How is the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE) different from the Faculty Senate?

​Both ACE and the Faculty Senate involve dedicated Clovis educators who are committed to supporting our colleagues, students, and schools. However, there are key structural differences that enable ACE to be more effective at protecting what we love about Clovis and making the improvements that will ensure our educators and students thrive.

Real Say in Decisions vs. Advisory Only

Once we establish ACE, we will be a real and effective part of the decision-making process in our District. Despite its best intentions, the Faculty Senate only plays an advisory role.

With a union, CUSD administration is legally obligated to meet and negotiate with us in good faith. This obligation is established in the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), the California state law that governs labor relationships in public schools. This means district administration and the school board must work with us as equals when making decisions about important issues that impact our classrooms, professional responsibilities, and students. Specifically, the law ensures we have a real say in decisions about class size, caseloads, schedules, salary, benefits, our evaluation process, stipends, safety, prep times, academic freedom, student support services, leave policies, how district resources are best utilized, as well as many other issues important to our community.

The Faculty Senate is too often limited to just “communicating concerns.” District leadership and the CUSD Board are not required to consider Faculty Senate input and are within their rights to disregard their suggestions when making decisions. In fact, when educator concerns are brought forward by Executive Board members to District Office administration, a common response is, “We are not hearing that.”

Union Contract vs. District Policies

Once we unionize, we will negotiate a union contract with administration based on priorities identified by our colleagues. Once established, our union contract cannot be changed without the agreement of Clovis educators. Our contract will protect the conditions in which we educate and our students learn.

District policies are different. Without a union, they can be changed by administration at any time without our input. Even when district policies are established to address problems raised by educators or the Faculty Senate, they can be unilaterally changed. Sadly, we’ve witnessed this too often—most recently during the pandemic.

Democratic Decision Making

Decision making in our union will be transparent and rooted in democracy. ACE leadership will be elected by all union members. That means school site ACE leaders will be elected by their colleagues at their school sites and district wide ACE leaders by all members district wide. Importantly, our leadership and organization will also include the many important educational professions (such as psychologists and counselors among others), grade levels, and academic departments that help our district succeed.

In contrast, the Faculty Senate Executive Board is chosen by Faculty Senators only and many of our professional educator colleagues have historically not had sufficient representation in the Senate.

The bottom line is as ACE, Clovis educators will be more effective at protecting what we love about Clovis as well as making the changes our colleagues and students need to succeed. As part of this process, we look forward to working with Faculty Senators to best represent our colleagues, protect our students, and make Clovis more unified.

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