One of CTA’s prime objectives is to protect the rights of its members. CTA believes that education employees should be free from arbitrary and capricious decisions by their employers. When violations occur, employees must have available the resources to defend their rights through appropriate legal or administrative channels. CTA, therefore, provides the following services to protect each member’s rights:
CTA assists each local chapter with the training, materials and professional staff support to pursue member grievances through the necessary channels, including possible arbitration hearings.
As a CTA/NEA member, you are automatically covered under the Educators Employment Liability Insurance Policy.
- Up to $1,000,000 coverage for legal defense costs in civil suits (except civil rights cases) brought against you in the course of your employment
- Up to $250,000 coverage in civil rights cases
- Up to $35,000 reimbursement for attorney’s fees and other legal costs for criminal proceedings if you are exonerated from the charges
- Up to $1,000 bail bond coverage
- Up to $500 for personal property damages caused by an assault if as a result of your employment
To file a claim, contact your local CTA Primary Contact Staff.
CTA maintains a constant watch on the legislature and on individual school districts and campuses to fight any attempts to deprive school employees of due process rights. CTA provides publications and workshops to inform members how to safeguard their personnel records and to protect their jobs under the “tenure” laws.
CTA works with local chapters to maintain minority involvement programs. CTA assists members to fight ethnic, sex or age discrimination in their employment. CTA maintains a minority affairs committee which advises its governing bodies of any changes needed to protect minority rights.
CTA lobbyists work continuously for improvements in employee retirement benefits while monitoring administration of the system to protect it against unsound management or attempts to use the funds to balance the state budget.
CTA is very much aware of the direct relationship between the revenue available for school districts and colleges and the economic security and well-being of its members. Throughout its history, CTA has been the prime mover in education finance legislation. Through its professional lobbyists and a statewide member network of well-informed educators, CTA maintains contact with legislators, the Governor and the State Department of Education to maintain and increase financial support for the schools.
CTA believes that personnel should be assigned, transferred, promoted or dismissed for professional reasons only and with appropriate due process at every step. Every year, CTA lobbyists must fend off efforts to take away or diminish these rights.
CTA provides workshops and individual assistance for teachers who need information on certification standards and procedures. Most popular of these are the workshops on professional growth plans for credential applicants.
CTA sends teacher observers to monitor the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for rule changes which would affect the acquisition or renewal of credentials.
CTA believes that employees should earn salaries and receive fringe benefits that enable them to maintain a standard of living commensurate with their preparation and job demands. CTA also believes that salaries and fringe benefits should be equitably administered.
CTA, assisted financially by NEA, maintains a staff of 123 professionals available to assist chapters in all phases of collective bargaining. These CTA-NEA UniServ field reps provide the following services to local bargaining teams:
- Contract language
- At-the-table assistance
- Bargaining strategy and tactics
- Training of local negotiators
- Budget analysis
These staff members are assisted by bargaining specialists and a research department with a computer network which can provide salary data, cost-of-living comparisons and information on school district budgets. Backed up by NEA computer banks, this program keeps chapter bargaining teams advised on legal issues and on trends in bargaining in other districts.
CTA keeps in touch with its members through written publications and through frequent meetings at the state, regional and local levels where members can voice their concerns and keep up-to-date on Association programs and activities.
All CTA-NEA members receive California Educator and NEA Today, monthly newspapers designed to keep members informed about policy decisions, legislative progress, Association accomplishments, trends in education and reports from the Association officers. In addition, CTA prepares special publications for local Association officers, legislative contacts, Association representatives, and Service Center Council leaders.
With NEA assistance, CTA conducts training programs throughout the year for the purpose of updating current leaders and preparing future leaders of the Association. These conferences cover many areas of organizational management and advocacy, including bargaining, employee rights, school finance and grievance representation. Conferences also focus on more personal needs, such as women’s leadership skills, stress management and minority involvement training.
Good Teaching Conference
CTA’s Good Teaching Conference is the highlight of each year’s instructional program. Respected names in education fill the program, which covers a wide range of education issues and ideas. Through general sessions and small group workshops, educators receive the benefit of two-way communication with leaders in education.
Equity/Human Rights Conference
Striving for equity in education is a prime activity of CTA-NEA. The annual Equity/Human Rights Conference concentrates on ways and means to achieve equity both for students and for educators, regardless of their ethnicity, their sex, or their special needs. Focusing on issues important to women’s groups, the “equity” portion of the conference brings major speakers and workshops to CTA members on an annual basis. The “human rights” portion includes ways to address minority concerns. It also provides access for members to information on a broad range of human rights topics from the harmful aspects of pesticide use to working with gangs and coping with drug-abusing students.
Each year, at the conference, CTA also presents the Human Rights in Education Awards to outstanding educators for their work in the area of human rights.