CSEA recognizes the importance of helping its members grow both personally and professionally. We understand that providing classified employees with professional development is a win-win for the chapters it represents and lives they come in contact with on a daily basis. That is why portions of Sunday and Thursday were dedicated as “Education Days” at this year’s annual conference.
Topics have included: rights in a merit system; do’s and don’ts in negotiation; what to do if chapters are attacked by outside agencies; best practices in purchasing health insurance; engaging members; and effectively communicating the value of CSEA membership.
We asked delegates what they learned on Thursday.
Veronica Rico, Secretary III, Los Molinos Chapter 806
Adam Zendejas, Head Custodian, Pittsburg Chapter 44
Additionally, CSEA offers many training opportunities throughout the year. Check out upcoming available opportunities online today.
Thursday morning was dedicated to CSEA’s success in protecting the rights of public school students and classified employees at the State Capitol. California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the delegates via video. Delegates also heard from CSEA’s Outstanding Legislators of the Year, approved CSEA’s 2019-20 Budget, and attended Education Day Workshops.
“I just want to express a deep appreciation on this 93rd anniversary of this convention of the work that you do,” Governor Newsom told delegates via video. “It’s not just the teachers that we need to celebrate, but it’s all of you that are shaping all of our children every day by your example.”
Newsom went on to praise the work of bus drivers, custodians, secretaries and other specific job classifications and the important role they play in the education and development of California’s students.
“The way you go about your job every day – it’s shaping the minds and lives of so many of our children. So, I just wanted to thank you for that,” Newsom said. “But also to let you know, we have your back. I know we can do more, I know we can do better. I know we have a lot of work to do.”
Senator of the Year Connie Leyva took to the podium and thanked CSEA members for all that they do. She grew up in a CSEA union household—her mother working as a paraprofessional for the Chino Valley School District for 35 years. Leyva went on to be a leader in the labor movement, serving as president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1428. Today, she serves in the State Senate, where she fights to improve our public schools, make healthcare more affordable and strengthen the middle class.
“I love your theme this year, Facing the Future Together,” Levya said. “I want to face the future with you. I want to continue to work with you. I want to hear from you. On Team Leyva we have a saying: When you work together, we win together. So let’s work together and win together.”
Assemblymember of the Year Patrick O’Donnell addressed delegates via video. O’Donnell has authored a key piece of legislation that would hold charter schools more accountable to local communities. Last year, he led the fight to increase funding for special education and ensured the voices of paraeducators were included in the conversation.
“I want to thank you for what you do for schools every day,” O’Donnell said. “It does not go unnoticed in Sacramento. As a longtime teacher, I know the blood, the sweat, the tears and love you put in to move California’s students forward.”
The Walter H. Blice Award, also known as the Wally Award, has been given to CSEA members who inspire others with their tireless dedication to political and legislative programs. This year’s Wally Award winner was Luis Guerrero, Chapter President of Tustin Chapter 450. Guerrero is a night custodian during the week at Tustin Unified and a weekend custodian at Irvine Unified.
During his leadership in Tustin Chapter 450, membership increased less than 60 percent in 2017 to nearly 75 percent in 2019. Additionally, in the MUP program, he recruited 110 new chapter members and 27 new Victory Club members. Furthering the union’s service in the broader community, Guerrero has done precinct walking for CSEA endorsed candidates, including Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent and Josh Newman for State Senate.
The Circle of Stars Awards is vital in encouraging chapters to increase enrollment in the Victory Club. This year, the PACE Committee presented this award in two categories. Category One includes chapters with the highest “percentage” in net growth of Victory Club membership over the prior year. Category Two includes chapters with the highest “number” in net growth of Victory Club membership over the previous year.
The recipients in Category One were:
The recipients in Category Two were: