On Wednesday, September 11, at the monthly meeting of the Three Rivers Union School board of trustees, five teachers did something unprecedented in the history of the 92-year-old school district. They stood in solidarity to affirm their membership in the California Teachers Association (CTA).
The unionized teachers are not seeking pay raises, but expressing a commitment to continue to serve the district and the children of Three Rivers. It was stated that that these union teachers are committed to Three Rivers School after the impending retirement of Sue Sherwood, superintendent and principal of the 133-student kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school.
Laura Himm, fifth grade teacher and the school’s union representative, read a prepared statement. Himm said later that five of the eight teachers received their union cards last May; monthly dues began in August for the 2019-2020 school year.
One other teacher has since applied and is awaiting her union card. One teacher is supportive of the union but elected not to pay dues. One teacher elected not to join.
In the statement read by Himm, the decision to organize a collective bargaining unit was to ensure the ability to negotiate future contracts. The unsigned portions of the 2019-2020 contract deal with health insurance cost and activities after school hours.
Board secretary Sue Winters stated that trustees could hear comments but are unable to comment on the union or the unsigned current contract.