CONTACT: Tamara Soemali at 559-313-5093 or email@example.com
Clovis Psychologists ‘Paving the Way’ as ACE Organizing Campaign Continues
CLOVIS – Just a few months after a historic organizing campaign began among Clovis educators, its school psychologists are filing a petition with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to form a union, the first ever for these certificated professionals in the school district’s history.
A supermajority – nearly 75% of Clovis Unified School District’s 78 school psychologists - have signed a union support petition. A union of psychologists is a first step toward a larger organizing effort designed to give Clovis educators a real voice in education decisions that is now underway and expected to continue over the summer and into the next school year.
Once the union support petition is certified by PERB, representatives from the psychologists’ union and the district will sit down and begin discussing issues and negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement.
“This pandemic has revealed how very critical it is that schools prioritize student mental health in the upcoming year,” said Tamara Soemali, a school psychologist who has been with the Clovis Unified School District for 25 years. “Our union, a building block to our larger efforts to organize throughout the district, will allow us to have a meaningful seat at the table as critical decisions are being made surrounding the unprecedented state and federal resources available to our schools. Our voice will help ensure that our students not just recover but thrive after this pandemic.”
On April 5, Clovis teachers, psychologists, itinerant specialists, school counselors and other educators in Clovis Unified School District announced the formation of the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE), to build a union so that educators could have a meaningful, independent voice in decisions that impact students and schools.
Soemali added, “We are very proud to be paving the way for other educators’ organizing efforts and call on the district to respect our right to organize and speak with a unified voice on behalf of the students we serve.”
ACE efforts to organize the more than 2,100 educators in the district continue. ACE leaders are currently holding conversations with dozens of certificated colleagues, conducting a survey of bargaining priorities and have begun a process of meeting and conferring with district leaders and voicing their concerns.
Earlier this month, ACE filed unfair practice charges with PERB regarding Clovis Unified School District’s support and control of its Faculty Senate, claiming the way the district represents the Faculty Senate’s scope and power, uses district resources and undermines educators’ voices violates state labor law.
Clovis Unified School District is one of the last large school districts in California without a union that represents educators.
For more information about ACE, go to cloviseducators.org
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