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 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.

Article Educational Technology

Three tips to avoid digital grief at work
Guardian of campus computer network offers advice

Greg Whaling isn’t the tech geek down the hall that everyone calls when the wifi goes south. Instead, the Data Communications Specialist is a guardian of a college computer network, protecting it against attacks by hackers and misuse by those on campus.

His duties at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley include monitoring calls, emails, internet traffic, and surveillance video from the employer’s information systems. If it happens on campus, Whaling likely knows about it.

California Teacher Temp Abuse

Union works to squelch temporary positions that last for years
CFT-sponsored AB 1066 will close loophole in Education Code

It’s a little after 9 and morning drive time is easing on San Diego freeways. Disc Jockey Gary Beck is in the broadcast booth at jazz station KSDS, doing what he has loved since the 1960s: spinning records.

Beck and afternoon DJ Ron Dhanifu have more than 80 years on-air between them. When KSDS — a nonprofit FM station based at San Diego City College — holds its twice-yearly pledge drives, the two DJs bring in the majority of donations.

Article EpiPens

Staff pressured to administer EpiPens

Under a new law, public schools are required to stock emergency epinephrine auto injectors for students with severe allergies and volunteer staff are required to administer the EpiPens. This change came when the governor signed SB 1266 (Huff, R-Diamond Bar).

In July, the AFT Convention overwhelmingly approved a resolution introduced by CCE President Paula Phillips asking for federal regulation of medical procedures to protect members.

Article Representational Elections

“Unsung heroes” of schoolyard organize

Sixty unsung heroes flexed their union muscle and joined the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees.

Noon duty supervisors serve as at-will employees and work only a few hours a day at the district’s six elementary and two middle schools, but the final straw, according to Local President Carl Williams, was not getting a 4 percent raise that faculty and classified received.

Article

Building a classified community

By Paula A. Phillips, President, Council of Classified Employees

What could a groundskeeper or a guard have in common with a bus driver or a computer technician? More than many people think.

As classified employees, we work with faculty to make schools and colleges the glue that holds our communities together. We helped lead the fight for Proposition 30 and now, two year later, new funding is arriving in districts across California.

Article Classified Conference Rank & Files

Classified Conference: Support staff wear many hats…proudly

At the annual conference, the Council of Classified Employees celebrated the diverse work of support staff in a dazzling panoply showing the many hats they wear.

CCE Southern Vice President Carl Williams called out classified job titles one after another. Secretary, paraprofessional, groundskeeper, custodian and media technician. Admissions and records technician, safety officer, library technician, accounting coordinator, and bus driver.

Article Proposition 30

Prop. 30 delivers salary relief in recent contracts

After years of stagnant wages, classified employees are finally seeing long-overdue salary relief in recent months.

The raises largely result from the CFT campaign two years ago to pass Proposition 30. This year, the governor’s budget included $5.6 billion in additional funding for K-14 education. Prop. 30 will generate an average of about $6 billion per year for seven years.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

College classified are partners in accreditation process

The City of San Francisco went to court in October to stop the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from effectively shutting its beloved City College and ending affordable higher education for 80,000 students. 

Statewide, community colleges are fighting for fair accreditation and one college that lost its accreditation is working to get it back. Classified staff are helping.

California Teacher Classified Conference Rank & Files

Support staff proud of the many hats they wear
Tom Torlakson thanks CFT members for crucial backing

At their annual conference, the Council of Classified Employees celebrated the diverse work of support staff in a dazzling panoply showing the many hats they wear. 

CCE Southern Vice President Carl Williams called out classified job titles one after another. Secretary, paraprofessional, groundskeeper, custodian and media technician. Admissions and records technician, safety officer, library technician, accounting coordinator, and bus driver. 

California Teacher EpiPens School Nurses

New law asks staff to perform more medical procedures
School employees “volunteer” to medicate students in danger

Senate Bill 1266, introduced by Republican Senator Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), and signed by Gov. Brown on September 16, requires public schools to stock emergency epinephrine auto injectors, known as EpiPens, on campus. This is an expansion of the law that said schools could stock the devices for students with a severe allergy to make it a mandate that all schools have the device on hand.

Article Local Action

Local action around the state

Aromas-San Juan Federation of Classified Employees negotiated a 3 percent raise and 1 percent off-schedule, plus lowered health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

Gilroy Federation paraprofessionals will see a 4.5 percent salary increase and 1 percent off-schedule, as well as a reclassification study to compare the pay in surrounding districts.

Weaver Federation of Educational Employees negotiated a 6.5 percent raise for all workers and an additional 1 percent for some.

Article Local Action

San Francisco security aides fight for return of hour

Four years ago, school security aides in San Francisco gave up an hour from their eight-hour day when their supervisor told a roomful of the workers it would save the jobs of two young women. The hours were to be restored in two years.

Along with the hour-a-day layoff, the safety workers — known as “T-10s” for their job designation — also endured five furlough days per year.