President's Updates

President's Update Nov. 3, 2022

When writing an update, I try to include items that come in during issues we’ve worked on, questions that are poised, or general items that membership might want or need to know. Lately it seems like there are so many that the updates get longer.
Happy Thursday TEA!
When writing an update, I try to include items that come in during issues we’ve worked on, questions that are poised, or general items that membership might want or need to know. Lately it seems like there are so many that the updates get longer. Please take time to read the following. I realize there is a lot to go through and it may seem like it’s just one more email. But this is just one email from your Union. It has information that may answer questions, or help to facilitate more questions for us to answer.
Please also remember to take care of yourselves. This month thankfully has more time for us to rest, but we have also been given more to take on professionally. Please take care of yourselves and take care of one another.
Here’s the latest from TEA:  
  • Employee Assistance Program - When speaking with Dr. Johnson I mentioned the importance of mental health and the concern I always have on the pressures and health of our educators. He has promised to put more of a focus on what the district can do. In the meantime, during these times there is always something that I forget until it is needed. We have an Employee Assistance Program that is offered. This program is free to you and has a firewall so that nothing is ever told to our employers. It is an additional resource provided to us.
    • The Tustin Unified School District offers a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Anthem at no charge to employees. This plan provides you and your family members with up to 3 face-to-face and telephonic consultations for a wide range of emotional health, family and work issues including marital/family/relationship, stress/emotional, Legal and Financial and grief. Your EAP also features online services to help you balance work and life and take care of a variety of chores and challenges. The website includes resources, child and elder care search tools, and a children’s section.
    • To access your benefits, you can call the 24-hour CONFIDENTIAL EAP Line at (888) 209-7840 or you may visit the Anthem Resource Advisor website at  Then, log in with the program name: ResourceAdvisor.
    • To answer the many questions - yes, our team is working on compensation and our health and welfare. Our bargaining team has already met several times this school year and meet yesterday, November 2nd. 
      • Health and Welfare - is always the first concern as we have contract language that ties us to an automatic update if it is not settled and accepted by December 31st. Health and Welfare should be our first priority and once it is approved by bargaining and the TEA Exec. Board it will come forward to a vote of membership.
      • Compensation - our bargaining team is also already working on a compensation package. TEA is asking for your patience as we follow the IBB process and work for the best possible package for all members. Tustin has had a culture of settling early and settling with monies off schedule. We have heard membership over the last two years, and most recently from our interactive bargaining input survey’s, that members want monies on schedule and TEA agrees that this is a primary concern. We are also aware that other locals are settling for varied amounts. Both our team and the TUSD bargaining team are updated when settlements are reached around the county.  To answer some of the questions, no we cannot tell you what may have been offered or what we are working towards. Until it comes forward from our bargaining team and is approved by the TEA Exec. Board, and is signed on a tentative agreement, it is nonexistent. There have been some rumblings and announcements out there, but In spite of all the information that may be offered none is official. Nothing is official until you hear from TEA (President or Bargaining Chair) or a TEA and TUSD joint communique. Any information that has not been released may change or even be withdrawn at any time before a signed Tentative Agreement. Please be patient and know that your TEA team is working incredibly hard to bring you the best settlement.
      • Induction - one of the other portions of the above discussions is induction. It has been an ongoing point of negotiations since it was brought to TEAs attention last year. Our team is working to better the costs for our newest members who currently pay the highest cost for induction in the county. We also ask your patience as TEA is working to help and include this in a future settlement.
  • Middle School Minutes:
    • Just when we thought we had had it all decided, another issue came up. TEA met with the district and as of this letter being sent each Middle School in TUSD should be on the way to adhering to the MOU that was signed last year. Please click HERE if you would like to review the MOU again. TEA had agreed when sites were under, but was unaware of the sites that were over. The discrepancy meant that some of our sites were teaching hours over other sites on a weekly basis. While this may all seem vague and hard to understand. TEA agrees that this should have been underway and working before school began. That said, we are happy that the hours will now be fixed and that sites should be within the agreed upon times from last year.
