President's Updates

President's Update October 10, 2023

Happy Tuesday TEA! Many people tend to talk about THE UNION… it is OUR UNION. Each and everyone of us. We are only as strong as each of us working together can be. Without U and I there's no Union at all. Your membership and your participation matters! 

Happy Tuesday TEA!

Many people tend to talk about THE UNION. After sitting through our school board meeting this past Monday I even saw shirts that disparage teachers unions as a whole. What I hope everyone reading this remembers is that this is not the, a, their or any other defining word….it is OUR UNION. Each and everyone of us. We are only as strong as each of us working together can be. Without U and I there's no Union at all. Your membership and your participation matters! 

As we embark on the ninth-ish week of the school year, it is great to hear from so many people, but I wish that everyone had the peace and calm that is needed at this time to get through the days as easily as they should. Every time I’m able to visit a classroom and see you in action I am in awe at how amazing, yet so different, you all are. You are creating and making magic happen each day and are the reason that this district is successful and pulling students through. Please take care of each other and most especially yourselves. This is a calling, but it is also a job. In a meeting recently I mentioned how Tustin seems to hire the most driven teachers, constantly pushing and working themselves. While this may be good for a district's bottom line, it is not always good for each of you personally. Remember to give yourselves grace, and to take care of yourselves and each other first. Thank you for everything you do! Your membership in TEA Matters and I appreciate and love getting to work with, and for you! 

Here’s the latest from TEA:  

  • Congratulations to Jesse Holmes from Hicks Canyon, our new Elementary Director. 

  • Negotiations - 
    • TEA’s negotiations team started September 28th with their first session this year. The only item on the table for bargaining this year is Compensation. They continued bargaining for two days: October 5th and 6th, and will continue as needed from this point forward. That said we do have both TEA and TUSD interested in renewing the MOUs for Elementary Planning Days and the Induction program. 
      • For those of you new to TUSD, we participate in bargaining that is less oppositional than traditional bargaining and practice Interest based bargaining. The process takes a bit longer, but also helps to build some better relationships between those doing the bargaining. 
    • As the team continues to move forward they will take with them the direction given last year, through our interactive bargaining survey’s and meetings at sites, that compensation is best on schedule and that we are working towards what is best for the whole of our membership. 
  • Wear your Support - 
    • It’s a new year and a new chance to order ~ Everyone who wants to wear their TEA pride is now able to do so by just picking out their favorite choice-  You may choose one item (any item) and we will handle the ordering, shipping and sending to you. Take this opportunity to wear your Union pride. Even if you don’t wear it daily (you can of course, the sweatshirt is super comfy), then wear it on Tuesdays, for TEA, or anytime you hear that we are bargaining to show your support for our bargaining team! Order your choice HERE.  
    • Would you be interested in wearing your support in a different color, or on a different item of clothing? - let us know what you think. Go HERE to give your opinion. 

