California Educator

October 2013

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Advocacy Bargaining Enhance your teaching and working conditions Generally, that's why local chapters participate in Coordinated Bargaining Councils (CBCs). Local negotiations teams within a given geographic area, usually aligned with one of CTA's Service Centers, agree to mutual goals to be bargained in their individual negotiated agreements. CBCs work together to attain similar goals, to exchange information about district resources and settlements, or to organize joint actions to get better contracts. Specifically, local chapters participate in CBCs for many reasons, as you'll read here. CTA members say CBCs give chapters confidence at the bargaining table, support during good and bad times, shared resources and expertise, and opportunities for skill building. Tulare and Kings: Knowledge is power BY DINA MARTIN G I V E N T H E G R E AT distances between CTA Formula, Common Core State Standards "I think we give encouragement to othchapters in the Great Central Valley and and Smarter Balanced assessments. ers," says Bertles. Sierra, it's not always easy for members to In "traditional" CBCs, chapters make Angelina Ogata, co-president of come together, let alone hampledges to bargain together for the Dinuba Teachers Association, is mer out mutual goals for their the same salary increases and convinced that without coordinated contract negotiations. Yet, there benefits. The Tulare-Kings bargaining, her chapter of 311 members are rewards for those who do. CBC, however, acts more like might have had seven days cut from the Take the 38 chapters in a clearinghouse that provides calendar and had cuts in benefits, bigger Tulare and Kings counties, tools, information and goals classes, and fewer teachers. whose leaders gather four times for local negotiators. Those "Finding out what is going on in everyone a year to meet in a Coordinated chapters participating in the else's district helps keep us all on the same Bargaining Council (CBC) and bargaining council tend to do page. We were all going through the same participate in bargaining workbetter than those who don't, thing, but we had a goal and we were at least shops. During the past four according to CTA staff. able to maintain the status quo," she says. Angelina Ogata years of state budget cuts, they "I look at it as 'Knowledge Now that Proposition 30 has been maintained the status quo and hung on to is power,'" says David Bertles, president of passed and the state is in better financial their health benefits. the 200-member Tulare County Office of shape, Ogata is noticing members calling The group meets to talk about the Education Teachers Association. for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). economic big picture and determine the Participating in the sessions makes Ber"But COLA is really a small part of it elements needed for a fair settlement. In tles appreciate the relationship compared to a salary increase," recent discussions, the chapters assessed his chapter has with the supershe says. "If we didn't go to the what may or may not be possible this intendent, who works with and Coordinated Bargaining Counyear. For example, they may not reach a values the members of the associl, we might have settled for 10 percent salary increase this year, but ciation. Negotiations have been a COLA, rather than looking a 2 to 3 percent raise is obtainable. From amicable over the years, and for a raise in pay." there, participants settle on benefit expec- even in the downturn, members tations, compare local salary settlements, received fully funded benefits, set goals, and talk about ways to achieve Bertles says. If anything, other those goals. This year, of course, chapter chapters can look to the Tulare negotiators are adding discussions about County association contract to David Bertles the state's new Local Control Funding know what's possible. 34 Educator 10 Oct 2013 v2.1 int.indd 34 O C T O B E R 2013 10/7/13 9:39 PM

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