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Raoul Teilhet Scholarships
Bringing the benefit of union membership to your family

student recipients collage

Through this benefit of membership, the CFT has helped hundreds of students reach their higher education goals by awarding them Raoul Teilhet Scholarships. 

The CFT offers scholarships to high school seniors and continuing college students who are children or dependents of CFT members in good standing. Students enrolled in four-year courses of study are eligible for $3000 scholarships; those enrolled in two-year programs are eligible for $1000.

The Raoul Teilhet Scholarship program began in 1997 when delegates to the CFT Convention voted to establish scholarships to assist children and dependents of members with the cost of higher education. The program was named after inspirational CFT President Raoul Teilhet, who served the organization as president from 1968 to 1985. Convention delegates extended eligibility to continuing college students in 2003.

Article Up Front gun control

Gun violence in America — something is gravely wrong here
Let’s imagine a world free of gun violence and schools that are open, free, and welcoming

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

I taught high school math in a picturesque Southern California location with a view of the Pacific Ocean. On nice days, we used to keep the doors and windows of our classrooms open. We had no fences around our school and there were open courtyards that welcomed gatherings of students and staff alike. Much of that has disappeared. Now doors and windows must remain shut on campus and chain link fences surround the beautiful campus in case someone shows up with a weapon of war and the intent to kill.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign

Groundbreaking CFT survey calls out healthcare crisis among part-time faculty
Critical insights into part-time faculty in community colleges statewide

CFT Part-Time Faculty Survey Report 2022

The results of CFT’s groundbreaking statewide survey of part-time faculty offer critical insights into the daily, personal, and structural challenges that part-time and contingent faculty experience when it comes to healthcare.  

Faculty at Dominican University choose AFT/CFT as their union
With resounding 84% vote, faculty elect to have union representation

Faculty at Dominican University group shot

On April 11, faculty at the Dominican University of California watched excitedly as the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco conducted a ballot count resulting in a resounding 84% yes vote for union representation with the AFT/CFT.

The new local union — the Dominican University of California Faculty Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 6604 — will represent 103 full-time faculty members at the private liberal arts college in San Rafael. The university was founded in 1890 and offers more than 60 majors, minors, and concentrations.

The new normal for special education instructional aides
‘‘SpEd IAs’’ face student pandemic trauma, larger classes, and low pay

Janine Lugo

California schools have returned to in-person learning, but acute staff shortages are hobbling the return. The hardest positions to fill are often special education instructional aides.

For “SpEd IAs,” as they are known from early childhood programs to post-secondary classrooms, there is no “social distance” with their students. Assignments may require feeding children, changing diapers, and handling medical equipment. Emotional outbursts can also be physically punishing to paraeducators.

Article Elections 2022 WEP/GPO Social Security

Retirees gearing up for national midterm elections
Voices of experience hope to educate younger Americans, reverse Social Security penalties

retirees rally to end WEP/GPO

Political season is in full swing and, with days to go until California’s June 7 primary, CFT retirees are already looking ahead to the November 8 General Election.

“I can’t tell you how many people have told me they are mad as hell and ‘ready to do something’ because of the leaked Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights,” said Mike Nye at-large representative on the CFT Council of Retired Members.

Part-timers and allies lobby legislators for healthcare, pay parity
PHOTO GALLERY
Students and full-time faculty join forces with part-time faculty

From the Bay Area to San Diego, and from the Central Valley to the Mojave Desert, part-time community college faculty, along with full-time faculty and student allies, gathered at Sacramento’s famed Sutter Club on Monday morning, May 1, to go forth and make California legislators aware of the critical need for part-time faculty healthcare and pay parity.

Article Up Front community schools

Doing the work we love in the most difficult of circumstances
California is breaking down the walls other states are building

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

As educators and classified professionals, we often mark beginnings and ends with school years rather than calendar years. Each May, students leave for the summer or graduate and venture off to another stage in their lives. As these chapters open and close, it’s hard not to think about similar times in our own lives, when we moved on from a particularly beloved school or classroom, and from the school staff that made our experience so exceptional.

Article staff shortage coronavirus AFT

AFT task force tackles national staff shortages in education
CFT seeks to set minimum salaries and hourly pay

CCE President Carl Williams

COVID didn’t create the national staffing crisis we face, but the pandemic has stretched classified and certificated members so thin that some schools have been forced to shut their doors.

AFT has stepped up to the challenge and created an Education Staffing Crisis Task Force co-chaired by Carl Williams, head of the CFT Council of Classified Employees and an AFT Vice President, and Michael Mulgrew, leader of AFT’s largest local union, New York City’s United Federation of Teachers.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign

Part-time faculty power up for change
PHOTO GALLERY
Conference spotlights CFT equity campaign for contingent faculty

A crowd of more than 100 members strong — some seasoned part-timers with decades of experience, others new adjuncts for which this was their first union event — were engaged as the CFT Part-Time Faculty Conference opened to roars and cheers with its theme of “Equity for Contingent Faculty.” The feeling one had as a part-timer was best summed up by Lin Chan, co-chair of the CFT Part-Time Faculty Committee, “You’re not one person…you’re one of thousands.”

