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Lawyers for Teachers & Certified Education Employees

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Education Attorney Services

Are you looking for an alternative to the California Teachers Association (CTA) model of teacher representation? Goyette, Ruano & Thompson (GRT) offer attorney services for teachers and other certified education employees – it costs about ½ of what teachers currently pay in union dues. The experienced education attorneys at GRT will act as your professional negotiator at the bargaining table. Rather than your shop steward, we serve as your lawyer for every legal matter, and we give the teacher’s association local control over their finances and decisions without creating more work for the teacher’s association Board.

The Problem With Traditional Teacher Union Representation in California

Did you know that if your union has a local issue and wants to get involved in local politics, or elect a pro-teacher School Board Member, you have to request your own money and the issue usually has to jive with a higher-up, sometimes state-wide agenda to be approved?

Want a better model? Consider choosing GRT as an alternative to CTA for teacher associations in Sacramento County.

  • With representation from GRT, it’s your money to spend how you choose. There’s no need to seek state approval first.
  • As an independent public teachers association, your association can bring GRT on board for responsive, superior legal and labor representation for half the dues currently paid in the typical CTA union model.

Legal Representation for Independent Associations

Tens of thousands of California public employees are going independent. Put another way, these employees are represented by smaller independent public employee associations, which means they’re not attached to CTA, SEIU, AFSCME, or any of the other large national and international unions.

Public employee associations represent California public employees that work for the state, counties, cities and special districts, including police officers, nurses, mid-managers, firefighters, general employees, and everything in between.

There are even public school teachers operating under this model, including traditional public and charter schools.

At GRT, we offer a CTA alternative to teachers because our education attorneys are seasoned labor and legal professionals who have been working for independent employee associations for decades.

Put simply, we know this model works. We’re committed to ensuring we provide superior value and effective representation to our teacher union clients, whichever stage they’re at in their career and whatever their issue.

How Our Better Model Works

If you’re looking for an experienced and proactive teacher association in Sacramento, here’s how our model works and why it’s preferable to the alternatives.

  • Once a bargaining unit of teachers in a school district decides to act and decertify the big union that has been controlling their labor rights, they elect to be represented instead by an independent association made up of all the teachers in that same district. This new independent association has its own set of bylaws and simply replaces the big union with respect to the contract with the District.
  • Instead of paying $1,000/year in union dues to support a massive organizational and administrative bureaucracy that siphons away as much as 90% of the money towards the state and national union, you pay dues that are determined locally by you and your colleagues to cover the actual cost of providing the services that you need.
  • The independent employee association collects the lower dues and then contracts with labor and legal professionals to provide the representation for the membership.
  • Labor professionals provide the research and expertise to educate and advise the association’s negotiating team, as well as handling contract enforcement and grievances.
  • Lawyers represent the association and individual members in disciplinary matters and legal disputes, instead of stewards that are often undertrained and always in the difficult position of defending a co-worker.
  • The elected Board of Directors sets the agenda and policy of the association, without having to defer to the state or national unions on any matter. An independent association does not mean that current practices or contract provisions are nullified or changed. What it does mean is that the membership does not have to consult with or get approval from anyone before trying something new.

If the association wants to keep dues the same as they are now, they can do so, and then decide how best to allocate that extra money. Some may opt to build up a reserve or contingency fund; others may choose to become more actively involved in local elections, including for their local School Board; and some may decide that they want to make a sizeable direct contribution to a big union in support of their broader political and social agenda (it is unlikely that the donation would be declined…).

This model works. Ask around. Chances are that your local police officers’ association or deputy sheriffs’ association are not affiliated with a statewide or national union (though they probably belong to a lobbying organization and/or legal defense fund) and they pay substantially less than teachers do in dues.

Learn More About the GRT Model for Teacher Representation in CA

The truth is that CTA and CFT have had a virtual monopoly of teacher representation in California. While we can debate the long-term success or failure of such representation statewide and nationally, there is no doubt that locally, the big union model is not responsive, not independent, but very expensive.

Learn more about GRT’s CTA alternative model for teachers.. Join us at an information meeting, check out our blog, or send us an email or call at (916) 851-1900 or frontdesk@grtlaw.com. Take control of your labor representation – and save a lot of money while getting a far better product while you are at it!

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Questions? Give GRT Law a call for your free consultation.

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