The issue of union organization is very personal to me. I have taught in an Alliance public charter school for four years. I have watched the Alliance network grow and change for the better – charter schools that are thriving where students are achieving and being nurtured. There is no perfect school, but at Collins the administration has always had an open door policy and makes the time to hear your voice and consider your input.
The decision to unionize really comes down to a few basic questions: Are we well-compensated for our work? Are we empowered to shape learning in our classrooms? Do we feel protected and supported? Does working at Alliance make us want to stay in the field?
My answer to all of these questions is yes and I see nothing from the unions to make me think it would be any better. Before coming to Collins, I taught in a traditional public school and was a union member. I had less freedom with my time and my curriculum.
Most of my colleagues at Collins love our school, our students, and our positions. Our jobs are safe and protected, because we do a good job. I earn more at Alliance than I would at an LAUSD school. I do not worry about being laid off or being forced to take unpaid leave days, because Alliance College-Ready schools are strong and growing.
If you sign a union card you are signing away freedom and donating your hard-earned money to an organization in which you are only a pawn. It is not a club where if you sign a card and join you can quit if it doesn’t work out. Tell your colleagues who want a union to leave you alone. We have students to teach who love us and need us.