What does losing healthcare look like for part-time faculty in our community colleges? Part 1
Pandemic, declining enrollment has led to loss of health benefits

Honour Harry with a folder of paintings done by seniors

Honour Harry works two jobs — as a freelance illustrator and doing children’s education at a local church — in addition to her job teaching art for the North Orange Community College District. Harry doesn’t teach on campus. Instead, she goes into nursing homes, often working with people who are in memory care and who are immunocompromised.

Article racial justice

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at school and home
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

AAPI Heritage Month

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, during the beginning of the California Gold Rush. It also marks the anniversary of the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. Most of the workers who laid the tracks that connected the frontier to the rest of the country were Chinese immigrants.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty coronavirus

What does losing healthcare look like for part-time faculty in our community colleges? Part 2
Pandemic, declining enrollment has led to loss of health benefits

Samira Rostami

Samira Rostami has taught Communication Studies at Grossmont College since 2014, as well as at four other San Diego area higher ed institutions including the University of San Diego. Her health took a dramatic turn for the worse shortly after area campuses closed in late March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. 

A “red letter year” for CFT legislation in support of contingent faculty
Healthcare insurance, teaching load, rehire rights, and parity

Members holding signs for part-time equity

COVID and the subsequent student enrollment drop during the last two semesters have placed great burdens on contingent faculty, from scrambling to teach remotely to negotiating personal and family challenges to facing reduced assignments and a loss of healthcare benefits.

Article Leadership Conference racial justice SPI AFT

Leadership Conference focuses on racial and social justice
Thurmond, Weingarten address delegates

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond nd with members

About 200 CFT members from around the state converged at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency for a Leadership Conference — the first time they’d been able to join together for such an event since the state shut down for COVID on March 13, 2020.

Seeming excited to see one another in person, attendees went to workshops, many dealing with racial and social justice issues, and heard from speakers including JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Organizer Cynthia Eaton, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Article racial justice Leadership Conference

Dismantling male supremacy and white supremacy
Workshop takes a deep dive into building healthy workplace cultures

Bill Pritchett

Bill Pritchett, a specialist in racial justice, communications, and leadership development, and who guided CFT’s Racial Equity Task Force, began his workshop on “Dismantling the Intersections of Male Supremacy Culture and White Supremacy Culture in Our Workplaces” (whew, tall order) by talking about how impressed he is with CFT’s commitment to racial justice.

Article special education staff shortage

Pandemic magnifies long-standing challenges in special education
CFT Special Ed Summit motivates members to take bold action

Heather Molloy in her classroom with globe behind her

This is Heather Molloy’s first year on CFT’s Special Education Services Committee. She says she feels grateful to be part of it and thinks in a short period of time, the committee has accomplished a lot.

Molloy, a high school teacher and member of Oxnard Federation of Teachers and School Employees, is referring to the EC/TK-12 Council’s Special Education Summit in February where members wrote a resolution to change the state’s Education Code, which she thinks desperately needs updating.

Members support and mentor undocumented students
Dedicated educators help students succeed and thrive

Sandra Guzman

For Belinda Lum, sociology professor at Sacramento City College and chief negotiator for the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, it was because she’s the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of people who came over from China with fake papers. For Leis Rodriguez, it was wanting to use her law school degree for her passion and becoming an immigration attorney.

Article Up Front racial justice LGBTQ+

Stand up to defend free thought, honest history, and gender identity
Right-wing targets schools and colleges across the nation

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

When I decided to become a teacher, I was focused on helping students and meeting them where they are. I became a mathematics teacher — slopes, quadratic equations, fractions, square roots and all. But I entered into the profession because I was interested in who my students are as people, not just in class. I wanted to understand their hopes and dreams and help them become the people they wanted to be.

Article racial justice Leadership Conference

How implicit bias can lead to injustice
Members explore implicit bias and its effects

Lena Ackerman

Implicit bias can lead to injustice in many areas of our lives, including housing, education, employment, the courts, and healthcare. We all have implicit biases — or preferences and attitudes that subconsciously can affect how we interact with others, said Bethany Gizzi, and Lena Ackerman, trainers in the “Understanding Implicit Bias and Stereotypes” workshop at the CFT Leadership Conference held March 17-18.

Article staff shortage

Classified leaders hit the road to meet locals
Listening tour leads to greater understanding, solidarity

Palomar classified leaders with CCE leaders

After more than a year of Delta and Omicron surges and other COVID-19 pandemic obstacles, officers of the CFT Council of Classified Employees embarked on a statewide listening tour of AFT local unions representing classified employees.

“There will never be a perfect time, so we just hit the road,” said CCE President Carl Williams. “Our members have heard what we have to say. Now they want to be heard.”