CTA Planning Massive Protests in May

Facing budget cuts, the California Teacher’s Association has declared a “State of Emergency” and is planning statewide actions during the week of May 9th. UnionWatch has obtained links to documents being used to prepare CTA members, such as this “State of Emergency Plan” approved by their leadership council. Here is an excerpt from this plan:

“May 9-13, 2011, will be a week of escalating action ending in a bold statewide unifying activity. The entire week of action will involve a broad coalition of the Education Coalition (including California State PTA, California School Boards Association, School Administrators, School Employees, SEIU, County Offices and County Administrators, School Business Officials and Superintendent of Public Instruction), parents, all other labor unions, and faith and community groups. The week begins and ends with a group of educators (with others invited to join) taking over the State Capitol.” (boldface type in original, not added)

Bearing in mind that the average teacher in California works 180 days per year, compared to an average of 240 working days in private industry, yet makes, on average $68,000 per year (ref. Sac Bee “See how well your school district pays its teachers”), and bearing in mind that a teacher in California can retire after 30 years and collect a pension equal to 75% of they had made when working – shouldn’t one wonder why we don’t simply lower the pay and benefits received by teachers in order to balance the budget? Of course not…

When observing the CTA’s protests and other “educational” campaigns set to begin sometime next month, never forget that it is taxpayer’s money that is funding these massive, professionally orchestrated activities. Here are some of the actions planned by the CTA, as revealed in their planning document “State Council Ideas for Potential Activities:”

  • Set up phone banks to call legislators and flood their e-mail inboxes.
  • Target the businesses of legislators in their home districts.
  • Student letter drives to representatives, including students telling their own personal experiences with teachers and their schools.
  • Circle the offices of “problem legislators.” Target them with various actions.
  • Picket/rally in front of legislators’ offices/homes.
  • Follow targeted legislators for the entire day.
  • Work with SCTA and other student organizations to set-up voter registration tables on campus.
  • Hold “fax the legislator” events where college students, faculty and staff sign faxes to the targeted legislators and fax them hourly.
  • Phone calls and letters home to parents. Hand out information to parents and the community by walking neighborhoods around school sites after school.
  • Have students and parents do informational picketing for one hour outside their school site.
  • Have parents and students camp in front of schools all night.
  • Have voter registration forms available for parents during parent- teacher conferences.
  • Partner with PTA, other parent and community groups to thank educators.
  • Have one-on-one meetings with college students to bring in a younger demographic and get them involved.
  • Have public employees line the main streets of community to show the pivotal role public employees play in communities.
  • Create “SWAT Squads” to go out into the neighborhood to leaflet homes with information about the impact of the cuts and the week of action.
  • Picket corporations that don’t pay taxes
  • Publish a list of companies that are not paying their fair share of taxes. Send letters to these companies and the media and picket their offices. Withdraw funds from banks that are not paying their fair share
  • One-day boycott of Microsoft and other corporations that are pushing failed education reform efforts.
  • Hold “lunch-ins” on campus, so that students and faculty do not buy lunch on-campus
  • 300 volunteers take over the State Capitol May 9-13 to demonstrate the need for immediate action as the state budget cuts are destroying our schools and communities.
  • Attempt to close a major artery into town/cities
  • Encourage mass participation of all college students at CTA rallies local to them. Wear gray and educate public about the death of higher education by sharing stories and them
  • Encourage college students to wear gray for the entire week – especially during finals week to mark the slow death of higher education
  • Flash Mobs” at strategic community locations
  • Sleep-Ins at libraries to show that they are closing early
  • Informational picket lines before or after school and on college campuses
  • “Tent City” at Chancellor’s/President’s homes and/or offices

Notice how all of these “actions” will occur during the time of year when students are supposed to be focusing on finishing their academic studies and taking their final exams. Instead, parents and teachers are going to be dragged into a political campaign that includes acts of civil disobedience, and harassment of legislators and businesses.

If educators in California, as represented by the CTA, were serious about fixing California’s schools, there are plenty of options. Along with cuts to their pay and benefits, they might enact reforms to enable firing of incompetent teachers. They could increase the ratio of classroom teachers by eliminating layers of administrative bureaucracy. They could stop supporting policies that require schools to “mainstream” learning disabled and disruptive students, which is the primary reason large class sizes are problematic. And they could embrace competition in education by ending their war against charter schools.

