CEA History and mission
Unions: So What’s the Big Deal?
A History of CEA
Did you know there was a time in our district, not so long ago, that even though teachers had a union, we had no contract? Teachers had no right to bargain working conditions, evaluations, teaching hours, class size, or even a having phone in their classroom. It's true! CUSD teachers had to organize and actually go on strike to get the rights they deserved, and the education their students deserved.
The BIG strike was in 1976. State legislation had just been passed, or was about to be passed, allowing school boards to negotiate full-blown contracts with locals. CTA was very involved, because we were one of the first teachers' unions to get a full contract written and presented to their respective boards. Glen Colver, CEA's Executive Director (President at the time), wrote most of that contract. They bargained on it all through the summer and early fall, and the Board took the CSBA position that they did not have to agree to any such thing, and therefore would not. CUSD teachers went on strike on October 6, it lasted more than a week. CEA settled the strike when the board finally agreed to allow teachers to even have a contract. Then the CEA bargaining team, helped by CTA, spent that fall actually getting it written and ratified by CEA members, CUSD, and the CUSD Board of Education. Since then, CEA has steadfastly worked to continue to improve our contract to meet the needs and protect the rights of our members.
The Cupertino Education Association (CEA) upholds the same mission statement as the California Teachers Association, “… to protect and promote the wellbeing of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.”
The Cupertino Education Association joins together the teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, other non-supervisory certificated personnel, and Education Support Professionals of Cupertino Union School District. We work together to give a unified voice to support ourselves as professionals and to provide an excellent education to the students and families we serve.
Our governance structure includes the Executive Committee, elected by, and made up of CEA members. These people meet at least once a month to plan CEA events, meet with potential educational leaders, create and follow committees that influence our work, and to discuss other topics of importance. The Executive Committee then meets with the CEA Site Representatives, elected representatives from each school site, to share and discuss pertinent information, conduct votes, and gather input from the school sites. CEA Site Representatives then go back to their school sites to share information and also provide support to CEA members in a variety of ways. We also have representatives for CTA and NEA who share our voice on the state and national levels. To understand more about how our governance structure works, read the CEA By Laws.
The California Teachers Association (CTA) is California’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 340,000 public school teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, other non-supervisory certificated personnel, and Education Support Professionals (ESPs). CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association (NEA).
More than 1,100 chapters or local teachers associations are chartered as CTA affiliates. Two unique CTA Chapters are “statewide” affiliates: The California Faculty Association (CFA), the bargaining agent for professors in the California State University system and the Community College Association (CCA), representing members in 42 chapters who work in 72 community college districts across the state.
There are many benefits of CTA membership. When you join CEA, you are automatically a member of CTA as well.
The National Education Association (NEA) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. NEA lobbies Congress and federal agencies on behalf of its members and public schools, supports and coordinates innovative projects, works with other education organizations and friends of public education, provides training and assistance to its affiliates, and generally conducts activities consistent with the policies set by its elected governing bodies. At the international level, NEA is linking educators around the world in an ongoing dialogue dedicated to making schools as effective as they can be.
NEA also believes every child in America, regardless of family income or place of residence, deserves a quality education. In pursuing its mission, NEA has determined that we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members on improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and making schools safer, better places to learn.
NEA also has a number of member benefits including life insurance programs, financial services programs, investment programs, consumer discount programs, member education guides, and more! When you join CEA, you are automatically a member of NEA as well.