CTA President David A. Sanchez leads the crowd at least year's Summer Institute in mass calls to California legislators over the state budget cuts.
When students ask, "How did you spend your summer vacation?" tell them you went back to college by participating in CTA's Summer Institute 2009, scheduled for Aug. 2-7 at UCLA's Conference Center. This exciting event offers a variety of sessions designed to assist chapters in day-to-day representation, help teachers build leadership skills, and improve teaching and learning. This year's offerings include
Building a Culture for School Success — The weeklong Instruction and Professional Development strand will focus on examining adult and student culture; analyzing your school's culture and learning climate; and building a positive school culture for student success. Featured speakers include Kent Peterson, Pam Robbins, Glenn Singleton, and Anthony Muhammad. The strand is designed for collaborative school teams of classroom teachers, classified employees, parents, school site council members, QEIA school site contacts, and site and district administrators.
Health Benefits and Issues Strand — This 2½-day strand focuses on understanding the complexities of the current health benefits crisis, identifying coalitions in which CTA participates to contain health care costs, Medicare benefits for retirees, and review of the AB 256 School Employee Pool Study for medical benefits and the 2007 Post Employment Benefits Commission Report. Emphasis will be on moving participants toward organizing chapter members around health care issues. Participants are expected to bring contract or plan descriptions of their locally bargained medical benefits program.
Member Benefits Strand — CTA Member Benefits and NEA Member Benefits will teach participants how members can save money, utilize their benefits, and better connect to the local, state, and national associations. The strand is designed for chapter presidents, local site reps, membership chairpersons and membership recruiters.
Community Outreach Strand — Recognizing that organizing is the basis of community outreach, this strand (Wednesday-Friday) will explore a variety of strategies and tools for tapping into the "power of community." It's geared for all educator, ESP, higher ed and Student CTA chapter members. Activities will include: a community panel; team building activities; World Café — a group approach to problem solving; Community Outreach toolkit; and Making Connections — external and internal.
Communications Strand — This strand includes three separate 2-day tracks. Participants can choose two:
Chapter Newsletters from A to Z — Participants learn to create and produce local association newsletters, from writing articles and selecting stories to laying out pages with digital photos. The session includes a tutorial in desktop publishing. Participants will get practical experience producing the official Summer Institute newsletter. Please bring your own digital camera.
Creating a Chapter Website with Blogging Technology — Websites can provide information on everything from the latest in local contract negotiations to answers to questions about the Highly Qualified Teacher requirement — and everything in between. Beginning with presentations on the nuts and bolts of websites, as well as writing for the Web, the session will then move into using a blogging software program to design and construct a website. At the end of the session, participants will have the knowledge to launch their own website. Participants should be familiar with the Microsoft operating system and Internet Explorer.
It's News to Me: Effective Communications — This session covers the essential elements of communicating with members, the media and the general public. Participants will learn the basics of speech writing and the skills necessary to be a confident spokesperson for the chapter. Also covered are message discipline, speaking to outside groups, handling media interviews, working in crisis situations, writing media advisories, and creating media relations programs.
Legal Track — The Legal Department is expanding its offerings at Summer Institute this year to two separate half-week tracks.
Track 1 (Sunday-Tuesday) — The first track will focus on "group" labor and employment issues, including basic union and employee rights under the Educational Employment Relations Act, the legal framework around bargaining, unfair practice issues, duty of fair representation issues, and Brown Act open meeting issues. Topics will include: The Rights of Members to Union Representation; Duty of Fair Representation: Best Practices to Protect Your Chapter From DFR Liability; What Union Activities are Protected by Labor Laws and Other Statutes; The Legal Framework for Bargaining; Filing an Unfair Practice Charge; and How to Use the Open Meetings Law Effectively.
Track 2 (Wednesday-Friday) — The second track will focus on "individual" labor and employment issues, including the rights of individual union members under the antidiscrimination statutes, the rights of educational employees to a safe and healthy workplace, the discipline and dismissal procedure under the Education Code, and cyberlaw issues. Topics will include: Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment; Disability Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation; Discipline and Dismissal; Leave of Absence Issues; School Health and Safety Issues; and Cyberlaw, Texting and MySpace: Best Practices in a Hyperconnected World.
Emerging Leaders — Designed to arm members with the information, resources and skills needed to become effective organizers and future leaders in their local chapter, this training includes the basic concepts of unionism and advocacy, association history and structure, and effective organizing techniques. The session is intended for all association members who are beginning their activism in their local union.
Essential Bargaining Skills — In this highly interactive session, designed to guide participants in the use of a 10-step process to ensure a successful bargaining experience, participants will form bargaining teams, bargain an agreement, and work through extensive coaching and debriefing sessions to determine which strategies were successful.
Advanced Bargaining Skills — This track is designed for those who have completed the Essential Bargaining Skills track or have at least three years of experience on a local bargaining team, or those who have previously completed the Essential Bargaining Skills track and have at least one year of experience on a local bargaining team. Those who don't meet the prerequisites of this track will not be admitted. This track provides skills and knowledge that will improve the association's final contract settlement. Participants will learn about developing effective bargaining strategies and tactics, writing effective contract language, identifying key elements of the district budget, defining and negotiating issues, composing effective bargaining communiqués, balancing the bargaining goals of complex constituencies, and utilizing CTA's research database in an effective manner.
School Finance — Designed for leaders and bargaining team members who want to become more knowledgeable about school finance and school district budgets, this session includes tracking the trends of budget priorities, calculating the cost of a bargaining proposal, determining a district's ability to pay, and developing comparability data to support bargaining objectives.
School Finance II (Using Data to Organize) — Two 2½-day sessions are offered. Participants will use district budget and other financial information to assess a district's fiscal health and priorities including a rational settlement. This track will make extensive use of computers and CTA budget analysis software. All participants must have attended the basic School Finance Track within the last three years; experience using Microsoft Excel is necessary. Limited to 20 particpants per session.