beverages good times, and of course all the materials needed to create your painting.
We will have two Paint Nights this year as demand required it. However, you may attend only one Paint Night. The other Paint Night is tentatively scheduled for January.
Download the scholarship form for you to attend CTA conferences with conference registration, meals, and half the cost of a hotel room paid! Go with a friend and share the room or you can have the room to yourself but you would have to pay the other half yourself. Check the flyer for more details.
The question I get most often is regarding leaves. Sick leave, personal leave, special purpose leave, bereavement leave…the list goes on and on. How about if we get ten days of leave, and WE choose how to use it? Oh Spunky, you are quite the optimist.
Sick leave can’t be used fraudulently. If it is discovered(usually because you told someone or posted on social media while at your nephew’s wedding, etc…), they can dock you a day’s pay for every day misused. You’d be surprised how often that happens. Hate to say this, but I know of a person who was terminated by a school district for this because it is considered a fraudulent use of taxpayer money.
Like our students…”I just told my best friend…” Yea, well, your friend won’t knowingly betray you, but it might slip out in casual conversation.
On the district website, there is a VERY clear explanation of how leaves can be used. This information is also in the contract, but it is nowhere near as clear as the district website. Favorite place this link, read it over, test tomorrow. Wait, test Thursday because I only send emails on Tuesday/Thursday. Looks like I received a failing grade from myself.
Last thing… Friday is a flex minimum day for elementary. It is a training/staff meeting day for secondary. Some people like to take the entire day off as sick leave knowing they won’t get docked in the afternoon. We made that deal with the district AS LONG AS IT ISN’T ABUSED BY MEMBERSHIP. I am placing emphasis on that because they can take that deal back. Notice we didn’t have a minimum flex on the Friday before Labor Day? Exactly.
I lied…last last thing…I bet you’re wondering when our first Paint Night is going to be. Thursday, I’ll tell you. Ya, I said first Paint Night. We’re going to have two. Have a GREAT Tuesday!
A reminder that we are having a Standard Disability Insurance Open Enrollment all throughout the month of October. That means, during October, you can join Standard Disability with no health questions or exam being required. You have a previous condition? No problem. You’re pregnant? No problem. You’re having surgery next week? No problem.
The terms of this plan was actually written by CTA, and Standard agreed to implement it. More on all of that as we get closer. I’ll visit the sites with Suzanne, our Standard rep.
Hope you had a great three-day Labor Day weekend!
My mom (nurse) and pops (plumber) were both union folks as well as veterans of WWII. Unions help everyone, not just union workers. However, unions are under attack today as you know by corporate America. They don’t like that we speak out when something is wrong or unsafe. They certainly don’t like paying us a living wage with health benefits. So many have sacrificed to get our wages and benefits where they are today.
These two female teachers were pregnant and on strike in 1975…I can’t even imagine that…for obvious reasons. Click the photo for the story.
Did you Know...
Martin Luther King once said, “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome."
Your administrators should NEVER ask you about any medical condition or diagnosis you have, even if it is something very common. That’s illegal. It relates to federal HIPPA laws. It’s really none of their business.
YOU can bring it up if you need help in doing your job. For example, if you have a serious bladder control issue, the district, no different than any employer, is required to provide accommodations if possible. For example, in that case, moving your classroom to the nearest bathroom. Or, having another staff watch your classroom in an emergency.
If you call in sick one day, they should not be prying and asking why. That’s sort of a passive-aggressive way of trying to find out if you were REALLY sick. My recommendation is to just say, “I was sick, and now I feel much better.” Smile and leave it at that.
Conversely, administrators can ding you on evaluations if there is a trend in your absences. For example, Fridays before a vacation. Or a certain day of the week. Or, if you’re absent often. What’s often? That’s a good question, and that’s subjective just like most parts of an evaluation.
A fraudulent use of sick leave (using it when you’re not sick) is actually grounds for dismissal because it is considered a misuse of tax dollars. Termination wouldn’t happen right away unless there were several discipline issues prior to that.
Termination? And you thought we had tenure. That’s a topic for next week.
The legislature is close to passing Assembly bills 1505 and 1507. These are bills that will make charter schools accountable to the taxpayers. Who doesn’t want that? One charter school founder spent $3.2 million of taxpayer money on expensive clothing, luxury hotel stays and first-class flights. The author of 1505 is Assemblyman Parick O’Donnell, a high school teacher in Long Beach Unified. He’s on release from his teaching duties to be in the legislature. That’s what we need! Educators as our politicians! There are more educators in the legislature than ever before. Even better, O’Donnell is the Chair of the Education Committee. Your CTA education lobbyists are pushing hard to make sure the final language in the bills benefit our students.
But, our advocates need your help. Lawmakers pay serious attention to the emails they receive. You might not think so, but when they receive 3 or 4 emails or calls a day from constituents on an issue, they sit up and take notice. They track all that. THEY REALLY DO. Sending an email will help our team’s efforts.
Please send an email to your lawmaker and urge him/her to support AB 1505 (O’Donnell) and AB 1507 (Smith). It’s EASY!
ONE MORE THING…After you’ve reached out to your lawmakers, post to Facebook or share a tweet encouraging others to take action as well.
Thanks for taking action to fix flawed laws that have been negatively impacting all students!
Please wear your MEA shirt EVERY Wednesday. That just took care of your wardrobe for another day of the week in addition to your school spirit day. Dang, you're lucky!
Pictured above: some MEA members from East Union High School