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 magazine contains union news and positions 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 EpiPens School Nurses

New law asks staff to perform more medical procedures
School employees “volunteer” to medicate students in danger

Senate Bill 1266, introduced by Republican Senator Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), and signed by Gov. Brown on September 16, requires public schools to stock emergency epinephrine auto injectors, known as EpiPens, on campus. This is an expansion of the law that said schools could stock the devices for students with a severe allergy to make it a mandate that all schools have the device on hand.

California Teacher Up Front

State of the Union highlights: CFT succeeds with a vision of social justice

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

The super wealthy and their swollen circle of reactionary think tanks and echo chamber conservative media are committed to eradicating what remains of the labor movement and giving corporations unlimited power over every aspect of American life. Public education stands as an obstacle to such a corporate world committed to keeping wealth and education in the hands of a few.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, April-May 2014

LOCAL 1078
Raise the wage
…Educators are joining the fight to raise poverty-level wages. The Berkeley Federation of Teachers is a leading participant in the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Berkeley and securing a better economic future for the city’s families.

California Teacher CFT Convention

Los Angeles mayor allies with CFT and educators

In some cities, the education unions and the mayor engage in battle. But that’s not the case in Los Angeles where Eric Garcetti was elected mayor in May 2013 with early support from the CFT. He welcomed Convention delegates Friday morning by saying he always keeps his education background in mind.

California Teacher CFT Convention

Leader of Moral Mondays Movement brings delegates to their feet

North Carolina’s Reverend Barber says it’s time for some righteous indignation.

“These are serious times,” Reverend William Barber II told the CFT Convention delegates on Sunday morning. Barber is president of the NAACP in North Carolina and the leader of the fast-growing Moral Mondays Movement, which protests cuts to education, healthcare and food stamps. He worked delegates into a fervor telling them that sometimes they needed to get out of their conference seats and go into the streets to fight back against things they think are wrong, and that it’s time for some righteous indignation.

California Teacher Lecturers Librarians

UCLA professor leads mobilization of lecturers and librarians
Statewide campaign builds on established strength in campus locals

Goetz Wolff has taught at UCLA for more than 20 years, but was generally more involved with Southern California’s vibrant labor movement than with the union on his job. Wolff, for example, earned high praise for his six years as research director at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, but barely knew the ins and outs of the University Council-AFT.

California Teacher Labor Solidarity

CFT boycotts Staples to save postal worker jobs

Union asks members not to purchase supplies at low-wage retailer

The CFT is boycotting office supply retailer Staples at the request of the American Postal Workers Union, which is opposing a no-bid sweetheart deal between the U.S. Postal Service and the giant office supply retailer to operate postal counters in Staples stores. An estimated one-third of Staples’ revenues come from the sale of school supplies, many purchased by teachers and other school employees for classrooms.

California Teacher

Course repeatability rules restrict student access, learning
Cabrillo College faculty lead effort to expose failings in new regulations

The new course repeatability regulations, passed by the Community College Board of Governors in July 2012, mean, in most cases, that if students pass a class with a ‘C’ or higher, they can’t take the class again. Many community college teachers see this negatively impacting students who want to study, for example, journalism, creative writing, foreign languages or visual arts.

California Teacher Unemployment Insurance Lobby Day

Staff seek equal access to unemployment benefits
Employees struggle to make ends meet when the paycheck stops during school breaks

Linnette Robinson has worked with special needs students at Berkeley High School for four years. Every winter and summer, Robinson, who has worked stints at other elementary and middle schools, tightens her belt and scrapes by during school breaks the best she can. “Most of us won’t see a paycheck from mid-June to the end of September,” she said.

California Teacher Elections 2014

Vote June 3 Primary Election: Educators work to reelect Tom Torlakson
Educators work to reelect Tom Torlakson

The Primary Election on June 3 includes a number of candidates, but no races are more important for educators than those for governor and superintendent of public instruction.

Gov. Brown partnered with CFT to pass Proposition 30 in November 2012, providing new resources for strapped schools and colleges after seven years of devastating cuts.

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, April-May 2014

Sharon Hendricks, a speech instructor, member of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, Local 1521, and a member of the CalSTRS Board, was elected by her colleagues as vice chair of the 12-member board for the 2014-15 term. The chair and vice chair provide board leadership, direction and policy development for the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

California Teacher CFT Convention

Raoul Teilhet: Delegates celebrate life of courageous former president

Raoul Teilhet, president of the CFT from 1968 to 1985, who oversaw the successful struggle for a collective bargaining law for education employees, was “a rock star,” said AFT Vice President and United Educators of San Francisco President Dennis Kelly. CFT President Emeritus Miles Myers read a poem and thanked Teilhet for the good times. Long-time CFT staffer Annette Eisenberg told of Teilhet leaving a registration form on her desk after finding out she had never voted, and how he made everyone feel they mattered.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

Local Control Funding Formula: New regulations specify use of funds for targeted students

On January 16, the State Board of Education adopted emergency spending regulations for the supplemental and concentration grant funds that Local Educational Agencies (districts, county offices of education and some charter schools) will receive under the Local Control Funding Formula.

California Teacher Charter schools

Morgan Hill educators fight to keep community-based schools
Silicon Valley charter chains eye San Jose suburb

The latest flashpoint in the big-money expansion by charter school chains in Silicon Valley is Morgan Hill, a bedroom community with rural roots just south of San Jose.

Within the last year both Rocketship Education and Navigator Schools petitioned to open charter schools in the Morgan Hill Unified School District. Following swift mobilization and communication by the union and community groups, the school board denied both applications.

California Teacher

UC-AFT: Putting union passion to work…

UC-AFT

Putting union passion to work. . . New UC-AFT Executive Director Amy Hines brings a passion for labor to the University Council. For the past several years she worked as an organizer for the California School Employees Association and coordinated the work of 10 labor relations professionals representing 14,000 classified employees in more than 125 districts. 
Hines has worked in unions since 2003, including UAW Local 2322, SEIU Local 1000, and AFSCME Local 3299. Proudly, she said, “I am honored to have been welcomed in all nine UC-AFT locals within my first three months working here.”

California Teacher Retiree chapters

Union establishes Retiree Organizing Committee to build new chapters

The CFT has established the Retiree Organizing Committee to help local unions take advantage of the experience, skills and commitment of retired union members.

The goal of this new standing committee is to organize AFT retiree chapters around the state so that retirees may continue to contribute to their unions — and have opportunities to connect with former colleagues.