Strikes and threats of work stoppage are a reality in public education. In fact, ACSA can help, because member benefits include strike preparation assistance.
“ACSA membership means that district and school leaders have access to services and a network of knowledgeable staff who can help get members through some of the most challenging times in their careers,” said Senior Director of Member Services and Support Margarita Cuizon.
Our strike preparation assistance helps guide district leaders through the process of developing a tailor-made district strike plan.
“We have staffers who have lived through teacher strikes themselves and are knowledgeable about how to prepare and survive a work stoppage when a school district finds themselves in that situation,” Cuizon said. “The workshop is completely free, customizable and is brought to the district upon request.”
“Strikes can be devastating and if you have never had to go through one, you should count your blessings,” said Joseph Jones, a member of ACSA’s Member Assistance and Legal Support Team, and an expert in dealing with strikes. “But the negative impact could be minimized if a district is well prepared. That is where our decades of experience with planning for a strike can be of service.”
Since July 1, statewide, five school districts have received some form of strike assistance from ACSA. The range of services varies from a full training on a detailed strike plan to assistance with finding substitute teachers, to simply getting quick advice over the phone.
Riverbank Superintendent Daryl Camp knows what it can be like to face a work stoppage. He used ACSA’s strike preparation services in 2016 when his district found itself in the middle of a contentious negotiation process with their teachers’ association.
“I heard that ACSA had a strike manual. After discussing the situation with Joe Jones, a plan was developed that consisted of Joe meeting first with my cabinet team and second with all site and central office administrators in the district,” Camp said. “He did an excellent job of providing a historical perspective on work stoppages in K-12 environments.
“He also helped us to see the urgency in the situation which sparked the development of plans to respond to a work stoppage, as well as to develop a well thought out communication plan with respect to negotiations.”
While Camp was already aware of strike preparation services and reached out to ACSA for help, Cuizon says many members have no idea this type of assistance is available.
“We know that many of our members are not aware of this service and if they are, it might not be on their mind to call us for help, so we take a proactive approach and reach out to districts immediately when we hear about a potential strike,” Cuizon said.
Districts that would like to learn more about strike preparation or need assistance should contact Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find ACSA’s 2016-2017 Leadership Manual here.
ACSA believes that an educated citizenry is essential to democracy, every person deserves respect, personal dignity is a human right, diversity strengthens community, and transformative change requires the courage to take risks. ACSA is proud to offer a wide variety of benefits to its members, including mentorship programs, leadership and networking opportunities and discounts on personal and professional products and services. Learn more about ACSA member benefits and resources.