By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin
CTA President David A. Sanchez at last year's Summer Institute at UCLA.
CTA’s Summer Institute 2010 will be held Aug. 1-6 at UCLA’s Conference Center. This 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:
LEGAL TRACK —The Legal Department is expanding its offerings at Summer Institute this year to two separate partial-week tracks.
Track 1 (Sunday–Tuesday) — This 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 — what are the best practices to follow to protect your chapter from DFR liability; which union activities are protected by labor laws and other statutes, and which are not; what is the legal framework for bargaining; what actions by the district can be successfully challenged by filing an unfair practice charge; and how can you 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, texting and Facebook 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; cyberlaw, texting, MySpace and Facebook — what are best practices in a hyperconnected world.
NEGOTIATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRAND —The NOD Strand includes the following tracks.
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 track 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 who have at least three years of experience on a local bargaining team, or who have previously completed the Essential Bargaining Skills track and 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.
Healthcare Benefits and Issues — This full-week session focuses on bargaining health benefits in order to increase the quality of care and reduce costs. This workshop will also inform members about current local, state and national medical health care reform measures, current activities of CTA coalitions, and Medicare benefits for retirees. Participants should be prepared to discuss their Summary Plan Descriptions, contract language and other information pertaining to their locally bargained medical benefits program.
MEMBER BENEFITS STRAND — This partial-week strand (Sunday–Tuesday), presented by CTA Member Benefits and NEA Member Benefits, will offer participants survival tips on how to manage stress, 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,” geared for all educators, ESP, higher ed and Student CTA chapter members. Topics will include: sharing community connections; meeting external organizations; open forum/relational meetings; community outreach electives; chapter outreach planning; and World Café — a group approach to problem-solving.
INSTRUCTION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT — The weeklong IPD Strand will focus on shared school leadership and whole system change. Priority will be given to those who register as school teams. Featured speakers include Michael Fullan and Anthony Muhammad.
COMMUNICATIONS STRAND — This strand includes separate two-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 cameras.
Online Activism: Engaging Your Members Through Your Website and Social Media — Today’s chapter leaders must have a working knowledge of everything from websites to Twitter to reaching members so they can communicate and access information. During this two-day session participants will learn how to create and use their chapter website to their best advantage, in addition to exploring the latest tools in social media, from flip-video to Facebook. Participants should be comfortable using technology and taking and downloading digital photos.
Effective Communications: Using News and Public Speaking — The focus is on crisis communications in this pivotal election year — learning how to use the media to mobilize and push back successfully. This session covers the essential elements of effective communications with members, the media and the general public. This includes the basics of speech writing and how to be an effective and confident spokesperson for your organization, holding a news conference and creating an effective chapter media relations program.
Register now for your track of choice at www.cta.org/conferences. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, and many strands fill up quickly. For more information, contact the CTA Conference Coordination Center at (650) 552-5355.