Charter Teachers Ratify Contract
Teachers, counselors and educational staff at two charter schools in town — Nea Community Learning and Alameda Community Learning Center — unanimously ratified their first-ever collective bargaining agreement, one they had been negotiating since March 2014.
“The ratification follows a two-year struggle by more than 70 teachers and educational support staff who unionized to ensure a stronger voice for frontline educators in decisions that impacted their students and their schools,” the California Teachers Association stated in a press release announcing the ratification. NAU is a chapter of the 325,000-member association, which, in turn, is affiliated with the three-million-member National Education Association.
In 2013 teachers and staff at the schools circulated petitions expressing the desire to organize and collectively bargain for a contract with management, Community Learning Schools, Inc. Nearly three-quarters of the schools’ staff members signed on and in November 2013 the Nea ACLU Union (NAU) received its certification.
“We organized our union so that educators and staff could better advocate for our learners and our school,” said NAU Chair and Education Specialist Carrie Blanche. “Our new contract accomplishes our most important goals, including lowering class sizes, increasing educator retention, and ensuring that staff have the freedom to advocate for our learners without fear of reprisal.”
The newly ratified contract includes just cause, due process and binding arbitration, as well as class sizes, staffing and salaries.