The division, suspicion, and fear I worked under (for 12 years) in a unionized district was very stressful. Coming to Clovis was completely refreshing! In Clovis, I am allowed to speak up to my admin about problems. I can share my ideas freely and off the top of my head. Teachers and administrators in Clovis have the freedom to come up with solutions and put new ideas into practice quickly. Sometimes we try and fail, but we are always allowed to try until we find success. This is possible here because there is no bureaucracy to hinder movement towards what is best for kids. Here in Clovis, administrators are my partners, not my adversaries.
In coming to Clovis, I learned that I could be friendly with my leadership team and not be whispered about by other teachers. No one here is labeled a “snitch.” No one wonders who is “in admin’s pocket.” I imagine these things are hard to understand if you’ve never worked under a union. You’ll see that the Clovis union organizers are making it very clear in their emails that, “Under no circumstances will administration see who signed our union support petition.” Already, the divisive, secretive nature of the union is revealed.
I believe the intentions of the Clovis union organizers are good, but they know not what they do. They wholeheartedly believe they can avoid the stressful quagmire I described above, but it isn’t so. They just don’t know what they don’t know. Over time the beast that is the Union will overpower them and their ideals. The Union will seek what is best for itself, even when it is in direct opposition to the will of its members. CTA is an excellent example of a union that no longer represents its members, but rather pursues its own political agenda (frequently with no connection to education) with the funds provided by its members. To say CTA supports education is simply not true.
What is true is that Clovis Unified can make big improvements especially in the area of communication. None of us would argue that. Our Faculty Senate is not broken, but it does need an overhaul. There are people working on it right now. Let’s focus there. If changes are needed, let’s create them there. During a pandemic is not the time to make a change of this magnitude. The fabric of our community will be irrevocably altered by a union. It will never be undone. Unions always keep an ace up their sleeve.
We have it so good here in Clovis. If you have never worked for a teachers’ union, you may not be able to appreciate it. It isn’t perfect, but it is by far the best circumstance for teachers, students, and community members.
Reyburn 7th grade A