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By Julian Peeples

Embracing the belief that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” CTA State Council of Education last weekend vowed to fight proposed educator layoffs across the state, rising together to defend each other, and the public schools our students deserve and our communities need.

More than 2,000 CTA members have received Reduction In Force (RIF) notices so far in 2024 – the biggest spike in a decade. In his report to State Council, CTA President David Goldberg said members in local associations in places including San Diego, Anaheim, San Francisco and Farmersville are rising up together to fight back against these outrageous layoffs.

CTA President David Goldberg

“This kind of organizing requires critical conversations at our worksites and in our union meetings – what are we willing to do to stop these layoffs?” Goldberg said. “Quite simply: there is power in our union.”

Goldberg said CTA’s efforts statewide are powered by our unity at local school sites, which keeps our union moving forward. Building and harnessing that power will be crucial to fixing our broken school funding system, renewing Prop. 30/55 funds at the ballot box and making California’s billionaires and corporations pay their fair share.

“Let’s build at school sites, then across school sites into regional campaigns, then across regions, into a massive, history-making statewide campaign,” he said. “When we’re connected with each other and organized with a plan of action, there’s nothing that can stop us.”


On the Legislative front, AB 2901 (Aguiar-Curry) continues to work its way through the Assembly with more than 10,000 signatures on our petition demanding #PregnancyLeaveNOW. AB 2901 will provide 14 weeks of pregnancy leave to all public school employees and end the discriminatory practice of forcing women to deplete their leave balances to bear children. Sign the petition, share your pregnancy leave story and join the fight to right this long-standing wrong for California educators.

“This is pregnancy discrimination. Women are struggling to make ends meet due to pregnancy, and this struggle follows them well into retirement,” Goldberg said. “It’s a disrespect in a predominantly female-led profession and it must end.”

State Council representatives painstakingly considered and took positions on more than 100 bills, including voting to support AB 2200, the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act (Cal Care).

The 2024 California Teachers of the Year with the CTA Officers and Executive Director.

CTA State Council celebrated the 2024 California Teachers of the Year: Joseph Alvarico, engineering teacher and member of Mt. Diablo Education Association; Drew Lewis, music educator and member of United Teachers Los Angeles; Hannah Rodriguez, pre-K special education teacher and member of Duarte Unified Education Association; Gregory Wolf, history and political science teacher and member of Santa Ynez Valley Teachers Association; and Casey Cuny, honors English teacher and member of Hart District Teachers Association. Cuny was also selected by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

“It’s incredible the opportunity we have to become central characters in the stories of (our students’) lives,” said Cuny, who shared the role his educators played when he was surviving childhood cancer and how the experience made him want to be a teacher, too. “I am inspired every day by the teachers I work with and the teachers who taught me.”

State Council also honored the 2024 CTA Paula J. Monroe Education Support Professional of the Year, Steven Acosta, a member of Association of Classified Employees-Culver City.

CTA Executive Director Jeff Good

New CTA Executive Director Jeff Good spoke to State Council for the first time in his new role, addressing some of the major challenges before our union. A former educator and CTA member himself, Good underscored the need to build capacity locally to grow our collective power and fight layoffs.

“We have more than 310,000 members making a positive impact on people’s lives as part of every community in California, we have resources that allow us to influence elections and pass or defeat ballot measures at the local and state level, and we have the combination of moral authority and strategic intelligence to move people, change viewpoints, and create change through organizing,” Good said. “But we need to get stronger, and we must build more power.”

Community College Association members are organizing to repeal the federal Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision that unfairly penalize educators. Click photo to learn more.

State Council also elected the following members to leadership positions:

CTA Board of Directors, District F: Eva Ruiz
CTA Board of Directors, District I: Chris Bushee
CTA Board of Directors, District J: Mel House
CTA Board of Directors, District M: Joe Bartell
CTA Board of Directors, At-Large: Robert Ellis
CTA/NEA Coordinating Director: Grant Schuster
NEA Alternate Director, Seat 2: Laura Finco
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District A: Corey Penrose
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District B: Timothy Sato
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District D: Roger McCoy
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District E: Owen Jackman
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District J: Wade Kyle
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District L: La Tonya Curlin
CTA/ABC Committee Member, District N: Juli Stowers
CTA/ABC Committee Member, At-Large: Vanessa Robinson
CTA/ABC Committee Member, At-Large: Billie Joe Wright

CTA State Council of Education will meet next from May 31-June 2 in Los Angeles.

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