Cynthia Contreras

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 CTA is an excellent example of a union that no  longer represents its members, but rather pursues its own political agenda (frequently with no  connection to education) with the funds provided by its members.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.  

Cynthia Contreras 
Reyburn 7th grade A

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