My Union Sisters and Brothers,

Today as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., many quotes emulate his passion and strength for the Civil Rights Movement, but one speaks to me more as an educator today than ever before:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become
silent about things that matter.”

In the thick of the UTLA teachers strike, I am reminded that earlier this school year, we were almost in their shoes. It was strength, unity, and passion for our students that allowed us to achieve our goal. We came to an agreement with contract language our members deserved.

Acknowledgement of our increasing workload; language to support Special Education, Enrichment Teachers, Preschool teachers, impact teachers, and support staff; common sense additions to our Catastrophic Leave, keeping Collaboration Thursday’s respective to grade level planning, and most importantly, counselors at every school!

But the work needs to continue in our union. We have the duty to continue to stand up for our rights as educators and speak out for our students in the classroom. We have to discipline ourselves to follow the contract language, and work together for future negotiations.

Dr. King fought the injustices of racism, by listening to the people who were being most affected by it. Now, we must listen to each other, and do what’s best for our students.

There are many uncertainties heading forward to the end of the school year, but one thing is for sure: the association is only as strong as each and every member. The settlement of our contract earlier this year does not mark the end of our struggles, it is merely a reminder that we must continue to advocate for our students.

This newsletter will provide you with an update of where we are and ways that you can do your part in the building a stronger union.

Yours in Solidarity,
Christina Benson
NCETA President

Here’s a link to view slides with brief notes on the contract settlement: