Capistrano Unified Education Association (CUEA) is the professional association (teachers’ union) for the non-supervisory certificated employees in the Capistrano Unified School District. Its membership is composed of regular classroom teachers, pre-school teachers, special education teachers, music teachers, counselors, speech pathologists, psychologists, librarians, and nurses. There are currently approximately 2300 members of CUEA. CUEA is a local affiliate of the state organization, California Teachers Association (CTA), and the national organization, National Education Association (NEA).
A sixteen member Executive Board on which sit the CUEA officers, the Elementary and Secondary Representatives-at-Large, the CTA State Council Delegates, the Contract Manager, and certain committee chairs also serves CUEA. This Board meets twice a month during the months of September through June on the opposite Mondays from those when the Representative Council meets. Additionally, the Executive Board meets in August for an annual goal setting meeting, during which plans for association activities for the upcoming school year are formulated.
CUEA serves those members through an elected democratic body known as the Representative Council. This Council is composed of the CUEA Executive Board and 95 Building Representatives from sites throughout the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD). Each site has at least one Representative, and larger sites have several Representatives that sit on the Council. It is intended that each Representative will represent no more than 37 members. The ideal ratio is 1 Representative for each 25 members or major fraction thereof. Thus when membership at a site reaches 38 (13 more than 25), that site is eligible for a second Representative. The Representative Council meets twice monthly on Mondays during the academic year from September through June for the purpose of setting CUEA policy, approving the CUEA budget, communicating any concerns of members at the sites to CUEA leadership, and receiving information to communicate back to members at the sites. The Council members represent CUEA members at the sites in situations where the member may need advice or may need representation in dealings with management.
CUEA publishes an Association newsletter, called the CUEA NEWSLine , which is distributed to all CUSD teachers, school board members, certain community members, and many CUSD central office management personnel. "The NEWSLine" is generally issued quarterly during the school year. In addition, a monthly flyer, "CUEA In Brief", is distributed to members to keep them abreast of breaking news within the Association.
CUEA sponsors a Temporary Teacher Workshop each year for those teachers who have been hired by the district as temporary teachers and have not yet been converted to probationary teachers.
The Elections Committee is charged with overseeing elections for officer positions within CUEA, CTA State Council Delegate positions, and NEA Representative Assembly Delegate positions.
The Grievance Committee is chaired by the Contract Manager and is charged with representing bargaining unit members in the resolving of any conflicts that may arise with management and the adjudication of grievances. Additional members of the Grievance Committee are the Elementary and Secondary Representatives-at-Large.
The Membership Committee is charged with planning activities to attract members and to enhance member understanding of the benefits to which they are entitled as a CUEA/CTA/NEA member. This Committee sponsors a New Teacher Orientation for teachers new to the district each fall.
The Negotiations Committee is charged with negotiating the successor agreements to the Agreement Between the Capistrano Unified School District and the Capistrano Unified Education Association, or the Contract, as it is familiarly known.
The Political Action Committee is charged with planning strategies and campaign activities for the election of local, state and national candidates that are being supported by CUEA, CTA or NEA and for support or defeat of initiatives of importance to its members and public education in general. Also, this Committee contacts legislators and congressmen and women to lobby them on issues important to educators. The funding for activities sponsored by this Committee comes from contributions to CUEA’s PAC, which is named HOPE, an acronym for Help Organize for Public Education.
The Scholarship Committee is charged with receiving applications and interviewing prospective recipients of scholarships awarded annually in the spring by CUEA to dependents of its members who are embarking on post secondary education.
The Teacher of the Year Committee is charged with the duties of detailing and working out the annual event for the various Teachers of the Year. This committee works closely with the District in preparation for this event and is usually headed up by the Membership Chairperson.
CUEA maintains offices at 27422 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 100 in Aliso Viejo, California 92656. CUEA maintains an office for its President, Vice President, Treasurer, Contract Manager, and Political Action Chair. It is in the meeting room of this suite that the CUEA Executive Board and Representative Council hold their meetings. In this suite also is the office of the Executive Director hired by California Teachers Association to assist CUEA in carrying out its programs and to serve CUEA members.