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Assembly Education Approves CTA-cosponsored Employment Equity Measure

From l., Michael Martinez, a program coordinator for Migrant Education in the Butte County Office of Education, and Jacob George, an educator in Lassen County and president of the Lassen County Special Teachers Association, provide compelling testimony in support of CTA-cosponsored legislation.

Certificated employees of small school districts and county offices of education are one step closer to gaining fair treatment, thanks to the Assembly Education Committee’s 4-1 passage of a CTA-cosponsored measure.

AB 1619, by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), will require these local education agencies to award permanent status to certificated employees who have completed their probationary periods.

Both Martinez and George testified about the how administrators in these small districts maintain employees in “temporary status” for decades.  That status allows their supervisors to intimidate employees who try to advocate forcefully for their students.

Martinez also testified about how his “temporary status” even kept him from qualifying for a home loan – despite the fact he had been employed for more than five years – because he did not have a “permanent” job.

George recounted being told by an administrator that the refusal to grant permanent status allowed him to eliminate “costly” older employees whose long years of service had advanced them on the salary schedule.

The panel approved the measure after its chair, Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), stressed that fairness demanded that lawmakers approve the bill. “My experience is that if you treat your employees with dignity and respect, you will have a better learning environment.....”

The action on the measure came on the day members of CTA State Council’s Professional Rights and Responsibility committee members came to Sacramento to urge lawmakers to vote for AB 1619.

The bill was opposed by school district management organizations.

The vote sends the measure to the Assembly Appropriations for its next hearing.

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