Clovis Unified teachers one step closer to forming union

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) — Clovis Unified teachers are getting one step closer to forming a union.

The effort to form a union began a couple of months ago and supporters say they feel confident they will receive enough signatures by the next school year. 

However, Ryan Smith, a teacher with Clovis Unified, does not support the new union being proposed.  

“There are some good things the union can accomplish but I don’t think the negative out ways the positive,” said Smith. 

Smith said he grew up with Clovis Unified and believes they work best as a non-union school district. 

“You know all of those things that we have had for decades that are Clovis teachers fighting for Clovis teachers you know having a third party come in to represent us is something I wouldn’t like,” said Smith. 

Smith said Clovis has a way of living that is unlike the rest of the Central Valley. Smith said he and other educators put students first and it shows in their dedication to work. Something he feels might get lost if they unionize. 

So, with the help of other Clovis Unified employees like Joni Sumter, they created a website explaining why they are not in favor of unionizing their district.

Sumter said they have already received hundreds if not up to a thousand supporters. 

“Many many people I talk to who haven’t had the opportunity to fill out the link or form who are not in support of unionization so that number is an ambiguous number to know,” said Sumter. 

However, Kristen Heimerdinger with the Association of Clovis Educators said Clovis Unified employees tend to have the largest class sizes and get paid the least across the Valley. Something Heimerdinger said a union can potentially change. 

“Historically we have worked a longer school year we worked more days than other districts we have higher class sizes than other districts we are the worst paid in the area than other districts,” said Heimerdinger. 

Heimerdinger said they did not receive enough signatures before the end of the school year. So, they will continue their work over the summer if educators have questions. 

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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