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 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 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

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 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.

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

San Francisco paras see pay increase

Facing a crisis of affordable housing that threatens to push educators out of the city, United Educators of San Francisco’s 6,200 teachers, early childhood educators, paraprofessionals, nurses and social workers negotiated an 11 percent pay increase over three years, as well as annual bonuses. The overall compensation package will grow to 16 percent if voters approve a parcel tax that city leaders hope to place on the ballot in 2018.

Article CalPERS

Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS Board Member
This election will be very close. Every vote counts. Here’s how to cast your vote

The CFT has endorsed and strongly encourages your support for Michael Bilbrey in the runoff election for the CalPERS Board of Administration.

  • As a long-time labor leader, Bilbrey has demonstrated his commitment over many years to protecting defined benefit pension plans and ensuring affordable healthcare.
  • Michael Bilbrey will make sure that CalPERS is there to provide the retirement security you’ve earned and are counting on.

Your union recommends Michael Bilbrey: At-Large Position B, CalPERS Board

Article Classified Conference

Classified Conference focuses on organizing

About 100 members of CFT’s Council of Classified Employees recently met in Anaheim for three days of training and networking.

The buzz in hallways and workshops was about Gov. Jerry Brown signing AB 670 less than a week earlier. The new law makes part-time playground supervisors part of the classified service.

“This is our opportunity to organize ‘noon dutys,’” said Carl Williams, the CCE vice president for Southern California and leader of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees.

Legislature sends governor bill to include noon duty aides in classified service

Current law exempts part-time playground employees from classified status if they don’t also hold a second position in the same school district. Legislation now on the governor’s desk, however, would include part-timers who don’t have a second job.

AB 670 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) would help about 1,500 “noon dutys” statewide.

“Part-time playground employees work side by side with classified employees performing similar duties,” Thurmond said. “They deserve the same protection and benefits as classified employees.”

California Teacher Union Fair Share Janus v. AFSCME

Delivering for the union: Signing up new members one stop at a time
Driver and local president Albert Lopez moves between 13 campuses

The Riverside County community of Menifee is on the upswing. More than 1,000 new homes are under construction, new businesses are opening their doors, and new families are moving in. The Menifee Union School District sees increased enrollment on the horizon. The Menifee Council of Classified Employees is also expanding. In fact, the CFT recently honored the local for placing second in two categories recognizing member growth: most new members (151) and highest rate of growth (42 percent).

Article CFT Elections

New CCE president: Meet Luukia Smith

I’m Luukia Smith and I’m an accounting technician at El Camino College, where I have worked as a classified employee for 30 years. For more than half that time I also led the El Camino Classified Employees, AFT Local 6142, but stepped down earlier this year after I was elected to head the CFT Council of Classified Employees.

My family is from Hawaii. I love the laid-back island culture, and my leadership style is pretty informal, but “laid back” and “informal” do not mean I’m a pushover. Far from it.

Article Educational Technology

Union success: Audit to analyze technology and training plans

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee recently approved a motion by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, to review community college districts’ long-term strategic plans to upgrade instructional technology and training. The audit will include a large college district, a medium-sized one, and a small one as a cross-section of the state’s 72 districts.

Suleman Ishaque, chair of CFT’s Educational Technology Committee — who works for the Los Angeles Community College District — expects the auditor to find that districts have few, if any, plans for ongoing training, even for employees in charge of campus information technology networks.