It takes top-notch representation and resources to get a good contract. That's why CSEA has such a successful record of achieving the most for its members, in good economic times and in bad.
CSEA provides a wide range of negotiations resources to bargaining team members and chapter leaders—all designed to ensure that you get everything you deserve when your chapter goes to the bargaining table.
Each year, CSEA holds workshops all over the state to train bargaining team members in the nuances of negotiations. Participants also get updates on the latest trends, legal developments and bargaining strategies.
CSEA provides each of its chapters with professional staff experts who specialize in bargaining strategies, wage and benefit standards, and the legal framework for contract language. Meanwhile, staff attorneys help chapters enforce bargaining rights, and the Governmental Relations staff works hard to expand those rights and to increase funding for public education.
The CSEA Research Department provides chapters with district budget analyses, with search results from the union's database of chapter contract clauses and wage/benefit settlements, and with the CSEA/ACSA annual statewide compensation survey for K-12 and community college districts (so bargaining team members will know what surrounding districts are paying for similar jobs).
From the moment they walk in the door—whether they come from the membership, off a college campus or from another union—CSEA field staff get immersed in classified laws, bargaining techniques and organizing strategies.
New labor relations representatives (LRRs) go through a two-week, intensive orientation that covers everything from the various bargaining styles to the ins and outs of unfair labor practices, the worker’s compensation system and the Education Code.
Each year, the 130-plus LRRs employed by CSEA get a “refresher course” at a week-long field staff retreat. During the week, they get an in-depth explanation of the state budget and significant legal opinions from the past year, along with information about retirement and health benefits.
LRRs can also attend several special-topic workshops. The union’s Administrative Hearings Institute is a popular program among the field staff. Attorneys put the reps through their paces learning how to handle employee discipline hearings, arbitrations and other hearings. Many LRRs also attend the CSEA Organizing Institute, where they learn how to put together political, internal and school board campaigns.
And every day while they’re on the job, LRRs can call on the expertise and advice of the senior LRR in every field office. With years of experience, the seniors have seen it all. Their primary task is to share that knowledge with their newer colleagues. It’s a system that has earned CSEA respect in the labor community.