Joint statement from Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and Kallie Leyba, president of the American Federation of Teachers Colorado (AFT Colorado), on forming an exploratory committee on consolidation:
“The CEA Board of Directors and the AFT Colorado Executive Board voted last week to form an exploratory Unity Committee to develop a vision of what would be possible if our organizations consolidate our power, strength and resources. We believe we must do everything possible to create power for P-20 educators in Colorado at the bargaining table, in the community, at state and local boards of education and at the Legislature. We have an incredible opportunity to unify and strengthen our collective voice to proactively fight for public education,the schools our students and educators deserve, the labor movement and to push back against those who seek to undermine public education and the collective voice of educators.
“Over the years, our organizations have worked together informally to fight back against anti-public education school boards and corporate interests in Jefferson and Douglas Counties, Thompson, Denver and other districts. We have collaborated at the state Legislature and in statewide electoral efforts. While we work well together informally, we believe it is time to explore a more formal partnership.
“The Unity Committee will explore creating a new merged organization that will be stronger, unified, and deliver more programs and services to members. As a unified organization, we can accomplish so much more than we can as independent organizations. This exploratory process will provide research and analysis to determine what a formal partnership could look like and what the benefits would be to our organizations.”
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