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After months of work, Gompers Preparatory Academy teachers are an officially-recognized affiliate of San Diego Education Association CTA/NEA

(Left to right) Susan Davis, Azucena Garcia, Puneet Gil, David Suh, Jim Harding, Cheryl Carr, Trisha Harding, and John Melendez prepare for Gomper’s April 8th negotiations with GPA management

After many months of grassroots organizing, nearly 80 percent of Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA) teachers determined they would join the effort for unionization at the San Diego charter school. Educators were granted official recognition by the Public Employment Review Board (PERB) on January 2, 2019. With nearly 100 new unit members, GPA is the largest charter school organized by San Diego Education Association (SDEA).

After years of teacher turnover that limited campus stability, teachers at GPA determined to organize the Academy because they want to have a stronger voice in decisions that impact the success of students. They believe by having educators’ voices at the table, it will provide ideas and improvements that will address ongoing teacher recruitment and retention issues.

Charter school educators are increasingly turning to representational organizing within the boundaries of San Diego Unified School District to make progress in improving standards for educators and students in their institutions. SDEA already represents educators at Harriet Tubman Village Charter School in the College Area and Iftin Charter School in City Heights, in addition to newly-organized Gompers Preparatory Academy in southeastern San Diego.

For Gompers members, this marks the beginning of a relationship of greater parity with Academy management; it’s a relationship they are taking seriously. Their bargaining team will meet and prepare in March for their inaugural bargaining session with academy officials next month.

Negotiators are making the attraction and retention of great teachers their number one priority in their first bargaining cycle. By joining with managers in confronting this issue, it creates an opportunity to collaborate on a resolution to the ongoing problem of high turnover rates that continues to limit the development of a climate of trust and stability so vital to successful schools.

The Discussion 1 comment Post a Comment

  1. Students First says...

    In my opinion, the photo of the GTA members represents the poorest examples of teachers at Gompers. And now they’re dropping like flies after causing such disruption and divisiveness on campus. Barely my colleagues anymore.

    First pitched as not a union movement for students turned out to be an attack on exceptional leader ship and a role model inner city charter school. Complete trickery and deception every step of the way including the very last meeting were more confusion was disseminated with the lack of clear information.

    Then we go to find out that it was suggested by either SDEA or GTA to cut VAPA program courses and teachers to save money. What idiot would do that to a performing arts school? And then after three years, GTA could not even come up with a level salary schedule equal to the district. Very disappointing.

    Seeing the photo of the proud GTA members – now missing three of them who decided to quit – only brings me bad memories, anxiety and disgust. It also reminds me of the most despicable act I’ve ever seen from this group of teachers. This was the day these teachers stayed seated while the remaining staff and teachers rose to the feet to applauded our leadership.

    All we can do now is hope that our school does not return to the days of poor student attendance, violence and police on campus handcuffing or students to a bench, poor teacher retention and failing students.

    This is what GTA refers to as “for students first”.

    Welcome back teachers.

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