The Association of Clovis Educators may have to start gathering signatures from prospective members all over again starting this month, which marks the one-year anniversary of the founding of the budding teachers’ union.
Typically signatures are valid for only one year. However, ACE filed four unfair labor practice complaints against Clovis Unified with the California Public Employment Relations Board that could “complicate” the one-year deadline, ACE spokeswoman Kristin Heimerdinger said. She said she doesn’t expect the PERB complaints will be soon resolved.
“The anniversary of our campaign is an amazing milestone for us especially when we look back at all we have accomplished,” Heimerdinger said. “We realize change takes time, and we are committed to continue to promote the changes that will allow educators to have a real, independent union to lift up our voices and give us a say in the decisions that impact our profession and the students we serve.”
Heimerdinger said support for ACE has been strong across the district, but “obviously we haven’t achieved majority support aside from the psychologists who are now bargaining their first contract.”
That contract will mark the first for a group of Clovis Unified certificated employees, who up until now have not been represented by a union. Other Clovis Unified employee groups are in unions, but the district has long discouraged union participation by teachers and other certificated staffers.
More Options for Teachers
Since ACE announced that it was seeking to become the union representative for Clovis Unified educators, several other prospective unions have surfaced. In October, the Clovis Faculty Senate, the longtime district-recognized representative for educators, announced it was forming a “nonunion organization” called the Clovis Teachers Organization that would seek PERB recognition as the teachers’ labor representative.
In December, Independent Clovis Unified Educators announced that it would seek certification as a labor union but would remain unaffiliated with state and national teachers labor union organizations. ACE is affiliated with the California Teachers Association and National Education Association.
ACE’s unfair labor complaints allege that Clovis Unified was interfering with its organizing efforts through an ongoing misinformation and surveillance campaign, and asked PERB to stop the district from controlling and funding the Faculty Senate.