With the publication of our Vice President Camille Zombro’s letter, our site has gained much unexpected attention, and I wanted to take the time to address who we are, and who we are not.
Who we are:
We are SDEA members. We include laid off teachers (4 out of past 5 years), veteran teachers, current SDEA leaders, former SDEA leaders, elected future SDEA leaders, and people who have been active in our union from 15 weeks to 15 years. We all share one core value: a strong teachers’ union is the cornerstone of a strong public school system. That means fighting every layoff, protecting middle class wages and benefits, and making sure our union is strong and accountable to its members. We are proud and excited to be doing this work, and we hope you join us.
We are educators who want to save our jobs, make sure they’re jobs worth having, and make sure members are involved and heard in the union process. That means that in a fundamental way, we are about bringing people together.
Additionally, unity is not being quiet for unity’s sake; unions are supposed to have lively debate, and do not always move in lockstep. Many unions have different groups inside of their union to promote a healthy dialogue about the direction of their union. And that is part of our purpose here: to have a free and democratic forum for people to exchange ideas. We have taken the time to research the inter workings of our union and the posts on these topics are simply intended to inform; we have received many thanks from educators who were grateful for the knowledge.
We want to see our union fight for every single job, and make sure those jobs are worth having. That’s the message that we are hoping to help unite members behind.
Building unity around our shared fight is how we win. Not building unity and waiting politely to see what happens to our contract this summer is how we, and the students, lose.
Who we are not:
Nowhere on this site or from any of our mouths have we ever promoted the idea of “splitting” away from our union.
Secondly, our other goal is to reach out to other educators to organize actions that can be taken to fight for our fairly negotiated contract, and most importantly, to fight for public education. We are losing good teachers because of this constant pink slipping. Our classrooms are overcrowded. Elective courses have all but disappeared. Our librarians and nurses are like endangered species- along with our much needed secretaries and classified staff. It is time that we fight for what is best for our students because in the end, it is the students who will suffer from a lackluster educational experience.
We ask that people get active. Email a school board member. Call a union meeting to discuss current issues. Pass out and/or create your own flyers with your site’s own message. Make a phone call. Comment on this site and write your own articles.
Thanks to those of you who have already contacted us and are getting involved. We’re excited that we’re growing, and we hope that means that we’re building a bigger and more effective group to fight back the layoffs, protect our contract, and protect public education in San Diego.
SDUSD Teacher, SDEA Member