Courtesy of UTLA
Educators in the United Teachers Los Angeles union march for a new contract on Dec. 15, 2018.

The California Teachers Association has named Gail Gregorio as the interim executive director to replace Joe Nuñez, who was abruptly terminated by the CTA’s board of directors last week.

Gregorio recently retired as an assistant executive director of the CTA’s regional field operations. Nuñez had been executive director for six years and the CTA has yet to explain why he was let go, apparently without any notice.

As the largest state-based teachers union in the country, the CTA exerts enormous influence on working conditions for teachers as well as on state education policies. It is also a political force in its own right, as it supplies the manpower for door-to-door organizing for political campaigns and initiatives and can also contribute large sums of money to candidates and other causes it chooses to support.

E. Toby Boyd, who succeeded Eric Heins as CTA president for a two-year term a month ago, said in a statement that he was “extremely pleased” to have Gregorio serve temporarily in the position during what he called “this transition period,” as the CTA launches a search for Nuñez’s more permanent successor. He said Gregorio “brings with her over four decades of union organizing, bargaining, membership engagement, political advocacy and management experience.”

The executive director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, which represents 325,000 teachers in California. The organization’s president, elected by the CTA’s State Council consisting of nearly 800 teachers, is typically the more public face of the organization, but is limited to serving two two-year terms.

Neither Gregorio nor Boyd responded to requests for an interview on Monday afternoon.

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