  • T.E.A.’s Annual Fall Event at BJ’s is just around the corner. Make sure to mark your calendars and save the date. We hope everyone will come and share in food, drawings, and Pizookies with us. 
  • Transitional Kindergarten - TEA met recently with the district and our TK teachers. TK is an expanding area in all districts and just like all of those in the state we are experiencing some growing pains (and some pains from actual physical behaviors). Items that were discussed include:
    • Diapering, toileting - Teachers will not be responsible for Diapering or assisting with toileting students. 
    • What to do in the case of a child who has difficult behaviors - there was a slide presented with multi points on how to handle behavior. TEA feels that it would be great for all grade levels at elementary to have and to see. 
    • Supplies and Budgeting by District
  • Additional ongoing Conversations with the District:
    • Induction - TUSD is continuing to share the interest of renewing the MOU from last year. They were working with the OC Department of Ed. to try to see if they could manage payments directly to avoid having new teachers make the total payments. At this time it seems like this year will mirror last years. That means that teachers will be expected to pay the full cost of induction $3,600 plus the initial price to join the program, and then will be reimbursed $1800 by the district upon completion of the year of induction. TEA is thrilled that the district is looking into paying directly for the half they have agreed to pay. We wish this could also be happening this year, but do know that we will continue to work to ensure that induction is a primary focus and that our newest teachers and members are not having to pay the full price without any help. 
    • Bathrooming Issues (Kinder) - Please see the TK section above. TEA understands that there are kinders showing up in diapers as well and toileting has become an issue. This is something that the ECE community state wide is also having to come to grips with and looking to explore more. I hope to have more information for you after the CTA state council on the direction from the state itself and CTA. Until that time, Kinder also should not be diapering or toileting a student. 
    • Special Education - 
      • Caseloads for SLPs/ SAIs - as it pertains to the levels within ed. Code. Several movements have been made in the recent weeks to adjust caseloads for both SAIs and SLPs. 
      • Overall Workload and time for IEPs/ testing
      • Additional Caseloads.
    • High School Minutes - There is still discussion regarding the addition of minutes and the Wednesday early start. Our bargaining team brought it up during negotiations and we continue to have discussions. 
    • Safety - After the additional training last year and discussions on how to make our sites safer overall, we have continued to discuss ways that safety is important at each site. 
      • To better understand issues at your sites - an example:- WIFI - at the sites. We have heard that some sites have little or no access to the internet unless they are using the district WiFi and even then coverage is difficult. Because many of us would have to use our own devices in the case of a lockdown or specific safety incident, and most of you are not able to even access district WiFi should you have to for an emergency - and that is just one example. If you have safety concerns at your site please go HERE and let TEA know. 
  • Contracts and Legal- 
    • Teacher Evaluations - Please make sure that you are reading our contract in regards to teacher evaluations. Here are some items that may help during this year if you are being evaluated. To read all of Article 11 as it pertains to Evaluation and Observations
      • 11.1.2 No later than forty (40) workdays following the commencement of duties, the immediate supervisor shall meet with each bargaining unit member to develop objectives for the school year. (Day 40 - was the week of October 1-7) 
      • 11.1.5 If a bargaining unit member with permanent status has been employed by the District for at least ten years, is “highly qualified” as defined by 20 U.S.C. section 7801, and has received a most-recent evaluation that meets or exceeds expectations, the bargaining unit member and evaluator may agree to an evaluation at least once every five (5) years. In these circumstances, either the bargaining unit member or the evaluator may withdraw consent to this five-year evaluation cycle at any time. 
        • California Ed. Code allows for our administration to formally evaluate an educator whenever they would like. Even if on the five year year reprieve, they may still opt to evaluate. If you have a new admin. They may also choose to evaluate. Even Ed. Code was not written to honor us as educators, it was made more to help out those who evaluate and give them time by doing less evaluations.
      • 11.1.8 No bargaining unit member shall evaluate another bargaining unit member.
      • 11.1.9 No bargaining unit member shall be requested or directed to backdate any documents related to the provisions of this article. 
    • Substituting for a Colleague:
      • Article 4.5.6 - The compensation for a unit member assigned to the high school who teaches an extra period shall be one-sixth (1/6th) of the unit member’s daily rate of pay.  
      • 4.5.7 Unit members who are asked to substitute for a teacher on leave (i.e. sick leave, conference, Personal Necessity) shall be compensated as follows:  
        • Middle School and High School  The long term substitute rate divided by the number of periods served  
        • Elementary School  The long-term substitute rate divided by the number of teachers covering the students of the unit member on leave 
      • The resultant pay shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.  
  • October  is: While this is a list that was started the first week of October - there are a few resources to share on dates that may have passed. It’s for the month so you never know what you may want to use for next year. 

  • Filipino American History Month
    The CDE encourages you to recognize each October as Filipino American History Month. - commemorating the arrival of the first Filipinos in modern-day Morro Bay, California in the United States on October 18, 1587. Filipino-Americans were known as Luzones Indios back then, and they were primarily the Filipino sailors who were enrolled into the Spanish navy as native laborers during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. From the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza, they arrived at the shores of present-day Morro Bay, California. Following years of campaigning and advocacy by both the civil society and organizations, the Filipino American National Historical Societyestablished Filipino American History Month in 1992. In  2009, Congress recognized the month of October officially as Filipino American History Month in the U.S.

  • World Teachers' Day  - I may have missed the actual day, but we all should be honored and recognized daily. I think it applies to every day of every year, this just happened to be World Day - on the 5th :0) October 5 is recognized as World Teachers' Day. This day was first created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Foundation (UNESCO) in 1966 and remains a holiday today, celebrated every year on October 5th. Check out the Unesco site HERE for more information and an interesting look at teachers and our profession from around the globe. 

