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 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 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

Bringing playground aides into the classified service
AB 670 would give part-time “noon dutys” long overdue workplace rights

Lesa Estrada has been a noon duty aide at Lawndale’s Anderson Elementary since her son began kindergarten here more than 25 years ago. “All three of my children attended Anderson,” Estrada said. “I’ve seen kids grow up and bring us their children. Now some are bringing us their grandchildren.”

Estrada is one of about 60 playground aides who work two or three hours daily at the Lawndale elementary district’s nine campuses. Their jobs often mirror staff positions, but state law specifically excludes them from “the classified service.”

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.

Article Classified School Employees Week

Celebrate our week! May 21-27 is Classified School Employee Week

The work of classified employees is easily overlooked, but your behind-the-scenes work matters every day to the success of our schools and colleges. Join us in celebrating Classified School Employees Week on May 21-27 in 2017 — it’s our week to celebrate us.

The Council of Classified Employees has created tools you can use. Use the poster and graphics in your workplace and on social media. Let’s get out the word — classified employees and paraprofessionals are helping California students succeed every day!

California Teacher Noon Dutys Part-Time Employment

Bringing part-time playground aides into classified service
AB 670 would give “noon dutys” long overdue workplace rights

> Para leer este artículo en español, hagaclic aquí

Lesa Estrada has been a noon duty aide at Lawndale’s Anderson Elementary since her son began kindergarten here more than 25 years ago. 

“All three of my children attended Anderson,” Estrada said. “I’ve seen kids grow up and bring us their children. Now some are bringing us their grandchildren.”

California Teacher Noon Dutys Part-Time Employment

Luchando por los derechos laborales de los asistentes escolares de tiempo parcial
AB 670 reconocería a "noon dutys" como trabajadores clasificados

Lesa Estrada es asistente escolar en la Escuela Primaria Anderson de Lawndale desde que su hijo empezó el kinder hace más de 25 años.

“Mis tres hijos asistieron a la Anderson”, afirma Estrada. “He visto a niños crecer y traer a sus hijos. Ahora algunos nos traen a sus nietos”, agrega.

California Teacher

Night shift custodians work together, fight short staffing
Midnight organizing at El Camino College pays off

During the day, Manhattan Beach Boulevard overflows with traffic, but the only thing whipping down the street at 10 p.m. is a cold night wind. To the north, the lights of approaching jets trace the landing path to LAX in the night sky.

Darlene Esquivel pulls into a staff parking lot alongside the facilities management building at El Camino College. Esquivel is one of about 30 custodians on the graveyard shift who put the Torrance campus back in shape nightly while more than 22,000 students sleep.

Article Local Action

Local union contract gains

  • Tuolumne County Special Educators Federation and the Tuolumne Council of Classified Employees won 4 percent pay raises at the negotiating table.
  • Cuesta College Classified United Employees negotiated a 3 percent on-schedule raise for everyone and 1.8 percent off schedule.
  • Ventura County Federation of School Employees won back-to-back annual 3 percent raises.
  • Gilroy Federation of Paraeducators won a 3 percent pay raise retroactive to the b
Article Local Action

Staff take lead in disaster preparedness

Every fall, the College Staff Guild meets to address on-the-job and political issues in the Los Angeles community colleges. This year, more than 200 members of AFT Local 1521A took on another challenge: disaster preparedness.

Fifty survival packs were raffled, members heard from preparedness experts at the Red Cross and they committed to work with their campus emergency response committees as part of shared governance.

And what do the experts say? Being prepared when trouble hits greatly raises the odds of survival. Here are three easy steps to take now:

Article

AFT steps up support for Native American educators

Robert Chacanaca and about 20 other AFT members from Hawaii, Alaska, the Midwest and Southwest attended the recent National Indian Education Association convention and trade show in Reno, Nevada.

The convention included scores of professional development workshops, as well as a timely presentation on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s historic fight to stop construction of an oil pipeline across North Dakota.

Article Rank & Files

SanFrancisco paraprofessional named Member of the Year

Tom Harriman has been a special education paraprofessional for 30 years at Lowell High School, escorting students into the community to help them develop independence and effective work habits.

Harriman has represented paras on the executive board of United Educators of San Francisco for 15 years, and serves on the CFT Special Education Committee. He stays abreast of local union resolutions, city and state politics.

Classified win family sick leave and grants to become teachers

Classified employees took two giant steps forward in Sacramento during 2016 after the CFT shepherded four bills through the state Legislature that address staff priorities. Gov. Jerry Brown signed two of the bills.

AB 2122 appropriates $20 million over five years to encourage classified employees to return to school and become teachers. Grants from the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program to districts and county offices of education will provide up to $4,000 annually to staff seeking a bachelor’s degree and credential.

Article Free College

Free community college: Support staff in higher education rise to the new challenge
Support staff in higher education rise to the new challenge

President Barack Obama started a movement when he announced America’s College Promise in his 2015 State of the Union address.

In the nearly two years since Obama called on Congress to make the first two years of higher education free, six states have enacted Promise programs and another 10 legislatures are moving in that direction.

Article Classified Conference

Classified Conference 2016: Black Lives Matter conversation engages, unites

“When we say Black Lives Matter, we’re saying that we need an agenda that puts our lives right up there with everyone else’s,” said Christopher Wilson, from Alliance San Diego, a group mobilizing for change in low-income communities and communities of color.

Wilson spoke at the Classified Conference on October 8, before attending the funeral for Alfredo Olango, a black man killed by police in nearby El Cajon.