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 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 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.

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 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.

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.

Article Classified School Employees Week

Your local union values your work all year long

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

Every May, districts from San Diego to Susanville take time to recognize the contributions of their staffs. Classified School Employees Week is the third week of the month and pays tribute to staff members who play key roles in creating environments that promote student achievement, safety and health.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson described classified employees as “hard-working and devoted school employees who exemplify what commitment to school and student really is,” and as workers “who make the extra effort to support their students, schools and communities.” Torlakson is right. Annual recognitions are wonderful.

Article Pesticide Use
Mike O‘Connor, the lead custodian at Anzar High School in San Juan Bautista, monitors the campus for pest problems. O'Connor is a member of the Aromas-San Juan Federation of Classified Employees.

Legislation would bring reporting of pesticide use
Staff to receive training, schools to develop pest management plans

Legislators are debating measures to ensure that pesticides at California schools don’t become a bigger concern than the pests they are meant to exterminate.

Under Senate Bill 1405, schools that use pesticides must designate someone to maintain a complete record of all pesticide use at the site, and submit it to the Department of Pesticide Regulation at the end of each calendar year. Current law requires only professional exterminators to report their use.

Article Unemployment Insurance

Staff seek fair unemployment compensation
Bill to bring equity stalled in Legislature

Linnette Robinson has worked with special needs students at Berkeley High School for four years, after two years in the district’s elementary and junior high schools.

Yet every winter and summer, Robinson and tens of thousands of other classified employees across California scrape by during involuntary “vacations” the best they can. Because while other workers receive unemployment benefits during seasonal breaks, school staff do not.

Article AFT

Small AFT locals get big attention from new task force

By the Numbers | AFT local unions
3,370
 Number of locals chartered by the AFT
3,019: Locals with fewer than 600 members (90 percent)
1,819: Locals with fewer than 100 members (54 percent)

One in four of AFT’s 1.56 million members belong to a small local, and 90 percent of AFT local unions are considered small, defined as having fewer than 600 members.

While belonging to a small local can foster a sense of teamwork, small locals often come up short of the resources, training and volunteers to effectively represent members, according to a new AFT task force.

California Teacher Unemployment Insurance Lobby Day

Staff seek equal access to unemployment benefits
Employees struggle to make ends meet when the paycheck stops during school breaks

Linnette Robinson has worked with special needs students at Berkeley High School for four years. Every winter and summer, Robinson, who has worked stints at other elementary and middle schools, tightens her belt and scrapes by during school breaks the best she can. “Most of us won’t see a paycheck from mid-June to the end of September,” she said.

California Teacher Early Childhood Education

Early educators fight reckless closure of community Head Start
Congresswoman Maxine Waters questions motives of L.A. County Office of Education

Watts was still smoldering from the riots in 1965 when Kedren Head Start began serving local families. Today, about 350 Kedren employees care for more than 2,100 children at 32 sites from South Los Angeles and Koreatown to the Eastside.

“All of us work in low-income, dangerous areas,” said Margaret Garcia, a family service advocate at one of Kedren’s multiple Watts facilities. An undercurrent of violence runs through the neighborhoods.