Summer into Fall – 2019
Starting a new year…every year when I notice summer ending and school preparations starting, I am reminded of the cyclical aspect of our profession. Many of us have been on the “school cycle” since our own kindergarten days, others reentered this cycle after other professions or experiences. Whatever your background, we are back at the start of the cycle, renewed by our summer experiences and time away. As you begin this cycle again with renewed energy and vigor, please know that your union is here for you. We too have a renewed energy and vigor. Many of your executive board members attended conferences over the summer to learn ways to be of better support to you. We have met, evaluated ourselves and set goals. We are eager to support you and your colleagues by listening first and then working on possible solutions with you. To start with, we will be making Fall Site Visits to do just that. We would love it if you could take 10 minutes to attend, share your thoughts, and be heard.
Here is information I wrote for our newly hired certificated staff. I’m including it in this letter too as I feel it’s a strong reminder of what we do, how we work, and what our new contract has to offer.
As a member of San Luis Coastal Teachers Association (SLCTA), you have the support of 400 members behind you. The 10 member executive board and representatives from your site (site reps) meet monthly to address issues, problem solve, plan events, and put on informational workshops for you. This past Spring, your association negotiated a new 3 year contract that strongly supports you and all of our certificated staff. This new contract includes a salary schedule increase of 2% this year, with an added 2% next year*, and another added 2% the following year*. Additionally we added new part time step advancement language, 5 “no tell” days, fewer secondary extra duty hours (10), prep time added to elementary late start Mondays, prep time language that included all classroom teachers (PE, music, special education), 8 release days for special education teachers, SLCTA presidential notification if class size exceeds contract language, new “years of service” language, and strong health insurance benefits that do not include a “CAP” on the district’s contributions, to name a few.
As your president I think a lot about what our association has to offer. This may best be described by levels of support. To begin with we support you at your site, first and foremost. This ranges from our site rep getting to know you, checking in with you, having the contract available to you if you have questions, and having short 5-10 min. monthly meetings, usually after the site staff meetings. As a local association we continue to support members by meeting with members who have specific contract or site issues, by offering workshops (teaching workshops, financial planning, and retirement workshops), and by connecting with you to build a strong, supportive union(through membership engagement activities and a great scholarship program for graduating high school seniors pursuing a career in education). At the state level, we are a part of California Teachers Association (CTA). CTA offers excellent conferences to support your teaching and the education of our students. Through CTA we also have access to strong insurance packages through California Casualty Insurance, excellent legal counsel that knows education and labor laws to support us and our students, and an avenue to support leaders and laws that support public education and students. Additionally we are part of the National Education Association (NEA), which takes that similar support to the national level.
Fellow educators, have a fantastic start to a strong year! We hope to see you for our Round-Up at Milestone Tavern on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 4-6pm. We will have appetizers and a drink ready for you. Come, visit and enjoy some down time before school starts.
Your SLCTA President