Community walks in for public education
Reclaiming schools…. On May 4, teachers, support staff, parents, students, elected officials and others participated in a series of walk-ins and other events in support of public education. Spurred on by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, which held walk-ins across the country, CFT members in schools from districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Daly City and Morgan Hill, as well as Cerritos College, turned out to show support for the high-quality public schools that all our students deserve.
Some of the ideas promoted at these events included: Educational justice means wages that allow teachers and families to live in the area near where they work. It means authentic collaboration and teachers and parents involved together in decision-making. It means extending Proposition 30 (passed in 2012) income taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Californians, and community support so that we have safe, stable, and supportive schools.
This was the second walk-in this year, following a successful event in February.
Spring training… More than 20 organizers from the CFT’s Strategic Campaign Initiative converged on the Central Valley for a four-day membership drive in collaboration with the State Center Federation of Teachers. They joined 30 member volunteers in asking agency fee payers to become full union members and sign a petition urging the board of trustees to bargain over paid office hours for part-time faculty.
The organizers and volunteers held about 200 conversations with fee payers at the four district campuses: Fresno City, Reedley, Clovis and Madera Colleges. They recruited 102 new union members and collected 176 petition signatures.
Despite a power outage at Reedley College, they organized an impromptu department meeting with chemistry faculty and Local President Lacy Barnes. Every faculty member at the meeting signed the petition.
“Our work here opens up the potential for the union to have a greater presence,” said Debbie Forward, from the Palomar Faculty Federation. “You have to start with conversations.”
Workers win back jobs!… More than 26 months after their initial terminations, four more employees of the Sacramento Job Corps Federation of Teachers are being returned to their jobs — with full pay and benefits — according to a May 17 decision from the National Labor Relations Board.
That means, to date, nine Job Corps workers who were unjustly fired have been reinstated and made whole. In addition, the NLRB ruled that six residential coordinators were unlawfully removed from the bargaining unit. It also adopted the administrative law judge’s finding that the co-employers are liable for the unfair labor practices.
Local support… The Cerritos College Faculty Federation is at impasse in its contract negotiations with the district and the local is putting its resources to work. They have organized faculty members to make presentations before the board of trustees and held numerous actions on campus.
They have also garnered support from their state Assemblyperson, who is a former community college math instructor herself. Cristina Garcia, D-Downey, wrote a letter urging the Cerritos College Board of Trustees to work together with the union for resolution.