Preparing the chapter leaders of tomorrow
Amid drastic budget cuts, increasing threats by administrators to undermine faculty rights, and a coordinated effort to curtail collective bargaining nationwide, it’s more important than ever that chapter union leaders be prepared for the challenges that await.
Fortunately, through its Building Strong Locals Academy, CCA is doing just that.
After six years, CCA’s academy is still a going concern, turning out competent and confident future leaders.
“I am deeply proud of the results of the academy,” said former CCA President Carolyn Inmon, who helped to launch the program. “Every goal that we had is being carried out. My vision had to do with helping newer faculty understand the importance of the union, the history of unions, and the modern day necessity for them. Our graduates are returning to their chapters and making a difference.”
Incredible amount of information
Ann Wright, chapter president of the Hartnell College Faculty Association has put the training to use several times since she participated in it several years ago.
“My only regret is that we haven’t taken even greater advantage of the program. You learn an incredible amount of information about union work, union history and how to get things done,” she said.
One of the real benefits is that in these times, leadership really needs to be prepared to take on a lot of issues,” Wright said. “This is a way of feeling confident that people in line to lead will get the tools they need.”
In February, 11 more faculty from northern and southern California CCA chapters completed their yearlong training and received graduation “diplomas” during a luncheon at the Winter Conference in Los Angeles. The participants all attended special sessions during the 2011 spring and fall conferences and completed the program by the end of the two-day winter conference.
“The academy training was phenomenal,” said Elias Escamilla, a counselor at Mt. San Jacinto College, who just finished his training. “I enjoyed the collegial spirit among the other participants and it was great sharing and learning from other chapters about how they handle union situations at their campuses. The tools I learned to use will benefit me when I start on the negotiating team next year.”
The Building Strong Locals Academy was initially funded by a grant from the NEA, but is currently funded financed solely by CCA. The program is voluntary, however, participants are required to attend all academy sessions. Applications for the 2012-13 year are available on the CCA Website at www.cca4me.org. The first session of the new training will be held April 27-29 at the Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage.