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By CCA President Eric Kaljumägi

Welcome to the start of the 2022-23 school year! By now your classes are likely started and your routines established. With most of our activities back to an in-person modality, I’d like to report on what we’ve been doing these last few months and where CCA is headed. By doing so, I hope that you will gain a sense of the work that CCA does and how we support you, your work and your students at the state level.

The term of office for officers and directors begins in June, and in mid-June CCA held its annual planning session. It is here that we welcome our new directors, and I’m delighted to have Kenneth Bearden (Butte), Matt Jones (Kern), Armando Garcia (San Bernardino), Lorraine Slattery (Mt. San Jacinto), Joshua Christ (Mt. SAC) and Teresa Landeros (Mt. SAC) join the board. The planning session is also where we review our mission and goals and work on the year’s measurable objectives. This year we made several significant changes to CCA’s goals, which now read:

  1. Grow membership
  2. Engage membership and strengthen support structures
  3. Strengthen state and national level relationships
  4. Advocate at the state and national level for our members
  5. Achieve parity and equity in pay and status for part-time faculty
  6. Close all equity gaps
  7. Strengthen communication support structures
  8. Communicate the relevance of CCA’s work by promoting the challenges, priorities and successes of its members

The CCA Board’s actions are guided by these goals, and I expect to have a full set of agreed upon objectives and KPIs which address these goals in place later this semester.

A number of statewide meetings continue in summer. The CCA President and Vice President attend the CTA Board meetings to ensure that CCA is aware of CTA’s goals and actions. We also work to build personal relationships with the CTA Board members and to inform them of CCA’s interests. Similarly, the CCA President and Vice President attend the state Board of Governors (BoG) meetings. The Governors, who direct the State Chancellor and create Title 5 regulations, meet six times a year, including a meeting in July. We frequently address BoG during public comment and report back to CTA and the CCA Board about BoG’s actions. In addition, we occasionally have private meetings with BoG members.

I also serve as the CTA liaison to Consultation Council. Consultation Council consists of 18 representatives of institutional groups, labor unions, and students (only five of whom are faculty) tasked to help develop and recommend policy to the chancellor and the BoG. The Consultation Council is chaired by senior Chancellor’s Office staff and is similar in nature to the Leadership Council or President’s Advisory Council on your campus. In addition to three formal Consultation Council meetings this summer, members of the Council were invited to provide input to the upcoming CCCCO budget request. In every meeting we are careful to advocate for the policies and priorities of CCA. Prior to the Consultation Council meetings, the faculty members on the Council have a separate meeting which allows us to network with both ASCCC and other union leaders.

The Fourth of July week always includes the NEA RA. This assembly is the primary legislative and policymaking body of the National Education Association and approves the NEA’s strategic plan and budget, resolutions, the legislative program and other policies of the Association. Delegates to the NEA RA also elect the NEA’s officers, Executive Committee members, and at-large members of the NEA Board of Directors. There are roughly 6,000 delegates to the NEA RA, and this year Vice President Wahbe, Treasurer Ausubel, and I were part of the 12-member CCA delegation. Although not a requirement, it so happened that every member of the CCA delegation this year was a current or former CCA Board member.

A couple of weeks after the NEA RA is the CTA Presidents’ Conference, which this year moved from San Jose to Burlingame (San Francisco International Airport). CCA provides a strand specifically for local community college union presidents and vice presidents, and the CCA officers and staff work hard to build an enjoyable and informative series of workshops and presentations. While many union issues apply equally to PK-12 schools and community colleges, there are some places where a community college perspective is clearly needed.

This is also the reason CCA hosts its own conferences in addition to those provided to all members through CTA. Registration is now open for the CCA Fall Conference, which will be October 14-16 in San Jose this year. You should contact your local union president if you wish to become a delegate.

Whether you think of yourself as “green” or “seasoned” faculty, I encourage you to come to our conferences. They are excellent places to gain or refine your union skills, to learn about our advocacy work, and to network with your colleagues from across the state.

The actions that the conference delegates take at our business meeting Sunday the 16th will provide guidance to the CCA Board for the next six months, and the delegates determine who sits on CCA’s board. Delegate conference expenses (except for half the hotel room) are reimbursed by CCA as per the CCA Standing Rules.

I’ll close with a personal request to visit your campus to meet directly with your local’s leadership about your issues. What topics are most important for us to advocate for in Sacramento this year? What needs to be added to CTA’s policies? What training do you and your local require to be vibrant and effective? While the CCA Board works together to find the answers to these questions, I believe that listening to members where they work is important. I look forward to your invitations and wish you success this academic year!

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