San Diego, CA (January 8, 2020) – A group of employees at Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA), .....
January 8, 2020. "According to teachers who spoke with California Policy Center, these teachers approached their colleagues at odd times to sign a document and provided misleading statements about the nature of it. According to a school nurse, “I was ultimately rushed to sign the paper and was not given time to read it.” While some teachers complained about this process to the director, nothing was done because state law prohibits school officials from intervening in a labor organizing effort."
The newly minted teachers union at Gompers Preparatory Academy in southeastern San Diego is still without a contract a year after formation and now an effort is underway to dismantle the union altogether.
The creation of a teachers union a year ago at the long-hailed Gompers Preparatory Academy charter school has divided the school community. Now some teachers are petitioning to get rid of the union.
With schools across the country now shut down as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, many parents are gamely trying to keep the education process going outside the classroom, without unnecessary and harmful delays, by enrolling their children in online public charter schools.
The primary reason Gompers Preparatory Academy converted from a failed district union school (under the SDEA) was to sever ties with the union therby escaping the failed bureaucracies that made Gompers one of the most dangerous and low performing schools in the city. Escaping the union was the best option, and it worked!
Below are excerpts from the November 2019 Newsletter
Dear GPA Families and Community Members,
Gompers Preparatory Academy continues to meet with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA), in affiliation with California Teachers Association (CTA), to work toward a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). We want to assure you that we are working hard to incorporate the unique needs of GPA into each proposal throughout this contractual process. This takes time and careful planning, as we hope GPA will remain the special school that it is designed to be. Therefore, we hope our GPA belief system will live in every aspect of the union contract. Creating proposals that represent the belief system of our school is revolutionary work that has not yet been done between a charter school and a union. This takes time and an immense amount of work. We consider all stakeholders in every decision, not just teachers or “unit members,” but also our support staff, parents, community supporters, and, most of all, our students. The table below shows the contract “articles” that have been proposed by GPA so far in this process. It is important to note that the original demands, made by teachers in November 2018, included 7 targeted areas; which has now become 17 articles SDEA is proposing upon GPA. Although the list has more than doubled since teachers unionized with SDEA/CTA, those bargaining on behalf of GPA are committed to writing proposals that meet the unique needs of our students.
Despite the amount of work invested in the articles being passed and our efforts to meet as often as possible while we also operate our school at the highest level needed for students, parents, and staff, SDEA continues to claim that we are not moving fast enough. We have offered additional hours (on top of the hours already scheduled) of bargaining time during the already-busy months of November and December. SDEA was still dissatisfied and reminded us that if we did not find more time to meet with them, their bargaining team members could request to use valuable teaching time to bargain instead of teaching students. Please know that we will continue to do our best to balance the demands to bargain with the needs of the students and the needs of the school.
While we remain dedicated to reaching an agreement with SDEA that preserves the wonderful, unique spirit of GPA, bargaining has been made more difficult by inflammatory statements that continue to be made by SDEA and members of their bargaining team. One that was particularly troubling was the assertion that all teachers feel there is a “culture of fear and silence” on our campus created by leadership. We are very concerned by these statements as we believe they serve only to create more of a divide on campus. The nature of this language creates an “us versus them” feeling that is often used as a tool to legitimize the union’s presence. It is the opposite of what Director Riveroll, the founders and leadership team believe, as we continue to have an open door policy. This has not changed, nor will it, regardless of the circumstances we have been through in the past, present or future. Furthermore, if this is indeed the feeling of some, which we do not take lightly, we strongly encourage all staff to continue to reach out to any founder and/or member of the leadership team to engage in conversation and receive support; a practice that has been in place since the start of our charter and will remain a staple in how we do business as an organization.
In addition to the fact that we have always made a practice of being available for one-on-one meetings whenever needed, and that countless staff members continue to drop by, text, call, and visit leadership often, please note the following opportunities staff have been given to share ideas, concerns, and learn together so far this school year:
Lastly, Gompers Preparatory Academy made a promise to our parents 15 years ago to build a school worthy of our most precious gifts - our children - and to ensure they have a safe and joyful learning environment with a pathway to college. We will work tirelessly and unwaveringly to continue to keep that promise regardless of the new bureaucratic challenges ahead of us. (Click here to. see the entire November Newsletter)
Letter sent to all GPA Staff, about the history and belief system.
GPA Bargaining Team response to the SDEA rep meeting with NAACP who tried to prevent Director Riveroll from receiving NAACP award
This online article is filled with misconceptions about our school. Current teachers wrote a response to the editor addressing the inaccuracies.
Article written about the formation of the union, tells only part of the story, how many teachers are left in the dark by the Gompers Teachers Association and the SDEA.
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KUSI News about the Teachers Union
Gompers Teachers Association, teacher representatives pose for a photo published in the SDEA's own publication. We are disappointed in the misrepresentation of the teachers and staff! This newsletter was placed in teacher's boxes in the San Diego Unified School Disctrict. The original photo showed one GPA teacher using his middle finger holding something, this picture has since been replaced by a 4th draft.
Halfway through the article mentioned what is happening at Gompers Preparatory Academy "Outraged non-union teachers and parents in the school community are now engaged in something like hand-to-hand combat over the school’s future." read more....
Representing the Parent Union at the Platicando con mi gente Community meeting at Horton Park in San Diego, CA.
Representando a la Unión de Padres en la junta de la comunidad “Platicando con mo gente” en el parque Horton en San Diego, CA.
There are several ways you can have your voice heard, but most of all when it comes time to vote make sure you vote NO SDEA/CTA/NEA. Educate your fellow teachers a
Ask question, visit their website. Learn what they are about and trying to do.
The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB or Board) is a quasi-judicial administrative agency charged with administering the eight collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California's public schools, colleges, and universities, employees of the State of California, employees of California local public agencies (cities, counties and special districts), trial court employees, trial court interpreters, supervisory employees of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and judicial council employees.
Los Angeles Regional Office
425 W Broadway, Suite 400
Glendale, CA 91204--4118
Los Angeles Phone Directory
Help your fellow teachers know the truth. Show your fellow teachers this website.
When the meeting happens, voice your concerns. Let people know how the Association collected signatures and that this is not good for our students, community or school.
Under current PERB case law, authorization cards cannot be revoked for one year. Good news, your year is up. Your signature no longer owned by the SDEA, however, you have to make it clear to them and Opt-Out now.
The Education Employment Relations Act and PERB regulations afford employees the right to decertify their union through an election conducted by PERB. The process is similar to the process used to certify a union through an election. The “reverse” process may be initiated by a decertification petition filed by a group of employees within the bargaining unit, or even another labor organization seeking to replace the current one. The petition can only be filed by unit members and must inclued Proof of Spport by 30% or more and include Proof of Service. This can only be filed after January 2nd, 2020 because this is 12 months after PERB officially recognized the Exclusive Representative and in an Email sent by the Gompers Teacher Association, it to confirms January 2nd, 2019.