Membership approved! TA ratified!
Dear JCEA Members,
After eight months and twenty-three bargaining sessions your bargaining team representatives accepted a tentative deal with district management last week. Yesterday, the tentative agreement was ratified.
Voter turnout was strong; great work on making sure your voice was heard as a member!
In many ways this year’s bargaining has been as painful as childbirth; it was long and difficult. COVID-19 was a challenge no one expected when the process began. Finally, with everyone’s efforts, we arrived at a settlement that although, certainly not perfect, allows us to move forward to our next challenge: our entire contract is up for renewal.
It’s important to remember every member is a bargainer and when you and I stand together we have strong collective power to make change. We succeeded in restoring important grievance processes and won language improvements in teacher rights.
COVID has been the root cause of so many of our problems in our district, and at the state and national levels. If we remain unified as brothers and sisters and focus on our common interests as educators, we can continue to fight to protect public education, our profession, our students, and our communities.
You and I are also part of our union democracy. Our members must define our goals and our wins, through our Association Representatives, and through conversations with each other on all levels. The majority of members determine our path forward, but you and I must also protect the voices and rights of minorities and make sure those voices are heard.
Many of you were curious about the survey before your team went to the table. The bargaining team does not reveal survey data as it may expose bargaining strategies and bottom lines, but the team follows the direction of the membership. Transparency is important, but it is my job as your president to protect our organization as you elected me to do.
You and I have to fight for a new contract this year, with improvements to compensation and all other parts of our agreement. We have to manage the workload that is overwhelming to many of us, and further out on the horizon, prepare to elect three new school board members next November. Our opponents are counting on us to be divided, so now is the time to come together stronger than ever and prove to everyone you and I have the power to make real change for our students, our communities, and our profession.
You can’t have a union without “U” and “I”, and you and I have to stay and be involved to help build a better Jeffco. We are stronger when we are together.
In Solidarity, Brooke Williams JCEA President