As it is, the CTA is merely flexing their muscles with these actions planned for next month. They have exercised nearly absolute power over California’s state legislature and local school boards for decades because of their massive political spending, and their ability to use the educational infrastructure to “educate” parents and students with their self-serving propaganda. All of it paid for by taxpayers.

5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Wonder Woman says:

    This week the school district office has sent out multiple letters stating how disappointed the district office is that their efforts to get the tax extension measure on the ballot failed. I don’t find this latest union activity surprising but I think most people will. The question is will enough people, NOT dependent on a government check, be willing to speak out against this activity, and also make sure their children don’t get used as pawns. It really is an obscene abuse of power by the teachers and the administrators, and I’m hoping that parents will see right through this. If not, undoubtedly tax season, higher gas prices, lower value of the dollar, and falling house prices, etc., are IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to ignore!

  2. Avatar
    Kim says:

    May 2-13 is STAR testing in our district! Sadly, I don’t think this timing is a coincidence and it is obvious that the teachers and administrators care more about their own political agenda than their students who will be experiencing significant test anxiety during that same time.

  3. Avatar
    tired teacher says:

    The average teacher salary quoted is 68K. The point that is missed is that the salary quoted is after years of experience that comes along with an average of 7-10 lay off notices. In order to even apply for this job, first teachers must complete a fifth year providing unpaid service to the schools called student teaching and most teachers go on to complete a MA. Go ahead offer an MBA that deal and see if they line up for the opportunity to constantly be critized by the public. People who are making teachers the villians ARE the reason teachers need unions.

  4. Avatar
    Teacher Teri says:

    The taxpayer’s money is not being used to support any CTA activities. That is disinformation. I receive a paycheck for my hardwork. How I choose to spend my money is none of your business. If I want to spend my money on union dues, that’s my right. Just as it’s anyone’s right to spend their money gambling, shopping, taking vacations, or whatever. CTA collects union dues from its members, not from taxpayers. And, by the way, teachers are tax payers, too.

    You might like to point the finger at us and say we work only 180 days a year. During the school day, we spend 7 hours with students. Before and after school and on weekends, we grade papers, plann lessons, have parent conferences, fill out paperwork on students, write letters of recommendations, tutor kids, offer homework clubs and other clubs and the list goes on–all of which is unpaid. And I’d like to point out one more thing. We do get paid for 180 days of work. That means we don’t get paid holidays or paid vacations like other people get. Plus, to get to that average salary, teachers have to work, depending on the district, anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Starting salaries for teachers is around 35,00-40,000 a year.

    Why are teachers and teacher unions the enemy? When was the last time you thought about the teachers who helped you advance in your life? You should be thanking teachers not excoriating them.

  5. Avatar
    Editor says:

    Teri – like most activist public employees, you are taking this personally. The problem isn’t teachers, or public education, the problem is labor unions who have essentially taken over the public education system. They do this by making it extremely difficult for teachers to opt out of union membership, or to opt out of having a portion of their dues used to fund political activity. They do this by using that money to buy our politicians. The teacher’s union targets any education reformer, and is willing to spend whatever it takes, sometimes over a million dollars, just to ensure they elect compliant members to sit on school district boards.

    It would be far more intellectually honest and constructive if you would bother to acknowledge even one problem associated with the unionization of our system of public education, instead of accusing us of considering you the “enemy,” or accusing us of being right-wing fanatics. The problem is simple: Government worker unions have corrupted the democratic process, they have corrupted our public education system, and they have corrupted many of their members who actually believe their propaganda. Teachers are paid very well in California – in many parts of the state, they are grossly overpaid. There are too many administrators. The coursework is politically biased in favor of anti-American and anti-capitalist ideology (this too is largely thanks to the labor union propaganda). Bad teachers can’t be fired. Layoffs affect excellent junior teachers instead of being based on merit. “Mainstreaming” every student, no matter how disabled or disruptive they may be, is the primary reason large class sizes are problematic. But all of this is a meal ticket for the unions.

    Public servants such as teachers, nurses, police and firefighters should not belong to labor unions. It has gravely damaged our democracy and bankrupt our state. And the fact that the unions representing these honorable professions have tried to manipulate voters by playing to the natural sympathies and respect that most citizens have for them is despicable. If you wish to restore full honor to your professions, and restore solvency to our public institutions, renounce your unions, reform your organizations, and reduce your compensation to the levels they were before the economic bubbles.

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