Classified Insider

Overview

Classified Insider

Classified Insider advocates for the rights of classified employees and paraprofessionals by exploring the workplace issues of support staff in California schools, community colleges, and county offices of education. Classified members also receive regular news in the Classified section of the all-union newsletter, California Teacher. Browse by date below or by index here.​

Classified Insider is published twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. The newsletter is emailed to classified and paraprofessional members of the CFT. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Jane Hundertmark, Editor and Publications Director.

Article

Omnibus legislation creates Summer Assistance fund for classified staff

Classified employees should take special note of Assembly Bill 1808, an omnibus education trailer bill. Along with dozens of other provisions, AB 1808 increased the state budget for staff training and other classified programs by $100 million.

Half the increase was earmarked for professional training, including $45 million for K-12 districts and $5 million for community college districts. The other $50 million will go into a Summer Assistance Fund for staff who earn less than $49,920 per year.

Article

Transportation services: Jobs returned when contracting out fails, drivers get more training

A recent video that went viral on social media showed a bus driver being attacked by angry parents in St. Louis. Bernard Benson knows how parents can lose their tempers. He has been driving school buses in the San Joaquin Valley for six years.

“A detour makes a driver late and parents get mad because of the delay. It happens all the time. It goes with the territory,” he said, adding, “Most of the time we’re looked at like the good guys because we get kids to and from school.”

Article CFT Convention CFT Elections

Classified members share spotlight with teachers at Centennial Convention

Delegates had a lot to celebrate as they convened for the CFT’s 100th Anniversary celebration in March.

The state’s largest local union, United Teachers Los Angeles, had held a wildly successful strike less than two months earlier. And the union’s block of classified employee members were set to begin the CFT’s second century with their highest union profile yet.

Over the next three days, the delegates would vote to rebrand the Federation to highlight their role, and to elect a classified employee to the union’s second-highest post.

Article Labor Solidarity

We need you… to become a Unionist

Editor’s note: What follows is a condensed version of an inspired presentation from out annual Classified Conference.

My name is Carl Williams and I am southern vice president of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, a CFT vice president, proud president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees, a father, a husband… and a Unionist. Now don’t get me wrong, I have not always been a Unionist… the transition from union member is not instantaneous. 

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.

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 Career Ladders Free College

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 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

Propositions 55 and 58 sail to victory

In last month’s General Election, the CFT’s top priority – Proposition 55 – passed with a 24-point margin. Prop 55 will ensure continued funding to public education at the rate of roughly $8 billion a year by maintaining an existing income tax on the wealthiest Californians through 2030. A Prop 55 victory was critical to avert layoffs, program cuts or elimination, and increased student fees at community colleges.

Article Lobby Days Family Leave Career Ladders

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 By Paula A. Phillips

Building a classified community

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

Our work contributes to quality of education

EVERY CFT MEMBER can play a role in the CFT’s campaign for quality public education, which will identify problems that are holding back our schools and colleges and set goals to move California forward.