When We Fight, We Win
As we continued to protect ourselves and our communities while emerging from the most difficult months of the pandemic, CTA led the charge for the resources our communities need and the public schools our students deserve. United by our dedication to our students, communities and the belief the education is the cornerstone of our democracy, CTA members showed that when we rise together, we are unstoppable.
This Annual Report, which begins in September 2021 and carries us through August 2022, showcases CTA’s extensive work to reach, teach, support and protect students, further public education, and build a just society.
In school districts across the state, educators are fighting to improve teaching and learning conditions, supporting the academic, social and emotional needs of students, and building equitable and inclusive school communities where all students feel they belong and know they are valued. And our historic effort to build community schools continues across the state, as we work to create schools that support our students’ wide array of needs that impact their ability to learn and thrive.
The efforts of CTA members during a time when educators are asked to do so much for so many are nothing short of inspiring and heroic. From winning historic funding and resources for public schools and community colleges, to creating safe, supportive and equitable schools where all students feel seen and heard, to fighting for social justice and human and civil rights in schools and communities across the state, CTA is leading the way.
Visit cta.org/cta-year-in-review-2021-2022 to learn more about all that we accomplished for our students, communities and the craft. Thank you for all your time and effort to make these victories a reality — together, we are strong, and together, #WeAreCTA.
– Toby Boyd, CTA President
Landmark Investment in Community Schools
“We’re reimagining schools,” says community schools coordinator and United Teachers Los Angeles member Ingrid Villeda. “It’s so much more than what happens in class.”
Community schools are aimed at disrupting poverty and addressing long-standing inequities, highlighting areas of need, and leveraging community resources so students are healthy, prepared for college and ready to succeed. The state’s landmark $4.1 billion investment into community schools is more funding than all other states combined – and it’s already making an impact, with active community school planning underway in districts across California. Gov. Newsom also joined CTA leaders in a June news conference celebrating the state’s historic commitment to community schools
“We know this is just the beginning in building the schools and communities our students and their families need and deserve.”
– CTA President E. Toby Boyd
CTA members put boots on the ground to get out the vote for Gov. Gavin Newsom and to defeat the wasteful recall election in September 2021. Newsom won handily, declaring victory less than an hour after polls closed. The following day, the governor celebrated by visiting a school in Oakland and receiving a warm welcome from Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown and CTA Board Member Angela Normand.
CTA Wins COVID Leave Amid Omicron Spike
In collaboration with our partners in labor, CTA helped secure supplemental paid sick leave for educators and other essential workers in January 2022, meaning they would no longer have to choose between their paychecks and the safety of their communities. The signing into law of SB 114 provided up to 80 hours of leave from Jan. 1 until Sept. 30, 2022.
ACE is the Answer
For decades, Clovis Unified was the largest school district in the state without a certificated union – until educators said enough in 2021, mounting a massive organizing effort as the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE). While the effort to organize Clovis classroom teachers continues, ACE secured a historic victory in February 2022 when school psychologists and mental health support professionals voted to officially unionize as ACE – the first educators union ever recognized in Clovis. CTA State Council welcomed our new siblings with a standing ovation in May
“We have a great district. We want to make it better.”
– Tamara Soemali, a CUSD school psychologist and ACE member.
CTA Member Benefits by the Numbers
- CTA assisted 176 CTA members by providing almost $190,000 in disaster relief grants through the CTA Disaster Relief Fund Program.
- CTAMemberBenefits.org had nearly 1.2 million page views, 777,000 of which were unique visits.
- Members earned more than 12,000 university units through the CTA/EBT sponsored University Credit Member Benefit program.
Rohnert Park Cotati: The Teachers Strike Back
After six powerful days on the picket line in March 2022, the Rohnert Park Cotati Educators Association (RPCEA) won a tentative agreement that provided a 14.6-percent raise over three years. Unbreakable solidarity by RPCEA’s 320 members and an outpouring of parent and community support for their educators helped power the local to victory. #WeAreRPCEA
“We think this agreement is a monumental shift for our district, which will prioritize teachers in the budget,” RPCEA leaders said.
