Fellow PBCCTA Members,
Traditionally, this space would be used to welcome you all back from a much deserved summer break. However, given the tough times our profession has faced in recent years, it doesn’t seem appropriate to waste your time you with such platitudes.
Attacks on public education and teachers’ unions by the federal and state levels of government have become the norm. The CTA (alongside our state and national affiliates) will continue to fight for positive changes to public education and for unions at all levels of government. More importantly, we must make sure to train our sights and efforts where we can most effectively improve both our profession and the quality of education we provide to our students…the local school board. Many of the decisions that dramatically impact our teachers are made right here in Palm Beach County and at the sole discretion of the school board and our superintendent. The CTA must redouble its efforts to hold these individuals accountable for how our students and teachers are treated. For this reason, it will be a top priority in my first year as your new CTA President to do so at both school board meetings and at the election booth. Despite our disagreements, we do have a caring and compassionate school board. I am confident there will be plenty of opportunities for us to work together and do right by all parties.
Other key priorities that will be undertaken by your CTA over the next school year include:
- Improved communication to our members – Think of it as CTA 2.0. Our website and social media feeds will undergo complete overhauls with modern features that improve your user experience and make finding important union information a breeze. Additionally, you will see an unprecedented level of updates and information provided to our members such as: school board meeting wrap-ups, contract negotiations, pending state legislation reports, and more. We will also be highlighting the great work done by our labor relations consultants for our members. We want you to be educated, informed, and know that your union is working hard for you!
- Better contracts – For far too long the CTA has been forced to compromise our principles and our pride at the negotiation table. I pledged during my campaign to fight for improved healthcare and multi-year contracts with defined raises that afford our members a much needed (and deserved!) sense of financial certainty throughout their careers. I aim to keep that pledge and fight harder than ever before for better salaries, healthcare, and workplace conditions.
- $$$ Membership benefits $$$ – Each of our members commits a portion of their hard-earned pay to the union. Your dues to provide you with workplace representation, legal protection, negotiation of the contract, along with professional development opportunities. We are actively forming partnerships with dozens of your favorite local restaurants/bars, entertainment centers, and other businesses to provide greater value and return on your investment as a CTA member. It is a personal goal of mine to be able to tell our members and potential new members that their dues can be entirely paid for through savings and discounts you will have access to throughout Palm Beach County.
As a profession and a union, we find ourselves at a pivotal crossroad. There is no denying that across the entire nation, our profession has lost ground over the years and that conditions are nowhere close to where they should be for teachers. With new leadership comes new ideas. In short order, you will start to see a series of positive changes taking place throughout CTA and district. Changes that will raise your quality of life, both personally and professionally. Changes that will not only make the current generation of teachers proud again and stick with the profession we all love so dearly, but restore faith in the profession for the next generation of teachers who are fleeing in record numbers before even stepping foot in the door.
Together, we will accomplish these goals and more. It will require extra effort on all of our parts, but I promise strong and steady leadership to guide us along the way.