The National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) and the California Teachers Association (CTA) agreed to establish a collaborative program to serve migrant children and youth on both sides of the border, so that they can continue with their training, regardless of nationality, migratory status, gender and ethnic origin.
This program includes, among other actions, the preparation of educational materials, a protocol that provides elements to teachers on how to act with their students, the use of SINADEP (online platform created by the SNTE for professional development), the Guide for Teachers of indigenous education (developed between the SNTE and Unesco), english teaching, reciprocal visits to schools and the exchange of teachers in short stays
The agreement was established in a meeting in the city of San Diego, held between the general secretary of the SNTE, Alfonso Cepeda Salas, and Eric Heins, president of the CTA, who stressed the need for this alliance to ensure better working conditions, wages and benefits to their members.
In his speech, the teacher Cepeda Salas referred to the Migrant Protection Strategy, which was recently announced by the Mexican government, and pointed out the SNTE's coincidences with these measures, especially those aimed at providing training and expanding the education, health and sports programs to raise life quality.
After mentioning that in each school year about 3 thousand 200 foreign children arrive in Baja California, many of them deported, Cepeda Salas stressed that "the fundamental value of unionism and teachers is solidarity (...) and today we are gathered to add efforts on the issue of migrant children and youth, a matter of equity, of social justice. Building bridges, not walls. "
Eric Heins, president of the CTA, congratulated himself on initiating a joint work with the SNTE. By stating that "we do not believe in walls," he was convinced that the institutional relationship will pay off in the social sphere.
Cepeda Salas was accompanied by professors Mario Aispuro Beltrán and María Luisa Gutiérrez Santoyo, general secretaries of sections 2 and 37 of the SNTE, respectively, who explained the situation that Baja California faces with the increase in migration, a phenomenon that they warned It has worsened in recent months.
They recalled that state authorities have undertaken attention programs, such as the upcoming opening of a school in the Tecate region, where the classes will only be in english; however, they said, the commitment of teachers is fundamental for any policy to have good results.
The meeting was also attended by professors María Antonieta García Lascurain Vargas, coordinator of the National Association of Social Liaison; Job Bernache Guzmán and Lorena Margarita Zacarías Contreras, representatives of CEN in sections 2 and 37, respectively; as well as Javier González Monroy, teacher of section 2, and Abraham Israel Zumaya, of the section 37, who will be responsible for following up on the SNTE-CTA agreement.
Representing the Teachers Association of California attended professors Robert V. Rodríguez and Barbara Dawson, members of the Board of Directors, as well as Susan Skala, president of Chula Vista Educators.
The CTA represents 360,000 workers in public schools and universities, among teachers and support staff. It is part of the National Association of Education, the largest teaching organization in the United States, with 3 million members.