Who We Represent
CSEA understands your issues
Representing more than 220,000 classified employees individually and collectively, we are the largest, most successful classified school employee union in the United States.
In today's classrooms, labs and career centers, instructional assistants and other paraeducators support and enhance the work of teachers in all components of the education process. Through training and career enhancement opportunities, CSEA has helped 'paras' expand their traditional roles in classrooms to function as technicians and specialists working in special education, bilingual and other programs. Each year, CSEA is proud to sponsor the California Paraeducator Conference with hundreds of workshops and dozens of expert presenters.
At CSEA, we know that school bus drivers carry the most precious cargo around. That's why we protect the rights of the safest and most qualified drivers in the state. CSEA has also sponsored several safety reforms including the 1968 law that requires all buses to carry the 'Stop when Red Lights Flash' sign.
The technology has changed, but secretaries are still the people who keep our schools up and running. CSEA has worked to ensure that secretaries receive the training they need to stay on top of their job and the technology that comes with it. From job descriptions to the grievance process, we also afford secretaries on-the-job protection that ensures a safe and professional work environment.
We know that repairing a school is not like fixing a commercial property -- it takes everyday experts who understand our schools and what it takes to keep them running smoothly. CSEA has a history of keeping maintenance jobs from getting contracted-out to private companies. We've also helped pass laws to make maintenance jobs safer.
Today's libraries have become visitors and technology centers, and CSEA has been at the forefront of keeping classified employees an active part of this rapidly changing workplace. CSEA has worked hard to ensure that our schools and their libraries receive as much funding as possible, so California students have access to quality books and technology resources.
CSEA was founded by a small group of custodians in 1927. Over time our union has grown larger and stronger by adding different classifications, but we still haven't lost touch with the needs and concerns of custodians. Since the beginning, we've been negotiating better pay and benefits, and winning professional recognition for custodians.
Food Service Workers
Our school cafeterias, and the people who work in them, play a critical role in the educational process by providing nutritious meals for children. For more than 50 years, CSEA has been battling against contracting-out of food services. We've testified in Congress on guarantees for school food programs, on school nutrition standards and on produce voucher regulations. At the district level, we've worked hard to cut costs and maintain in-house food services.
CSEA knows that being a groundskeeper today involves much more than just keeping the grounds. We know groundskeepers do everything from laying out lawns to mixing chemicals to plotting irrigation systems. We've fought to protect these jobs, ensuring that districts get the job done right by people who know the schools and their needs.
These are just a few of the many classifications CSEA represents. Together, we are the foundation of California's public schools and colleges.
This profile of CSEA members is based on information from CSEA and a survey conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Center for Labor Research and Education, Institute of Industrial Relations.