The Sunday Wall Street Journal publishes a weekly list of “Ten Things ____ Won’t Tell You” in the Sunday business section of affiliated papers around the US. It can be interesting and a bit of fluff as well. This week they chose to focus on health insurance. Given the changes in Butte County benefits in the last couple of years, it is worth a read if only for some background and a little perspective about where we fall in the current climate. This is a link to the original content on the Market Watch website. It is a slideshow, obnoxious to navigate, but worth clicking through the pages for the information. Happy reading!
I would like to share a few thoughts from the great organizer Fred Ross Sr. today. Ross was an extraordinarily influential and somewhat overlooked organizer. He began organizing after graduating from USC in the late 1930’s and continued through the 20th century. He supervised the camp that John Steinbeck wrote about in the Grapes of Wrath and was the only supervisor known to push back against the injustices there. He helped folks learn to organize around the issues of racial segregation in the workplace, schools and community; Japanese interment and reentry; civic improvement; police harassment; workers rights; and voter registration; across California. He trained Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla and Cesar Chavez in community organizing. Fred Ross Sr moved countless people to stand up for what they knew was right for themselves and for their communities, together they made significant changed to the laws and practices in California.
These are thoughts from Axioms for Organizers by Fred Ross Sr, a booklet published in 1989:
Every Day – Organizing isn’t a job done once and done with. If organizers don’t renew their efforts every day of their lives, then only the grasping and greedy people remain active.
Doing It “For” People – If you think you can do it for people, you’ve stopped understanding what it means to be an organizer.
Winning Hearts & Minds–to win the hearts and minds of people, forget the dry facts and statistics; tell them the stories that won you to the cause.
The Laborhood is a new online community for folks in and interested in the labor movement. It is a well-designed site with articles, bits of information about labor in California, areas to share your story, get involved, and fun and games. Check it out! The app is also worth a download.
Thoroughly enjoy your Labor Day!
We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately. -Benjamin Franklin
Under current law, more than 75 BCTA educators are classified as temporary employees with no possibility of earning due process rights. We have teachers who have worked in our district dating back to 1977 who are still classified as temporary employees. A temporary employee has no assurance of a job the following school year which puts educators in the position year after year, of waiting each spring to hear if they will be employed in the fall. Students and families depend on seeing the same high quality, caring staff in the fall that supported them the previous year. This puts undue stress on children, programs and educators.
AB1619, by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), is now making it’s way through the legislature to address this inequity. Most teachers in California can earn due process rights after a probationary period of a few years, most educators who work in each County Office of Education and educators from smaller districts are unfairly excluded. This bill is supported by CTA and CSEA in an effort to provide equal rights to all educators and stability to our schools and students.
Michael Martinez, from our Migrant Education program (also a negotiator for BCTA and our Secretary) went to Sacramento on March 26th to testify for the State Assembly Education Committee on our behalf. Michael told a compelling, and familiar story . Please take a moment and watch here the portion of the hearing about the bill begins at 2 hours 26 minutes and Michael begins at 2 hours 31 minutes. There is a short article on the CTA website about this bill with a bonus photo of Michael! BCTA would like to extend our gratitude to Michael for taking the time to share his experience with the folks at the capitol who need to hear our story!
Cesar Chavez devoted his adult life to promoting and protecting the rights of workers. Help spread the story of this civil rights leader who inspired families to stand up for their human rights and the rights of future generations.
The fate of a movie is decided in the opening weekend. Get together with friends and family to see this film this weekend (March 28-30) and ensure it will be available in more cities to spread this important story. There are links to find the movie in your area and information about hosting a movie meet up at this link.
BCTA membership has voted to ratify the agreement for compensation for 2013-2014. Click on the Bargaining page to learn the details.
This eye opening article about the tough times Paradise teachers have endured in the last several years will feel familiar to teachers in Butte County and across the state. We thank the Paradise teachers for taking the time to share their very personal stories with the community. They have spoken up for all teachers.
As we enjoy this long weekend, take a moment to reflect on the valuable labor we have provided to the students and families of the state of California this year. Our collective future is brighter for the work we have done.
Some thoughts on labor:
“The Labor Movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“My friends, it is solidarity we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.” -Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, 1902
“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.” -Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men and women have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men and women to capitalize their labor.” -Frank Lloyd Wright
“There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve alone.” -Lyndon Baines Johnson