  • Know your Rights:
    • Union Rights - Weingarten Rights - Your Right to Union Representation
    • “If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:
      • it can stop questioning until the representation arrives.
      • it can call off the interview or,
      • it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to union representation (an option the employee should always refuse).”  SCOTUS Decision, NLRB v. Weingarten
    • Contract/ Ed. Code Rights - You have a Right To:
      • Suspend a Student --EC 48910 - A teacher may suspend a pupil from their class, or class period, for any act specified in Ed. Code 48900, for the day of the suspension and the day following. The suspension must be immediately reported to the principal and the student sent to the principal for further action. The teacher must also request a parent/ teacher conference as soon as possible. The pupil shall not be returned to the class from which the pupil was suspended with the concurrence of the teacher and principal.
        • Removal shall not occur more than once every five (5) schooldays.  Ed Code 48925 (d)(3)
        • Middle School and High School students are suspended the day of and the following day, for that period only. Ed Code 48910
        • The district has three choices with the suspended student:
          •  1)  Keep the student in the office
          •  2)  Send the student home.
          •  3)  Place students in an on- campus suspension class.
    • Also:
      • “Suspension...shall be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.”  - Ed Code 48900.5
      • Document the strategies you previously tried. Be sure to include past communications with parents and administration.
      • Ask for support from colleagues and administration.
      • Inform your colleagues about their right to NOT have a suspended student place in their class, in the event this occurs.
      • It is generally recommended you provide work for the student.
  • Safety in the Workplace - - EC44104 - Whenever any school employee is attached, assaulted, or physically threatened by a pupil, it is the duty of the employee and the supervisor who has knowledge of the incident to promptly report the matter to the law enforcement authorities. Failure to make such a report is an infraction punishable by a fine. Any school employee who attempts to impede the making of a required report is guilty of an infraction punishable by fine. No Board member or school district employee may impose any sanction against a person for making this report.
  • Member Benefits:
  • The Standard: Don’t miss out! You still have time to enroll in CTA-endorsed Disability and Life insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) through November 15. Learn more and apply
  • If you have questions or would like help enrolling, schedule a personal consultation with a Benefits Consultant.
  • Members who have already applied will receive communications with their effective dates of coverage via the email they used on their enrollment form. Members that have Disability coverage with another carrier can drop their coverage the first of the month after they receive the confirmation email from The Standard.
  • November is:
    • Native American/Alaska Native Heritage Month  - Which recognizes the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States and pays tribute to their rich ancestry and traditions. Find multiple teaching resources and activities here and here. Celebrate the stories of Native Americans with these booklists from Colorín Colorado.
    • National Picture Book Month - Check out 30 Books for Picture Book Month from Black Children’s Books and Authors.
    • National Novel Writing Month - Start your novel with this “seat of your pants” approach to creative writing.
    • National School Psychology Week  - November 7-11, 2022, schools throughout the country celebrate National School Psychology Week (NSPW) to highlight the important work school psychologists do to help students thrive. This year's theme, "Together We Shine" is derived from how we see hope after several challenging years. To start conversations and promote the week, download this poster here.
  • Veteran’s Day November 11th- To all who served a huge Thank you. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I, honoring men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Share books from Veterans Day Read Across America Booklist to help kids understand why we honor those who have served the United States.
    • American Education Week - November 14-18   happens the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving. Each day of the week has its own theme, during which we celebrate our public-school community. The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week. Distressed that 25 percent of the country's World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education. The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for a designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”
  • Election day is Tuesday, November 8th - are you ready?!
    • in TUSD - or you have friends that ask for your advice as teachers - please remember that TEA has endorsed incumbent School Board member Lynn Davis. But even if you don’t live in Tustin, you can still help support the TEA endorsed candidate Lynn Davis. Post support to social media accounts, tell friends and family in the area. And get a yard sign to use in your car as a sun shield. A huge thank you to those that have helped to write postcards (all 2,500) and have already been to the office to get signs and help.
