Dressed in #Red4Ed, enthusiastic and smiling, members of the Association of Cypress Teachers (ACT) started their “Walk-in Solidarity” days in January to support their negotiations team as they head into their fifth negotiations session with Cypress School District.
Teachers joined together in front of several schools before the day, walking in together to let their colleagues on the bargaining team know they stand behind the goals they established around the issues and concerns ACT members care about; information identified in surveys and in one-on-one conversations during site visits.
ACT also wants to ensure district pay meets an appropriate standard that will encourage the next generation of educators to put down roots in the Cypress School District.
ACT credits their organizing team- using their newly-developed cluster system and “Action teams”- that got the word out regarding their walk-ins. The event was a great success.
During the walk-ins, parents showed their support for ACT. Community members honking from cars and inquiries from parents arriving with students illustrated their concerns about retaining educational stability in Cypress schools. The support was welcome; giving teachers encouragement to stand up for their principles in order to stand up for their students.
ACT anticipates more opportunities to build their team in the coming months, as members’ focus is drawn to a fair settlement that will provide Cypress with a competitive hiring edge over nearby districts. Currently, the district has not made such an offer.
While walk-ins continue, ACT is meeting and developing its organizing plan for the remainder of the year and beyond.
And as Cypress School District competes for new hires while the California Teacher Shortage drags on, district officials should consider the cost of waiting on a fair settlement offer while those talented professionals go elsewhere.