CFT United

Overview

CFT United

CFT United, previously named California Teacher, is the union’s flagship magazine that is emailed to all union members. The award-winning digital magazine contains union news important to members, and covers major issues in each division of the CFT: PreK-12, Classified, Community College, University, and Retired. Browse stories by date here or by index.

CFT United is published regularly during the academic year. We welcome unsolicited articles, letters, and story ideas. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Publications Director Jane Hundertmark.

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California Teacher labor solidarity international

Nine killed in Mexico fighting punitive education reform
Government turns to violence, refuses to negotiate

Since the killing of nine demonstrators in the Oaxacan town of Nochixtlán on June 19, Mexico has been in an uproar over the force used against teachers resisting corporate education reform. As the school year started on August 22, teachers in four states refused to return to classes until the perpetrators of the massacre are held responsible and there is a negotiated agreement to change the government’s program.

California Teacher

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Through the hard work and advocacy of leaders, members, and staff, the CFT recorded one of its most successful legislative sessions ever. During the 2015-16 session, the union sent an unprecedented five CFT-sponsored bills, and helped send another three priority bills, to the governor for his signature. Gov. Brown had until September 30 to sign or veto the bills, which are listed below.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, Sept-Oct 2016

LOCAL 6554
Contagious…This spring Ann Marie Wasserbauer, president of the Association of College Educators, delivered 513 petitions from faculty and students to the West Valley-Mission Community College Board of Trustees with the message: “Come back to the bargaining table!”

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Sept-Oct 2016

Jennifer Russell, psychology teacher and member of the Novato Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1986, was selected as the Marin County Teacher of the Year for 2016-17 and honored for helping students learn about themselves through portfolio assignments and equipping them with skills necessary for college success in her AVID courses. Marin County’s superintendent said to her, “You have mastered the art of teaching students that achievement is much more than a number or letter.”

California Teacher Elections 2016

Primary Election 2016: CFT endorses proven leader Kamala Harris for Senate seat
California’s Attorney General brings educator values to a crowded field

With the retirement of Sen. Barbara Boxer after 24 years as a progressive champion, Californians are heading to the polls to fill the first open U.S. Senate seat in decades.

And the ballot is crowded: 34 candidates have filed to replace Boxer, although the clear front-runner is Democrat Kamala Harris.

California Teacher strikes accreditation ACCJC

San Francisco City College faculty calls one-day strike
April 27 action protests college administration stonewalling

Rain, wind, and a four-hour round trip from her home could not keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike in the school’s history.

“I wanted to support my fellow faculty,” she said. “There’s a lack of respect for faculty here. That’s what led to this strike and all the time, energy and effort the union has put into it.”

California Teacher AFT

The first 100 years of the AFT

From eight local unions to 3,000 locals and 1.6 million members

World War I and the Depression: The American Federation of Teachers was founded in Chicago, with eight locals signing on as AFL President Samuel Gompers welcomed the union into its fold in 1916. The union operated from one room of AFT Financial Secretary Freeland Stecker’s five-room bungalow in Chicago. President Charles Stillman lived next door.

California Teacher librarians

Librarians negotiate professional development and salary
Entry-level pay lower than at CSU and the community colleges

The University Council-AFT is negotiating with UC over two key articles of its contract covering librarians — salaries and professional development funds — says Axel Borg, distinguished wine and food science bibliographer at UC Davis. He sums up the common concerns between the union and the university as competitiveness, compression, and consistency. 

California Teacher union fair share Vergara

Victory! Courts reject conservative anti-union lawsuits
Attacks on educator rights and union fair share halted…for now

On April 14, the California Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision in the Vergara v. California case. The suit sought to dismantle seniority and due process rights for teachers in the name of students’ equal access to education. The appellate court wisely ruled that there is no constitutional link between tenure and student performance.

California Teacher labor solidarity Rank & Files labor art

Honoring “letter carrier who sings” turned teacher
Old school troubadour and modern Joe Hill among top labor artists and activists

Jimmy Kelly comes from a union family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his grandfather, father and two brothers were all union members. “I grew up in a different era, in a town that traced the origin of its labor movement to the great strikes in the steel mills,” he recalls. “We learned labor terms in fourth grade.”

California Teacher staff shortage

Crisis in the classroom: California confronts teacher shortage
Poor working conditions, modest pay, and teacher bashing exact a toll

A decade of bashing teachers has left California and the nation with a dire shortage. Demand for K-12 teachers has increased while the new teacher supply is at a 12-year low.

Enrollment in California’s teacher preparation programs has dropped by 76 percent over the last decade, far below what is needed to fill vacancies, according to Linda Darling-Hammond, faculty director at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. 

Right for the job: When paras and classified become teachers
CFT sponsors bill to assist support staff transition to certificated status

When Shannon Ferguson was a 20-something, she didn’t really focus on her community college studies, and after a few semesters her father suggested she look for a job with good benefits.

“He said that soon his benefits wouldn’t cover me anymore,” Ferguson recalled. “Dad was a teacher and mom was a paraeducator, so I naturally thought of applying with the Oxnard high school district.”

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Apr-May 2016

Jennifer Foreman, an English teacher at North Monterey High School in Castroville, and member of the North Monterey County Federation of Teachers, Local 4008, was named a Unionist of the Year at the annual Monterey Bay Central Labor Council awards banquet in late April.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, Apr-May 2016

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.