    • If you live outside of the Tustin area and are interested in the Teacher endorsed candidate for your area please follow this link to a list prepared by local presidents. HERE
    • You should always vote your own conscience but if you are interested and would like to vote with California educators and CTA recommendations on candidates and important initiatives, Visit for customized recommendations on your ballot.
    • The General Election is Tues., Nov. 8. Make sure you're prepared to vote by following a few simple steps here, including getting to know candidates and propositions that support students in our public schools and colleges.  All students should have the opportunity to learn, succeed and thrive. By voting for candidates who want the same things as we do for our students we can ensure strong, quality public schools that let students reach their potential. Visit for customized recommendations on your ballot. Check out these helpful resources and toolkits. And share your positions on key ballot measures and your support for the right candidates with friends and family - an easy way is to send them a digital postcard (sample above). #VotePublicEd
    • Additional Recommendations by CTA/NEA:
    • Re-elect Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    • Thurmond has a proven record of fighting for students and educators during the most difficult times. He partners with parents and educators to expand learning opportunities for all students, and to ensure they get the support they need to thrive, including mental health support. #EducatorsForTony
    • Additional - Please pay special attention to the reduction in costs to education around Prop 20. And Prop 30 is sponsored by Lyft with the funding set to come out of the education funding. 
  • Student Artwork Focus -
    • Highlight your students' work and their voice all at once. We have several past winners hanging in the TEA office currently. It would be great to have Tustin Students art highlighted and shown. Please consider doing with your class no matter the age. The submission form and poster may be found linked to the picture.
    • All submissions must be submitted no later than March 31, 2023 at noon.
  • Trainings and Conferences:
  • CTA's New Educator Weekend-South, has everything educators in their first three years in the profession need to be successful. Includes sessions on classroom management, creating engaging classrooms, lesson plans and ideas, connecting with your union, student loan forgiveness information, member benefits, project grants and more. Dec. 16-18, Hyatt Regency Orange County. Details and registration here. Our Vice President Paul Tschida will be presenting at the event with fellow science teachers from Tustin H.S.!!!! Which makes it an even better conference. TEA has allotted to send up to ten members. It’s local and close by so all people need to do is sign up and follow the process through the TEA website to register that you are going and to get the reimbursement process started.
  • CTA Issues Conference, January 13-15 (Las Vegas) - The CTA Issues Conference brings together local leaders and activists to learn, discuss, and strategize so that we can organize and increase our collective voice on the state and local issues that matter most in education. Registration is HERE
  • Good Teaching South - March 3-5, 2023 (Garden Grove) - The CTA Good Teaching Conferences supports excellent teaching and learning practices for classroom teachers via peer-to-peer instruction. Offering a variety of diverse workshops focused on curriculum content areas for K-12 teachers, the conferences provide opportunities for professional development and offer time to network and share ideas with colleagues and experts in the field of education. Registration for this event is coming soon. TEA has allotted for up to 20 members to attend.
      • Retirement Workshops - follow the link HERE or in the picture above. It’s always good to look toward the future and to prepare for retirement. Being online they can reach out to more and get more information to more people.
November is my favorite time - boot and sweater weather, holidays that deal around thankfulness and food, baking and…a little time off to sleep or catch up on items I haven’t paid attention to in far too long. I’m especially excited when this month has an election. It’s like the Super Bowl for this political geek. I really can’t wait to watch the returns on Tuesday night. This month may we all get extra time to do what we want. May we get to stop and spend time with those that matter most to us. And may we get to eat far too much food on a holiday that is all about being thankful and no gifts, but a person's presence is required. I am thankful for you as members AND thankful that I know all of you will get some time off for yourselves soon.
Have a wonderful rest of your week!
In Unity,
Lisa Hickman
President, Tustin Educators Association

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