we are strong

Building strength through unity


CSEA has championed the rights of classified employees for nearly a century, transforming our members into respected partners of the education community. Today, we have a powerful, 91-percent membership rate and represent more than 220,000 employees throughout California, making us the largest classified school employee union in the nation.

“CSEA members have fought together to improve our quality of life, defend each other and our students, and further the values of our union and the belief that public education is fundamental to providing equal opportunity to all,” Association President Ben Valdepeña said. “When we stand together in our chapters, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. When we move together as one, we are unstoppable.”

Building strength through unity is at the heart of what makes CSEA such a powerful advocate for classified school employees. As a member-run union, democratically controlled by member volunteers in more than 750 local chapters throughout the state, we stand for and with each other. Our strength lies in the fact that our union is not some organization we belong to, but rather together we are the union.

“When we work together with our coworkers to win better wages and benefits, when we fend off budget cuts and defend jobs, and when we show our members the power we have in numbers, we are making our union stronger,” Valdepeña said.



CSEA History

CSEA History

CSEA began in 1927 when a group of Oakland school custodians set out to secure retirement benefits. Today, we represent more than 220,000 workers and are the largest classified employee union in the nation with a proven record of success in legislation, contract negotiations, retirement benefits, safety measures and employee rights...Learn More

Union Rights

Union Rights

Most of the legal rights and safety laws that protect American workers were not created out of employer goodwill, they were fought for by hard-working union members. Today, unions are more important than ever as workers are threatened by unprecedented attacks from political special-interest groups who want to roll back civil liberties and the right to collectively bargain for pay and benefits...Learn More

Join CSEA

Join CSEA

You work hard to improve the lives of the students you serve. That's why we work hard to improve the lives of the members we serve. When you join CSEA, you have a vote in our democratic union, a voice backed by our collective strength and value through our exclusive member benefits and discount programs...Learn More