Both organizations look to the future
After celebrating its 150th year of advocacy, activism and unionism, the California Teachers Association is putting forth a comprehensive strategic plan that will carry the organization into the future.
The plan, “Our Union, Our Future” was issued at CTA’s State Council of Education in October and will be voted on by the same body in late January. With the assistance of the Labor Education Research Center at the University of Oregon, a committee of 100 CTA members, leaders and staff put together the plan that involved surveys, interviews and the participation of more than 1,000 educators. Among the higher ed members on the Strategic Planning Group were CCA President Lynette Nyaggah, Board Members Julius Thomas, Elizabeth Maloney, CTA Board Member for Higher Education Theresa Montaño and California Faculty Association members Susan Green and Jose Cintrón.
“Our members may not always agree with everything we do,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “But agreement isn’t the same thing as engagement. We cannot take our 325,000 members for granted. We must engage them. This is crucial not just for CTA, but for any union. Our members must know what we are all about.”
The Strategic Planning Group grew out of a call by the State Council in 2011 following several years of budget cuts and attacks on public schools and colleges from billionaires and politicians. The plan’s mission is to engage members, their communities and the public to drive the education agenda in California.
The CTA strategic plan identified eight strategic focus areas, Advocacy on Education Reform, Transforming the Profession, Building an Organizing Culture, Leadership Development, Community Engagement and Coalition Building, Social Justice, and Organizing Unrepresented Education Workers. The report can be found in the members-only section of the CTA website at www.cta.org/ourunionourfuture.
Hand in hand with CTA’s effort, CCA is also embarking on its strategic planning process, which members previewed at the Fall Conference. Conference-goers participated in tabletop discussions and were treated to a CCA “talk show” at lunch with board members Joan Sholars sitting in as Ellen DeGeneres and Phyllis Hall as Oprah Winfrey.
The CCA Board began their strategic planning at their June meeting, facilitated by College of the Canyons President Vincent Devlahovich, an expert in educational leadership, and CTA Staff. They followed up in August with another day-long meeting, in which they worked on priorities and a mission statement. At the Fall Conference, participants shared their vision of CCA and gave feedback on potential mission statements. The CCA Board will review the feedback and report back to CCA members at the Winter Conference, in this publication, through social media and on our website.