Articles posted by Capitol News

Capitol News

What happens in the state legislature, in the governor's office, and at state agencies can affect every teacher, education support professional, and student in the state. The Capitol News blog aims to provide members with timely information about what is going on in the state capitol.

Gender Pay Gap has California Seeing “Red” on Equal Pay Day

CTA State Executive Director Joe Nunez (second from left) and other CTA staff in Sacramento show their colors on April 12, Equal Pay Day. The day highlights the gender-based pay inequities that still plague the state and the nation. While things may have improved, by some calculations, women workers are receiving only 79% of the pay of their male co-workers.

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CFA and CSU Announce Tentative Agreement That Averts Strike

  (From l.) CFA President Jennifer Eagan, Bargaining Chair Kevin Wehr and Kathy Sheffield, the CFA director of representation, announce a three-year tentative agreement that meets the union’s long-standing “Fight for Five” demand. She noted that the agreement affects the planned “largest strike in history that did not happen.”

It took nearly two-years, but the California Faculty Association has won a major victory in its long battle for higher education students and faculty.

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Gov. Brown Signs CTA-backed Legislation to Boost Minimum Wage

Gov. Jerry Brown has offered a helping hand to thousands of low-income Californians struggling to make ends meet by signing a CTA-backed measure that will over time boost the minimum hourly wage to $15.

The boost, brought about by the signing of SB 3, by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Connie Leyva (D-Chino), makes the state one of only two in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $15. CTA and other labor unions had pushed hard for passage and signing of the bill, which will phase in the higher minimum wage in steps by 2022.

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Buoyed by Fact Finders Report, CFA Reiterates It Will Strike to Correct CSU's Course

Members of the California Faculty Association on Monday morning told reporters at a news conference at Sacramento State that the neutral fact-finder has sided with the educators, concluding that management can and should boost instructors’ pay and make students and teachers a top budget priority.

(From l.) CFA President Jennifer Eagan tells a radio reporter that educators will engage in the first statewide strike in the system’s history beginning on April 13 unless management agrees to make students and faculty its top fiscal priority.

“We are very gratified that the neutral fact-finder has recommended the salary package we have been pushing for in bargaining over the last nine months,” said Jennifer Eagan, a CSU East Bay philosophy professor and president of the CFA. “The factfinder [also] agreed with us that this package ‘is in the interest of students, who need caring faculty and certainly in the public interest as our country needs a well-educated population.’”

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Lincoln Teachers Augment Students' Reading with Holocaust Survivor's Presentation

(From r.) Lincoln High School English Teacher Janet Smith speaks with Herbert Heller, a Holocaust survivor who spoke to more than 50 students and another 300 Placer County residents about his experiences and the importance of staying in school.

Two English teachers from Lincoln High School in Placer County – CTA Members Janet Smith and Kari Koche – gave more than 50 of their students a chance to pair their classroom reading with real life. The teachers escorted the students to a presentation by Herbert Heller, a survivor of the Nazi Terezin camp in Czechoslovakia who later escaped during a “march to nowhere” from the Auschwitz death camp.

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Assembly Member Medina Honors Barbara Kerr as District's Woman of the Year

(From l.) Barbara Kerr, a former CTA president, receives Assembly District 61 recognition from Assembly Member Jose Medina . (Photo courtesy Assembly Member Medina’s office.)

Former CTA President Barbara E. Kerr has just added another impressive award to her long list of recognitions.

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CTA Congratulates McGuire-Grigg, NEA’s ESP of the Year

(Photo courtesy of NEA.)

On behalf of CTA’s 325,000 members, President Eric C. Heins has congratulated CTA/NEA Board Member Doreen McGuire-Grigg upon her selection by the National Education Association as its Educational Support Professional (ESP) of the Year.

The award is the second in as many years for the Lakeport Unified Classified member, who has served Special Education students for more than 28 years. Last year, CTA named her its ESP of the Year.

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State Board Overturns Local Decisions, Approves Rocketship Charter in Contra Costa

(From l.) CTA members, including Shirley Thornton and Terri Jackson, an elementary teacher and CTA Board Member, prepare to enter the State Department of Education on the way to Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting.

The California State Board of Education on Thursday voted to overturn two local decisions barring the notorious Rocketship Charter organization from opening another charter institution in the Contra Costa area.

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Parents, Community Members, Educators Battle Rocketship Charter’s Efforts to Overturn Local Decisions

(From r.) Led by Terri Jackson, a sixth-grade history and math teacher at Stewart Elementary School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District and CTA Board Member, and Guy Moore, a high school teacher and president of the Mt. Diablo Education Association, some of the more than two dozen parents, community members, administrators, and classroom educators prepare to urge the California Board of Education in Sacramento not to overturn two local decisions barring a notorious charter school company from taking over a local site.

Two local school boards – the Mt. Diablo and the Contra Costa Board – both turned down efforts by the Rocketship Charter School company for opening a charter school in a low-income area in Contra Costa. Despite the fact both decisions were unanimous, operators of the charter schools are taking their case to the California State School Board in Sacramento on Thursday.

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Today is International Women’s Day – A Time to Fight for Parity

March 8 is this year’s #InternationalWomensDay, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

We must also take the day to reflect on the challenges facing working women across the United States and the world. This year’s theme focuses on the ongoing battle toward full gender equity.

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