San Francisco Educators Occupy District Office
After a payroll error left hundreds of San Francisco educators unpaid, United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) members occupied the school district office for three nights in March 2022, grading papers in sleeping bags on the floor and vowing to stay until district officials ensured all educators were paid. After three days, UESF and the district reached an agreement that included 15 percent interest on late pay and an assurance that any future payroll errors would be resolved within three days. #SFUSDPayUsNow
Eight Days of #SacCitySolidarity End in Win for Students
After eight days of solidarity on the streets of our state capital for the schools all Sacramento students deserve, Sacramento City Teachers Association won a contract in early April 2022 that eased a staffing crisis that saw 10,000 students a day without a permanent teacher and 3,000 without even a substitute teacher.
“From start to finish, our members have been united in the belief that schools should be adequately staffed with a teacher in front of every classroom,” said SCTA President David Fisher. “We stayed strong, and as a result we now have a contract that will help us attract and retain staff and provide our members with modest raises.”
The strike was held in conjunction with SEIU Local 1021, which represents Sac City Unified’s education support professionals. Legendary organizer Dolores Huerta joined educators in the rain early on in the strike, while a group of mothers started a sit-in at the school district office later on in a beautiful show of solidarity, helping lead to an agreement and end to the strike.
CTA Conference Coordination Center by the Numbers
- Conferences and events during 2021-22: 35 (27 in person, 8 virtual)
- Conference and event registrations during same period: 18,175
- Sessions accessed online via www.CTA.org/VirtualPass: More than 180,000
- Professional and leadership development courses available on Virtual Pass: More than 1,000
Community college instructors file class-action lawsuit over wage violations
Two Long Beach City College (LBCC) educators filed a class-action lawsuit in April charging LBCC with violating minimum wage laws with the way it pays part-time faculty, in a case that is likely to shine a light on the lack of pay parity for part-time instructors at California’s community colleges.
Some community colleges unlawfully treat part-time adjunct instructors as exempt from minimum wage laws. Part-time faculty do not earn enough money to be exempt from California’s minimum wage requirements. These colleges pay part-time instructors an hourly rate only for each hour teaching in the classroom, in front of students, despite requiring these instructors to work many hours performing teaching-related work outside of the classroom.
“I’m not paid for the prep that each course requires,” said Karen Roberts, a longtime part-time art history instructor at LBCC and Community College Association (CCA) member who is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit along with Seija Rohkea, also a CCA member. “Asking us to work for free is wrong, unethical and shows a lack of care for employees.”
Hello Again: CTA State Council Reunites in L.A.
After more than two years of virtual meetings, CTA State Council of Education reunited in person in March 2022 for a powerful weekend in Los Angeles that embodied a familiar rallying cry: We are CTA.
The first in-person State Council since January 2020 was packed with business – council representatives reviewed and considered more than 250 pieces of state legislation and 51 candidate endorsements, with extensive discussions that are a hallmark of in-person State Council meetings.
CTA President E. Toby Boyd welcomed educators back with an emotional opening to the meeting, remembering all those lost to COVID-19 and acknowledging all that happened since State Council last met in person.
“You managed this pandemic not only for your families, but also for your students. When schools closed, you pivoted in a minute and learned how to teach virtually,” Boyd said. “You made sure students were connected for online learning and had the food support they counted on. As the days went on, you dealt with constantly changing safety protocols and guidance. You did what needed to be done to keep students and schools safe.”
Conferences Return from Virtual to In-Person Events
Held virtually since early 2020 when COVID-19 forced CTA to move all conference and events to protect community health and safety, CTA returned to in-person events in 2021-22. During that time, CTA held 27 in-person conferences and events where members were able to meet, network and learn together again.
“Our educators have been tested by this pandemic by elements outside our control. It’s great to be able to see all these dedicated professionals, see your smiling faces and give you the hugs each one of you deserves.”
– CTA President E. Toby Boyd
Alliance Charter Educators Go on One-Day Strike
Educators at four Alliance College-Ready charter schools in Los Angeles went on a one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike in April 2022 in response to the Alliance Board of Directors refusing to bargain for more than three years, despite multiple orders to do so by the state Public Employment Relations Board.
