#MembershipBlitz In November the Peralta Federation of Teachers, launched a six-day membership drive as part of a year-long strategy to recruit and engage members.
To prepare, the union audited membership files to make sure it had a signed membership form for every member. It then coordinated instructor schedules, recruited volunteers, finalized logistics, and assembled new member packets with helpful union information and a new union sticker.
During the six-day blitz, 26 member volunteers talked to more than 300 faculty, librarians, counselors and nurses. Staff from CFT and other AFT locals aided the effort that enlisted 44 new members and collected 224 signed membership forms.
“Members were able to connect with us during face-to-face conversations,” Local 1603 President Jennifer Shanoski said. “Overall, the drive was a great success and will serve us in the face of the looming Janus decision.”
#DeserveARaise The Ventura County Federation of College Teachers organized a board action to address the lack of progress in bargaining. Negotiators are in their second year of bargaining a three-year contract and the district is offering no salary increase for full-timers, and only 1 percent for part-timers, over the three years.
This followed a $40,000 pay boost for the chancellor, while the district holds a nearly 30 percent reserve.
Another important issue is a guarantee for part-timers that classes with at least 15 students will not be canceled. Administrators are arbitrarily closing classes when they believe the enrollment is too low.
#LaborScholarship Sandra Lepore devoted 33 years to organizing and building the AFT College Staff Guild before she retired from its executive director position in 2015. Local 1521A recognized that dedication by creating the Lepore Labor Scholarship and making it available to Los Angeles community college students committed to labor studies.
Lepore recently presented a $1,000 check to the first recipient, Amy Chong, who earned a sociology degree at East Los Angeles College and is now studying public policy at USC. Chong interned for the local’s sister AFT union, the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild.
“It’s very exciting to bring new people into union activism and politics,” Lepore said. “It makes me feel like I’m part of the future.”
#SaveOurSchools Thousands who attended raucous rallies in Los Angeles Unified, from Harbor City to North Hills, sent a message to the public about what’s at stake if we don’t stop starving our schools and start supporting educators.
United Teachers Los Angeles members spoke to the many concerns in their classrooms that drove them to the streets. Parents, students, educators, and community groups massed on November 16 in six locations under the “Save Our Schools” banner.