Classified Articles

Overview

Classified Articles

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

CDE releases request for proposals for credentialing program
Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program

Updated October 11, 2016

The annual budget passed by the state Legislature and signed by the governor includes an appropriation of $20 million over five years to fund a CFT co-sponsored piece of legislation known as the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Compton College accreditation: A decade later

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

One of the principles of our democracy is the right to elect our representatives. In California, one of the most basic decisions we make is about our children’s education through the election of local school boards that govern both K-12 and community college districts. This may not receive the same fanfare as statewide or national elections, but in more than 1,000 K-12 and 70 community college districts, community residents make key educational decisions that matter to them.

Article Private Sector Local Action

Job Corps advisors win back positions

On May 17, the National Labor Relations Board ordered the Sacramento Job Corps to return four more residential advisors to their jobs with full pay and benefits. The NLRB decision makes nine AFT Local 4986 members who have been reinstated and made whole more than 26 months after their initial terminations.

The NLRB also ruled that six residential coordinators were unlawfully removed from the bargaining unit, and adopted an administrative law judge’s finding that the employers are liable for the unfair labor practices.

Article AFT Rank & Files

AFT Honors San Diego Organizer, Lawndale Federation

Tina Solórzano Fletcher of the AFT Guild, which represents nearly 6,000 employees at San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges, was honored with the Talking Union Award at the annual AFT Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel conference in April. Fletcher is a member-organizer for AFT Local 1931.

This year, the local prioritized one-on-one contact with non-members, and from September 1 through May 31, signed up 506 new members.

Right for the job: When classified and paras become teachers
CFT-sponsored AB 2122 helps staff transition to certificated status

Carlos Howe began working as a security officer for the Hawthorne School District in 2000, but he wanted more. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration, Howe joined the Santa Monica Police Department. It wasn’t a good fit.

“My hair was on fire everyday. I had recently married and was a brand new father, but it was dangerous and I was always gone, so I switched gears.”

Article LCFF LCAP

Local Control Accountability Plans create new classified jobs
Engaging families helps close student achievement gap

The first time most parents or guardians of a Berkeley student meet Jocelyn Foreman is soon after bad news has knocked on their door. Be it a death in the family, an eviction notice, a pink slip, or any crisis that throws a household into chaos, she is there to help.

Foreman belongs to a five-person team of family engagement coordinators whose academic mission is to close the achievement gap by ensuring that students have the resources they need to succeed. First things, however, must come first.

Article Lobby Days

How we made history at Classified Lobby Day: CFT champions bills for classified

April 20 was a historic day for us. We attended the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security to speak in support of our sponsored death benefit equity bill, and we were there when the bill passed out of committee for the first time.

Raising the death benefit to parity with faculty has fallen short in nearly a dozen previous attempts. The increase contained in AB 1878 would provide survivors of classified staff more money for the funerals of their deceased loves ones by increasing the death benefit for classified employee members of CalPERS.

Make Classified School Employee Week Meaningful

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

Schools can be amazing places. Institutions that focus on the education and nurturing of young people have a special place in our society. While the interaction of students with their teacher is obviously an essential part of the educational process, it really does take a community of people to make learning possible and schools successful.

Right for the job: When paras and classified become teachers
CFT sponsors bill to assist support staff transition to certificated status

When Shannon Ferguson was a 20-something, she didn’t really focus on her community college studies, and after a few semesters her father suggested she look for a job with good benefits.

“He said that soon his benefits wouldn’t cover me anymore,” Ferguson recalled. “Dad was a teacher and mom was a paraeducator, so I naturally thought of applying with the Oxnard high school district.”

California Teacher Student Nutrition

Food service workers serve up fresh attitude
Staff and menus adapt to changing culture of nutrition

Something good is cooking in campus cafeterias, and the recipe includes happier staffs. From school kitchens in Berkeley to community college taquerías in San Diego, classified AFT locals are raising wages and winning full-time status for food service employees.

Big changes in Berkeley schools began when food service workers affiliated with AFT Local 6192, the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. Before the change in 2012, Local President Paula Phillips said, managers used to warn workers not to miss work during the holidays.

Article Classified Conference Rank & Files

Classified Conference highlights: Proud to be classified, three staff named Members of the Year

At the annual conference held October 9-11 in San Jose, there was a smorgasbord of learning opportunities for attendees. Classified staff and paraprofessionals took advantage of the offerings, which were both informational and social.

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, representing the East Bay’s 15th Assembly District described his hardscrabble upbringing and his path to becoming a state legislator. He also told how being a member of the West Contra Costa School Board helped him understand the essential work of classified employees.

Article Building Power COPE

Worksite organizing fires up classified local unions
Member-organizers motivate fee payers to become full members

Across the state, classified employees are convincing fee payers to upgrade to full union membership, and convincing coworkers to support the union’s Committee on Political Education, or COPE. 

The flurry of internal organizing falls under the twin banners of the Strategic Campaign Initiative and Building Our Power. Grants from the former help locals meet their political organizing goals, while the latter awards grants based on potential for member growth.

Article Local Action Proposition 30

Local Action: Big Pay Raises

»Gilroy Federation of Paraeducators negotiated a 5.5 percent pay increase retroactive to December 1, a one-time 2 percent raise back to July 2014, adjustments of 3 percent for most job classes, increased 
stipends and out-of-class pay.

»Weaver Federation of Educational Employees will see a 5 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2014, and 1.1 percent off-schedule for the entire year; another 5 percent raise and one-time 1.1 percent lump sum on July 1, and a third 5 percent pay increase in July 2016. 

Article Rank & Files

Eberhardt wins national honor

Janet Eberhardt, a community relations specialist at Monroe Elementary and member of United Educators of San Francisco, was named the 2015 Education Support Professional of the Year by the National Education Association — an honor that came with $10,000.

In her 29 years with San Francisco Unified, Eberhardt has developed programs that engage and mentor students and families. She, like all UESF members, belongs to both the NEA and the AFT.

Article Private Sector Local Action

Private sector: A tale of two Job Corps

Only four of 125 Job Corps centers in the United States are unionized, and CFT members staff two of them. Adams & Associates is the private contractor managing both Job Corps centers — with very different results. 

In San Francisco, AFT Local 6319 represents 150 staff in the Treasure Island Job Corps Workers Union. Local President Emily Rapaport said the Department of Labor ranks centers on student job placement and a range of other metrics. “Since Adams came in about five years ago, we have been either number one or two in the country.”

Article

CFT bill calling for posting of HVAC reports moves to next house, safety door locks stalled

Santa Cruz’s Robert Chacanaca recently testified for CFT-sponsored AB1126 before the Assembly Education Committee. The legislation, carried by Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), would require public schools to post reports of annual heating, ventilation, and air conditioning inspections on the school’s website. AB1126 drew strong bipartisan support, as shown by unanimous approval. The bill passed the Assembly and moved to the Senate, where it awaits referral to committee.