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By Ed Sibby

Teachers Association of Long Beach (TALB) wants a trained representative able to advocate for and communicate effectively to members. TALB leaders also ascribe to the teaching rule of the 5 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  

The result? Each summer TALB plans for success–by kicking off its calendar with a chapter-wide site rep training. The Saturday offering combines team building with training elements that ensure each school site has a strong, effective, member advocate.  

In the morning session site reps were asked to share what unionism means to them. Educators gave poignant responses, including Rachel Baraona, TALB Millikan Area Board Member who explained;

“For me, it’s an opportunity to be engaged, to have a voice, to unify, and be protected.”  

Trainers devoted the balance of the day to teaching and learning; training topics covered the fundamentals of representation in a meeting with administrators, how and when to schedule regular site rep meetings, and timeline for processing grievances. TALB also reinforced the substantial economic benefits that come with membership in TALB/CTA/NEA. 

As Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) continues to implement the Community Schools Model, TALB knows that sharing information and educating representatives will support and strengthen its transition to additional school sites. Educators’ continuous input and involvement ensures successful integration as each site transitions to the new framework. Because LBUSD is determined to address a shortage of counselors, TALB and the district are re-envisioning how counselor services can more effectively serve students in the district. 

CTA President David Goldberg, keynote speaker who has traveled to districts throughout the state, shared the transformational impact of California’s expanding community schools movement and why the model has such potential for LBUSD and TALB. Goldberg also reminded members of their hard-won contractual rights and the importance of solidarity in protecting them for current and future members. 

TALB leaders witnessed positive impact from their Saturday event;

“It’s great to see all these dedicated TALB members here. When we have such dedicated new representatives, our union’s future is bright.”

–Gerry Morrison, TALB President

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