Leading the way
“The strategic plan — ‘Our Union, Our Future’ — is about listening to and engaging all members, advocating for our students, leading our profession, reaching out into our communities, and standing up for a just society for all.”
That comment, and many more, prompted the unanimous approval by State Council of Education of CTA’s long-term strategic plan.
It is designed to help educators, local chapters and CTA lead the education agenda in California, says CTA President Dean E. Vogel.
“I find myself thinking about that new second-grade teacher in Turlock, who is just trying to be the best teacher she can be, yet she is dying under the weight of the work. How do we help her? How do we make sure her voice is heard?
“And how about the bus driver in Redlands, the community college counselor in Stockton, the school nurse in Santa Rosa, the paraprofessional in San Francisco, the professor of education at Sacramento State? I believe in our organization and the power we have in bringing members together under a united voice.”
True to its goals from the outset, the development of the strategic plan involved listening to and talking with members and staff about what they want for their students, for their profession and for CTA. Representatives of education-related organizations, community and business groups, and the media were also interviewed.
Now that State Council has approved the plan, an Implementation Workgroup consisting of members and staff will be appointed to advise and make recommendations to the CTA Board of Directors about how to implement these goals and how to align governance structures.
The workgroup will not be successful, though, without members getting involved, Vogel notes. It will be up to local chapters to determine how they engage in the plan and engage with educators in local schools.
What’s in the plan?
This plan is divided into three categories:
- Quality Public Education and Our Profession
- Building a Strong Union
- Structure and Governance
Within those three categories are eight focus areas: advocacy, transforming the education profession, organizing and engaging members in the work of the union, community engagement, equity and social justice, growing new leaders, and aligning CTA structures to best meet member needs.
What does this mean for me, as a member?
For starters, the plan directs CTA’s time and resources. That means CTA is concentrating on building a strong union on the foundation of educators who are active and engaged in their local schools, local unions and local communities.
CTA members first and foremost are educators. If you’re interested in helping children, guiding their learning, and being part of a profession that creates a better society and future for all of us, then the plan will give voice to your values.
Learn about CTA’s Strategic Plan.
You can download the plan, read answers to frequently asked questions, and more.
“We need to change the way we are a union. I’m very glad CTA is engaging in strategic planning. It’s an opportunity for locals to transform education. It’s an opportunity to work with students and parents, to stand with the community.”
Ingrid Villeda, United Teachers Los Angeles
“I hope every CTA member will read the plan and see that CTA isn't content to rest on its laurels. CTA truly cares about representing all members as we move on in the 21st century. There are so many obstacles in our path by outside forces, but as long as the rank and file know that leadership is listening and cares, we can overcome!”
Mona Davidson, Desert Sands Teachers Association president
“[During planning meetings] we had folks come in from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), from the Chicago Teachers Union, and we asked ourselves: What are we fighting for? We realized it was about doing the right thing for kids. It’s about our profession and taking charge of what’s in our hearts.”
Steve Dillon, Corning Elementary Teachers Association president
“At one time I wasn’t engaged in, and was critical of, CTA. Now I see this [strategic plan] is the vehicle. I came back to CTA, and I am proud to be a part of this.”
Shannan Brown, San Juan Teachers Association president
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