Building a Movement to Serve Our Students
Mar 13 2015
There’s no question about it: since Alliance educators announced our intention last week to safeguard the quality of our students’ education by making sure teachers and counselors have a voice in critical decisions at our schools, our colleagues throughout the Alliance have been joining our movement.
And it’s not just educators. Leaders of five powerful community organizations in Southern California wrote an open letter to the Alliance’s Board of Directors, asking them to “listen to your teachers and to respect their fundamental right to organize a union.”
As Alliance teachers and counselors, we’re organizing a union to have a collective and effective voice in the decision making processes at the Alliance. We believe this is the best way to achieve the highest quality learning environment for our students and working environment for ourselves including:
- a respected voice in all decisions impacting teaching and learning
- just cause and due process rights so that we can advocate for our students without fear
- retention, recruitment, and development of highly qualified and effective professional educators
- a fair evaluation system focused on our professional growth and more
Our effort to be a constructive force at Alliance is a big deal. Read how the Los Angeles Times covered our story.
As we informed Alliance administrators and board members in ouropen letter, we want to work collaboratively with management as we go through the process of joining United Teachers Los Angeles and negotiating a contract that ensures quality education for Alliance students for the long term. We have asked the Alliance to refrain from interfering in our decision and to agree to a fair and neutral process for organizing our union.
You may have seen the “Fact Sheet” that Alliance is circulating. Every day, we are entrusted to utilize our professional judgment and expertise working with our students. We should likewise be entrusted to make a professional decision about organizing a union for ourselves. We also see this “fact sheet” for what it is — an attempt to try to dissuade educators from organizing.
The Alliance letter underscores the importance of arriving at a clear and explicit agreement for a fair and neutral process to organize our union. We call on the Alliance to not exercise influence or interference in our decision making process. We ask that Alliance administrators respect our ability and our right to make this decision for ourselves, instead of using misinformation to preserve the status quo.
OUR RIGHTS UNDER LAW:
- PERB (CA Public Employees Relations Board) guarantees all public school educators, including charter teachers and other public employees, extensive rights and protections to organize a union. In fact, in LA over 1,700 charter school teachers and 32,000 District teachers are already exercising these rights as union members.
- As teachers and counselors, we have the right to talk to other teachers about forming a union, to attend meetings about organizing a union and to engage in other activities to advocate for our students and our profession at Alliance.
- As educators we have the right to discuss forming the union, to meet in the teachers’ break rooms, on school property, or outside of the school. We have the right to sign or ask someone to sign union petitions except while on work time.
- As educators, we can act collectively in presenting our ideas to the administration.
- As educators, we have the right to leaflet and talk with parents and members of the community about our efforts to unionize as long as we are not on duty.
- It is illegal for Alliance management to discriminate, discipline or discharge anyone for union activity. It is also illegal for administration to coerce, interrogate or otherwise interfere in our decision to organize a union.
To learn more about our legally protected right to organize a union, be sure to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page on our new website.
Join us in our movement to achieve a voice for Alliance educators.
—Alliance Educators United
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