Classified Articles

Overview

Classified Articles

News for classified employees and paraprofessionals working in public schools and community colleges, and support staff in private schools. 

Article Labor Solidarity

We need you… to become a Unionist

Editor’s note: What follows is a condensed version of an inspired presentation from the CFT’s annual Classified Conference.

My name is Carl Williams and I am southern vice president of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, a CFT vice president, proud president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees, a father, a husband… and a Unionist. Now don’t get me wrong, I have not always been a Unionist… the transition from union member is not instantaneous. 

Article Janus v. AFSCME Janus

Supreme Court’s Janus decision barely ripples through classified locals

No one was surprised when the Janus decision from the U.S. Supreme Court came down over the summer. In the months since then, however, locals across California have defied predictions of a mass exodus of dues-paying members. In fact, after two years of recruiting new employees and convincing agency fee payers to join, union ranks are growing.

AFT Local 1931: Framed on Instagram! 

According to Danielle Short, classified vice president for San Diego’s AFT Guild, the local was looking for ways to make campus tabling more dynamic and encourage more conversation with members. 

A brainstorming session led to the idea of a giant photo frame. Campus printing services helped create the frame and printed it. “We used it for our tabling,” Short said. “And then we just ran with it for other events and outreach. It definitely breaks the ice — and it’s a lot of fun.” 

Article Rank & Files

Lavalais named San Francisco Paraeducator of the Year

The mayor of San Francisco recently recognized 10 public school educators for their dedication and professionalism. Honorees were selected based on their ability to promote innovative learning, accountability, and equity and access in the classroom and school site.

The 2018 awards included the mayor’s first-ever Paraeducator of the Year. Mary Lavalais attended City College and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a graduate degree in marriage, family, and child counseling at San Francisco State University.

Article Gun Control

Common sense gun control: A school security guard lives with the loss of his son

A.J. Frazier is a familiar face around San Francisco’s Lowell High School. Frazier has helped guard the campus for the last 15 years, after patrolling Mission High for 15 years.

Few people knew about the pain the outgoing ex-Marine carried inside — until he shared it at a recent rally in Santa Ana’s Centennial Park responding to the deadly shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

Article Representational Elections

Compton campus police choose AFT as their union

Generations of Compton rappers have created an indelible portrait of their city’s mean streets. Life in this Los Angeles suburb isn’t easy.

Jermaine Ford and the 17 members of the Compton Unified School District police are a “thin blue line” sworn to keep the 36 schools and additional dozen district facilities safe. Their job hasn’t gotten any easier, either.

Article Janus v. AFSCME

Workplace organizing: Facing new threat, members recommit to their unions

For years, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to clip unions’ wings if the right case came before the bench.

Classified AFT locals across California have been preparing for the decision in Janus v. AFSCMEby asking agency fee payers to become full members, and recruiting at new employee orientations. The membership drives have meant an influx of new enthusiasm and a renewed sense of union pride.

California Teacher CFT 100

Council of Classified Employees: Quality representation wins respect for support staff

Download a single-sheet illustrated history of the Council of Classified Employees

When the AFT in 1977 welcomed educational workers other than teachers into its ranks, paraprofessionals and classified employees became one of the fastest growing sectors of the national AFT. In the 1980s, several thousand California support staff voted for the AFT as their bargaining agent.

Classroom veteran looks forward to being a teacher

FIRST PERSON | By Laura L. Manriquez, Carpinteria Association of the United School Employees 

I recently became aware of an opportunity to obtain financial assistance in earning a teaching credential through the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program, which is intended to attract classified staff who are interested in becoming teachers.

California Teacher Environment Proposition 39

Campus electricians shine in clean energy awards
Proposition 39 investments reap environmental and fiscal benefits

We don’t spend much time changing bulbs anymore,” said Palomar College electrician Rick Beach. “There aren’t many left on campus to change.”

And fewer by the day. Beach and maintenance and operations staff members of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4522, recently led the installation of LED lighting across Palomar’s San Marcos and Escondido campuses.

Article Career Ladders Free College Noon Dutys

Legislature’s actions benefit classified
“Noon dutys” now part of the classified service

The job title varies from one school district to another, but most “Noon Dutys” — as part-time playground supervisors or noon duty aides are often called – are women working five days a week for two or three hours a day. They are often the lowest paid employees on campus.

Current law blocked most noon dutys from classified status, but that changes on January 1. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed AB 670 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), giving a leg up to about 1,500 part-timers across the state.

Article Family Leave

Know Your Rights: Family and medical leave

One CFT-sponsored bill in 2017 sought to provide women working in education up to six weeks of paid pregnancy disability leave without charging the woman’s sick leave bank. The Legislature passed AB 568, but the governor refused to sign it into law, saying other options were possible.

Family and medical leaves are defined in federal laws, state codes and individual collective bargaining agreements. Your union local may also bargain improvements.

Article Local Action

Longevity awarded new respect

AFT Local 6142 members made two important gains at the bargaining table with front-loaded pay raises and a reworked system of longevity stipends. 

Chief Negotiator Luukia Smith said El Camino College staff will receive a 5 percent raise for 2017 retroactive to January 1, with at least 1.28 percent more in 2018 and a cost-of living increase the following year.

Article Scholarships Member Benefits Local Action

3,000 reasons to appreciate her union

Monica Marlatt, a career development specialist for Santa Cruz city schools, has good cause to appreciate her membership in AFT Local 6084, the Santa Cruz Council of Classified Employees.

Marlatt’s daughter, Madeline, is studying nursing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Books and nursing fees alone totaled $900 last semester, but help is on the way. This summer the CFT awarded Madeline, and eight more continuing college students, a Raoul Teilhet Scholarship for $3,000.

Article Local Action

New holidays for Long Beach staff

The Long Beach Council of Classified Employees ratified a three-year agreement providing significant economic relief and longer holidays for about 425 members.

Pay will increase 3 percent the first year retroactive to this July 1, followed by cost-of-living increases of at least 2.1 percent and 2.35 percent the second and third years.