DETROIT – Monday, March 31, is widely known as César Chávez Day, and it will be a busy day for the newly formed teachers union at César Chávez Academy (CCA), Detroit’s largest charter school. Ironically, while communities across America celebrate the legacy of labor leader and civil rights activist, César Chávez, the unionized teachers at CCA will be testifying at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding a string of Unfair Labor Practices committed by The Leona Group—the for-profit company that manages the day-to-day operations of the charter school.
The teachers union, The César Chávez Academy Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff (CCA ACTS), is negotiating a first contract with the CCA Board of Directors and the Leona Group. On Monday, over a dozen of CCA’s teachers will be out of the classroom because they have been subpoenaed and will be at the NLRB testifying about several Unfair Labor Practices that occurred over the last year of contract negotiations. The Leona Group and CCA Board of Directors will be required to answer charges that include unilateral changes to working conditions, failing to negotiate mandatory subjects of bargaining, and retaliation against known union activists. CCA ACTS is confident about the outcome, and they expect that all teachers will be back in the classroom.
On Monday afternoon, CCA teachers will be joined by over 600 parents, students, alumni, teachers, union leaders, public officials, and community representatives at a screening of the new Diego Luna film, “Cesar Chavez.” The showing is sponsored by AFT Michigan and CCA ACTS. The film documents Chavez’s struggle to unionize immigrant farm workers in California. Throughout the organizing campaign and contract negotiations, teachers at CCA drew inspiration from Chavez’s work and his legacy as a union organizer.
The events on March 31 come on the heels of a large demonstration earlier this month where over 200 students,
parents, teachers, and community marched through the streets of Southwest Detroit in an effort to regain a voice at CCA. The educators of CCA ACTS believe that all stake-holders, including parents and community members, should be included in the decisions that affect the school community.
WHAT: César Chávez Movie Screening & Solidarity Event
WHEN: Monday, March 31, 2014
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
WHERE: AMC Star Fairlane (at Fairlane Town Center)
18900 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI
WHO: Over 600 parents, students, alumni, teachers, union leaders, public officials, and community representative