February 15, 2023
We have been preparing for the worst-case scenario, and we will face the worst-case scenario and more.
Losing the contract is at stake; our constitutionally protected freedom to bargain collectively is at stake. Our freedom to organize and have a collective voice and power in our wages, hours, working conditions, and health insurance are at stake. Our freedom to advocate for our profession and students at the local and statewide levels is at stake. Our freedom to have a voice in our students’ curriculum and coursework is at stake. Click HERE for a flyer that outlines specific aspects of our contract that are at risk right now. We have our work cut out for us, but we will confront this attack on public education and teachers unions head-on and be stronger in the end. Membership is EVERYONE’S number one job right now. We must have honest, frank, blunt conversations with potential members at our worksites. They must know the real threat of losing our contract and the risk of losing everything listed above. The days of them benefiting from our Union’s ability to bargain collectively without joining our Union are near an end because without them as a member, our contract disappears.
The few employees at the CTA office can’t save this union for you on their own. This will be up to each of you. Our current density is 53%. We will need approximately 900 more new members to reach 60%. I encourage you to go to the CTA website and download a copy of our Contract. Browse through it and consider the parts that you value most. Then talk to all your OCPS friends and ask them to sign up today at www.tinyurl.com/join-occta. We do have a membership drive as well. You will receive a $50 gift card for signing up 5 new members and $10 for every new member after that. Each new member will also receive a $20 gift card.
In addition to raising the requirement for teachers union membership from 50% to 60%, the Governor has proposed banning your ability to have your dues withheld from your paycheck. We will be reaching out in March with how you can maintain your membership with a dues payment through CTA instead of OCPS.
One of our major assets in all these attacks is our amazing group of Association Representatives. ARs are a direct link to you with information from CTA, including your contract, and other protections. They also help keep CTA informed of issues happening in schools so we can advocate for improvements and provide assistance. Unfortunately, out of the 220 worksites, we have 30 with no AR. Click HERE to see worksites with no AR. If you know someone from these worksites, please reach out and encourage them to nominate someone to be their AR.