A supermajority of educators at these schools voted to unionize with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) more than four years ago, forming Alliance Educators United, yet Alliance management has refused to recognize the union.
“We have spent five years attempting to have our voices heard,” said Michael Miller, an Alliance history teacher. “Meanwhile, Alliance has spent five years ignoring teachers, students and court orders.”
Honoring the Five Fabulous Teachers of the Year
CTA State Council in March honored the five California Teachers of the Year, all CTA members: Alondra Diaz, member of Saddleback Valley Educators Association; Nichi Avina, member of Palm Springs Teachers Association; Sovantevy “Sovey” Long-Latteri, member of Fullerton Secondary Teachers Organization; Tiffany Jokerst, member of Grossmont Education Association; and Virginia Vasquez, member of Alhambra Teachers Association. Diaz, California’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year honors, gave the passionate speech below on behalf of the five winners that drove many in the audience to tears.
Mary Ambriz Is CTA’s 2022 ESP of the Year
Office Manager Mary Ambriz was named the 2022 Paula J. Monroe CTA Education Support Professional of the Year in April. Ambriz, a member of Redlands Education Support Professionals Association, was honored by CTA State Council in March.
Oakland Educators Go on One-Day Unfair Labor Practice Strike
Oakland educators went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike in April after Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) failed to follow its 2019 agreement with Oakland Education Association (OEA) to engage with families when considering closing schools. Despite the agreement, widespread outcry from families to stop school closures and a complaint filed by the ACLU of Northern California on behalf of the Justice for Oakland Students Coalition, as many as 11 schools faced closure by the end of the 2022-23 school year. NEA Vice President Princess Moss joined Oakland educators on the strike.
“Educators don’t want to strike, but we are because OUSD has forced us to fight to protect the schools our Black and Brown students deserve,” OEA President Keith Brown said. “Rather than putting their resources towards unilaterally closing schools, OUSD should be acting as a respected governing body of learning and walking the walk to support the future of Oakland’s families.”
CTA on Election Day by the Numbers
- 2022 CA Primary Election
- California Statewide Offices Success Rate: 100%
- California State Assembly Success Rate: 98%
- California State Senate Success Rate 100%
- U.S. House of Representatives Success Rate: 100%
- Local School Measures and Board Success Rate: 100% and 79%, respectively
Educator Sets Her Eyes on State Assembly
Longtime teacher Dawn Addis won the Democratic nomination for Assembly District 30 in the June Primary Election. The CTA-endorsed Addis is a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for English Learner and Intervention Programs in San Luis Coastal Unified School District, where she has taught for 22 years. (Spoiler alert! Addis won election to the Assembly in November 2022!)
UTLA Creates Beyond Recovery Platform to Support Student Needs
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) members, parents and community allies developed a comprehensive plan over months of meetings and dialogue that addresses the urgent needs of students at a time when education funding is at historic highs. UTLA brought this Beyond Recovery platform into negotiations with the school district in Spring 2022, working collectively with parents and the community to transform public education in Los Angeles.
Marching for Union Rights
Educators across the Central Valley joined the United Farm Workers’ (UFW) 335-mile march in Summer 2022 to win the right to vote for a union, free from intimidation and threats.
The UFW’s March for the Governor’s Signature was a 24-day long trek from Delano to Sacramento to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign CTA-endorsed AB 2183 (Stone), the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act, which would give more choices to farmworkers voting to form a union, guaranteeing the right to vote in secret and free from intimidation. (The governor signed the bill into law in late September)
Summer Institute Returns to UCLA
Hundreds of educators spent nearly a week of their hard-earned summer break honing their skills, learning new ones and networking with fellow members at the 2022 CTA Summer Institute, held at University of California Los Angeles. Participating in one of 11 subject-specific strands, including Essential Bargaining Skills, School Finance, Economic Justice and Communications, CTA educators returned to UCLA for the first time since 2019 – Summer Institute was held virtually for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special guests at the 2022 Summer Institute included education researcher Andy Hargreaves, National Youth Poet Laureate Alexandra Huynh, Sacramento County Office of Education social-emotional learning advocate Channa Cook-Harvey, and award-winning educator and social media icon Nicholas Ferroni.