How has your association been helped by having a professional representative guiding you through a contract negotiations?
As a professional educator, my education and training has prepared me for being an effective teacher, however it never prepared me for how to successfully represent employees at disciplinary hearings in danger of losing their jobs or how to prepare and negotiate a comprehensive labor agreement. G&A has brought to the negotiating table an experienced and polished professional negotiating staff and labor attorneys who are experts in their fields and at the top of their game.
CTA takes a huge amount of dues yet has created a representation model in which your colleagues, as part of a largely volunteer set of officers, bargaining team members, and shop stewards, do the vast majority of the work for your members. The money you send to CTA goes to pay for a huge, and ever growing, administrative bureaucracy, that apparently leaves no money for professional negotiators and lawyers to handle your disciplinary matters, contract enforcement, and bargaining.
Our Better Model is predicated on your independent teacher association having the freedom to hire, and thus fire, the labor and legal professionals that provide services to them. We do this every day and know what it costs to represent public employees, including teachers. The cost is far less than what CTA charges you because we don’t have the overhead and administrative costs they do, nor the political lobbying expenses they incur. Any extra money that you save (at least 50% of your current dues and maybe as much as 80%) can be returned to the teachers or spent on the services and issue that your local association decides is most important to you.
Currently, as a member of CTA, you must pay whatever CTA and NEA set as their dues. Because CTA is essentially a monopoly when it comes to representing public school teachers in California, the dues have predictably risen higher and higher – without any noticeable increase in services to the members.
The CIT Model returns to the teachers of each district the right to set their own dues.
An independent teachers’ association can set dues comfortably at half of what they are currently paying under the CTA model and still get professional representation in the bargaining process and to cover all contract enforcement and individual disciplinary matters. The professional services can be provided by a law firm such as Goyette & Associates that specializes in representing California public employee associations. These services can be provided to associations with memberships that range from a few dozen teachers to several thousand.
The cost of hiring professionals to handle the core services that the association needs is about 20-40% of the total dues currently being paid. That leaves 10-30% of current dues for the association to use for general administrative costs, other member services and local political action – or whatever the association chooses to do. That still leaves 50% of current dues to be returned to the individual teachers – call it the CTA dividend.
Don’t believe that a labor law firm actually costs less than CTA? It’s true, by a lot! Ask around. Police officers, firefighters, and other public employees pay as much as 80% less than teachers and routinely receive professional labor and legal representation that far outweighs what CTA provides.