Clovis Educators Push to Form Union

Clovis educators have launched an organizing effort called the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE) in hopes of forming a union within the Clovis Unified School District.

ACE describes itself on their website as, “the collaborative and collective voice of Clovis Unified School District’s hard-working, dedicated educators.”

The organization consists of educators from various roles in the district such as teachers, counselors, parents, psychologists, other educational professionals and more.

The idea of ACE was first sparked back in July of 2020 when the pandemic first hit.

As stated on the association’s website, the challenges faced during the pandemic showed that, “The voices of educators were being routinely left out of key decisions being made about our students and schools.”

After a group of educators from the district came together and realized many of them shared the same experiences, they decided to create ACE in hopes of forming a union for over 2,100 professional educators in Clovis Unified.

The association recently published a letter to the Clovis Unified community acknowledging the creation of ACE and why the union would be a benefit to Clovis Unified educators and students stating, “The continued success of Clovis Unified, its students, and its educators depends upon our addressing these needs immediately and effectively. “

ACE also noted that after researching and discussing amongst the group, areas of growth from within the district include, “educator representation and inclusion in decision making, district transparency and communication, diversity in our representation, both in culture and in subject area, and productive dialogue and collaboration,” but are not limited to these ideas.

With 73 signatures already signed to their petition, the association said it will continue to circulate around the district to all educational professionals until a majority of signatures have been collected.

Educators both new and old to Clovis Unified have joined ACE in hopes of becoming one of the 92% of educators in California who have formed unions in both public and charter school districts.

In the press release published by ACE, Buchanan High School teacher of 28 years, Krisitin Heimerdinger said, “Clovis educators and schools are known for their excellence, and we believe that to stay true to our district’s core values, forming a union is our next important step.”

“Though many of our concerns have been building for years, a mismanaged school reopening during this pandemic has shown us that district decision-making is broken and does not value all students equally. Educators need a meaningful seat at the table and we believe a union is the best way to ensure a strong future for our students and schools for years to come.”

Clovis Unified is one of the largest school districts in the state that has yet to form a union to represent its professional educators.

Halle Sembritzki was born in the small Swedish village of Kingsburg, California and graduated from Kingsburg High School in 2017. She now attends Fresno State and will graduate with her Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism in spring 2021. She aspires to use her voice as an outlet for those who can’t use their own and hopes to educate the public on important news topics happening within her community and the country.