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By Julian Peeples

As the Hot Labor Summer burns on throughout the nation, hundreds of California educators spent last week building skills, relationships and union power during CTA Summer Institute.

Educators from Sacramento City Teachers Association and Oakland Education Association joined picketing writers and actors after the close of Summer Institute.

With the backdrop of the streets of Los Angeles filled with picket lines of striking hotel and restaurant workers, writers and actors, CTA leaders converged on UCLA for five days of training and development in focused areas including economic justice, bargaining essentials, school finance, communications, organizing, community schools and the “joy of teaching.” CTA President David Goldberg said that educators are a part of the ongoing struggles taking place in front of movie studios and luxury hotels.

CTA President David Goldberg

“California is home to about half of the big strikes this year. We are officially in #HotLaborSummer,” Goldberg said. “Folks fighting for better working conditions will share with you that they are inspired by teachers who have gone on strike.”

Educators welcomed voices from two of those inspiring struggles to open and close this year’s Summer Institute. Unite HERE Local 11 Co-President Susan Minato and former Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone both thanked educators for ongoing support of their strikes.

“TV writers fancy ourselves as storytellers but YOU taught us all we know,” Verrone said. “Teachers have joined us on the picket line since Day One!

Former WGA West President Patric Verrone and CTA President David Goldberg

Summer Institute is a packed week of training and development, with workshops, panel discussions and sessions scheduled for most of the day, and opportunities for educators to network and build together in the evening.

“I hope that as you spend time and build connections during whatever strand you’re in, that you remember the power of those connections,” CTA Vice President Leslie Littman said in her welcome to members.

Check out all the sights and sounds of Summer Institute on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Photo by Roni Habib

Goldberg and State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, who delivered the closing keynote.

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