Answers to common questions about return to in-person
FAQ for teachers and support staff in TK-12 schools
Now that California schools have returned to in-person classes, teachers and staff on campuses up and down the state are having to navigate a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-August, the CFT held a tele-townhall meeting to connect directly with members and hear about your workplace concerns. Below are answers to the most common questions we heard from you.
Back-to-School Tour puts staff shortage in stark perspective
Dedication and inspired work of our members must be recognized
By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President
In early August, Luukia Smith, Lacy Barnes, and I ventured up and down the state on a three week Back-to-School: Forward Together Tour. We visited with early childhood educators, TK-12 teachers, classified workers, adult education teachers, and part-time community college faculty. We witnessed firsthand students learning in-person. We saw the incredible school communities our members have helped to build and visited campuses and classrooms to see CFT members in action.
What’s on everyone’s mind? The return to in-person
From urban to rural, community college locals weigh in
Most faculty members, staff, and students at the state’s community colleges have been teaching, learning, and working online for more than a year and a half due to COVID-19. Many planned to go back to their campus in the fall semester, but after a brief period of hope that the virus was on the way out the delta variant emerged in the summer, and in many areas, COVID is surging again.
Back to the classroom, but no contract
Facing inequity, lack of COVID protections, 96% of UC-AFT members vote to authorize strike
As they have for the past two years, lecturers at the University of California continue their effort to get the administration to bargain a fair contract. The last agreement between the university and the University Council-AFT, expired on January 31, 2020. The union’s negotiating committee has met with UC’s bargaining team on 50 occasions, yet the four most fundamental issues are still outstanding — high turnover rates, lack of performance reviews, widespread uncompensated labor, and compensation itself.
CFT launches community schools training program
Governor Newsom funds innovative schools at highest level in nation
The CFT has launched a training program following Governor Newsom’s extraordinary allocation of $2.8 billion to expand existing community schools and establish new ones.
According to CFT President Jeff Freitas, “This is a national effort, and California now has the largest amount of funding in the nation for community schools. These funds will assist nearly 1,000 community schools in our state.”
For most of her career, Kate Disney taught engineering at Mission College in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara. Disney learned the ins and outs of the West Valley-Mission Federation of Teachers contract when she became a union rep in 2017. She was elected president of the local in 2019.
“You learn about different sections of a contract as you go through different phases of your life and career,” she said. “Certain portions are more important at different ages.”