  • BANNED BOOK WEEK - I know it was last week, but it seems like an ongoing subject - just in case you are like myself and love to read (and most especially love to read those that you are told you shouldn't read) here is some information. 

  • Indigenous People's Day
    • It is observed annually on the second Monday in October. Indigenous People's Day is a holiday in the United States that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct. 9, it’s important to educate students honestly and accurately about Native history and the people whose land we occupy. NEA has compiled a variety of important resources for teaching and learning about indigenous peoples, as well as a recommended book list.
    • Resources for teaching about Indigenous Peoples

  • World Mental Health Day 
  • CTA Conferences - Please remember if you are interested to fill out a TEA request and to send an email to our office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


  •  NEW EDUCATOR - CTA’s New Educator Weekend (NEW) is a conference for new CTA members. This NEW conference is for educators in their first three years in the profession. The conference has everything that educators need to be successful in their first years of teaching, including sessions about classroom management, creating engaging classrooms, lesson plans and ideas, connecting with your union, student loan forgiveness information, member benefits, project grants and more  Register HERE. TEA has approved to send 10 members to this conference. 

  • Solidarity Conference - CTA understands the significance of unity, and this conference is all about harnessing the strength of our collective experiences, cultures, and communities to create positive change. The Solidarity Conference will feature general sessions and workshops where educators and community leaders will share their stories, insights, and strategies for empowering our communities and classrooms. Register HERE  TEA has approved to send 5 members to this conference. 

  • Issues Conference - 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. The 2024 conference will take place January 12 – 14. Register HERE  TEA has approved to send 10 members to this conference. 

  • Good Teaching South - 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. Register HERE or click link above.  TEA has approved to send 20 members to this conference. 

  • Remember CTA/NEA Sites and Helpers - As members of TEA you are also members of the larger unions at the state level (California Teachers Association/ CTA) and the national level (National Education Association). Make sure to check out their websites occasionally and sign up for any information items you may want to follow. I have attached a few things from the most recent NEA one on books and some items I found interesting. 

  • Click the link Above or HERE to check out the latest news from NEA including: 
    • Survey: Teachers Work More Hours Per Week Than Other Working Adults
      • According to a new survey by the RAND Corporation, teachers work an estimated 53 hours a week—seven more hours than the average working adult.
      • Teachers also report much less satisfaction with their base pay than other working adults—and 25% of their work is uncompensated.
  • Early Chapter Books for NEA Members - Author Mary Pope Osborne has a Read Across America gift just for NEA members working in Title 1-eligible schools: $75 worth of Magic Tree House titles while supplies last. Register for a First Book Marketplace account, select your books, and use our special member code (NEAMAGICTREEHOUSE) at checkout.Click the link HERE or on the flyer below.  - Personally I had forgotten this site, but I used to use it during the holidays when I was at Thorman (when it was still Thorman). I would buy a discounted case of books (or two) and each student would get a few books as a gift. This site may be helpful if you are working on expanding your libraries, or if you like to buy in bulk to hand out to your students. It also now has the opportunity for you to purchase and hopefully get the discounted $75 off. 

  • Member Benefit Services - 
    • California Casualty’s Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant program will award $1,000 grants for middle and high school athletics programs.  Apply Today for this very popular association member benefit!  Applications for this year will be accepted through January 15, 2024.

  • Provident Credit Union Educator Appreciation $2,500 Giveaway
    • Enter to win! Founded in 1950 to serve the California Teachers Association, Provident Credit Union is honored to host a $2,500 giveaway to recognize the immense value CTA members bring to the educational community. What would you do with $2,500? Take a vacation? Save for a special occasion? The choice is yours.
      • Entry Period - August 1 - October 31, 2023
      • Winner will be announced: November 8, 2023
      • Contest Rules:
        • You don’t have to be a Provident member
        • You do have to be a CTA member
        • Must be a resident of California
        • You can enter once a month (max 3 entries) per household
        • ENTER NOW

Have a great rest of your week! 

In Unity,

Lisa Hickman
President, Tustin Educators Association
Teacher, Heideman Elementary School 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
(o) 714.505.6365
(C) 949.378.6723

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