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.

Sign up now to get CFT United by email! 
»Subscribe here.

Article state budget

Governor’s May Revision proposes highest level of education funding in California history
Legislative Update

California began the previous budget year with a looming recession forecasted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a projected $54 billion deficit. However, due mostly to the inequitable recovery of the stock market, profits from Silicon Valley, and high-income earners that did not lose their jobs, the state now has projected a $75.7 billion surplus.

Article coronavirus

Pandemic underscores essential nature of classified work
Custodians, health aides hold strong; unions help members get vaccinated

Throughout the COVID pandemic, CFT members from early childhood centers to community colleges have shown how essential classified employees are. During the past 15 months, techs helped power an overnight transition to online learning, custodians learned how to hit back at the coronavirus, and health aides are now on the front lines of reopening schools.

Article CFT Convention racial justice

Khalil Gibran Muhammad on racial justice
“Good will is not a substitute for good work”

A history professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, who teaches classes such as Race, Inequality, and American Democracy and the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, with his work featured in the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and Ava DuVernay’s documentary about mass incarceration, 13th, Khalil Gibran Muhammad s

Article CFT Convention resolutions

Delegates pass wide range of resolutions — from their homes
Condemn anti-Asian violence, support wealth tax, mandating healthcare for part-time faculty

At this year’s CFT Convention, several resolutions provoked a lot of discussion, especially considering the attendees were virtually raising their hands to be acknowledged from their living rooms, rather than on the actual convention floor. Some of these included condemning anti-Asian violence, mandating healthcare for part-time faculty, reforming Social Security to support teacher retirement, supporting the PRO Act to increase union organizing, and maintaining a list of retirees to contact.

Article CFT Convention Up Front

State of the Union 2021
Delivered by CFT President Jeffery Freitas on March 26, 2021

Good morning, CFT. I’m thrilled to be here with all of you—my fellow CFT leaders, all my union siblings, CFT and local union staff, and invited guests.

This year’s Convention has a lot of firsts. It is my first State of the Union speech as CFT president and my first time presiding as chair of the Convention. This is the first of our biennial conventions which we approved in 2018 through a constitutional amendment by this very body. And, this is the first-ever virtual CFT Convention. While we are making the best of the current circumstances, I sincerely hope it will be the last virtual convention.

Article coronavirus

The pandemic — reopening, regrouping, testing and protecting
K-12 locals put safety first, find communities on their side

The week after Thanksgiving, Mariah Fisher, president of the Novato Federation of Teachers and a middle school drama teacher, said she was ready to go back to in-person teaching, starting that week. She had marked off six feet of space between all the desks and she was preparing to teach acting to students wearing masks.

Article Elections 2020 members elected

Paul da Silva became the candidate he wanted to see
First teacher elected to College of Marin Board of Trustees

For years, Paul da Silva, a biology teacher at the College of Marin and a member of United Professors of Marin, Local 1610, wondered about the lack of teachers on the college’s Board of Trustees and tried to talk retiring professors into running. No one took him up on it.

So when he decided in the summer of 2019 that he would retire, he concluded, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, he’d have to be the candidate he wished to see in the world.

Article Elections 2020 free college

A First Lady who is a community college teacher
President-elect supports two years of free community college

Dr. Jill Biden, a community college teacher, union member, and soon to be First Lady, spoke virtually to members of the AFT and the National Education Association, thanking them for all the phone banking, text messaging, voter registration drives and poll work they did to get her husband, Joe Biden, elected. AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Becky Pringle introduced her.

Article coronavirus Up Front

Dark times bring out our best selves

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

What a year it has been. In March, as the coronavirus hit and “shelter in place” orders were issued, CFT leaders immediately started communicating with members about the situation. We held online meetings, shared resources on our website, and hosted a CFT Member Townhall that 11,000 members joined.

Article student debt

Governor signs union-sponsored Student Borrower Bill of Rights
Sweeping legislation to protect student loan borrowers

Governor Newsom signed CFT co-sponsored AB 376, the Student Borrower Bill of Rights, on Friday, September 25. This critical piece of legislation will bring much-needed reforms to the student loan market and regulate the private sector companies that service both federal and private student loans for California borrowers.

Article coronavirus Elections 2020 wildfires

Unions are the anchor during a perfect storm
Locals navigate pandemic, reopening, wildfires, elections, social unrest

Facing the threats of COVID-19 and wildfires, local unions and districts across California are trying to figure out how school will look this semester.

Orange County was one of the first to push for in-person instruction after it had been prohibited based on the county monitoring list.  At the beginning of the summer, the members in the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers were pretty much evenly divided about that.