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Classified Insider contains valuable news and information about the workplace issues of California classified employees and paraprofessionals and is emailed to members.

California Teacher is the CFT’s all-union magazine that contains information relevant to members including a section specific to the issues of classified employees. Don’t be fooled by the name — this magazine is for all members, classified too!

AFT PSRP e-Newsletter contains news and information for classified employee and paraprofessional members of the AFT Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) division.

AFT Early Childhood Education eNewsletter is one of two newsletters that provide early educators national news and helpful workplace information. 

AFT PSRP Reporter is part of AFT’s Voices blog and covers issues of relevance to classified employees and support staff nationwide.

AFT e-Activist Network offers alerts and easy ways to take important action quickly on legislation or initiatives that affects you, your workplace, and your community. 

Organizing Materials for Classified Employees

  • Get to know your CCE! Learn more about the officers of the Council of Classified Employees on this flyer.
  • How can you participate? Learn how you can get involved in the Council of Classified Employees and the larger CFT on this flyer.
  • Poster: Be a UNIONIST – United in Fighting for Fairness, Prosperity, Justice, Equality. Post this colorful piece in your workplace!

Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights: A guide to workplace laws for classified employees and paraprofessionals in California is a comprehensive 40-page booklet that outlines state laws and what you need to know about them. It also contains your Weingarten Rights.

CalOSHA Health-and-Safety Rights for Workers: This concise booklet produced by the Department of Industrial Relations/Cal-OSHA outlines the injury and illness prevention program required by your employer under the California Labor Code, your right to a workplace inspection, your right to refuse hazardous work, and your right to obtain documents and records.

Retirement System

CalPERS The retirement system for numerous groups of public employees in California, including many members of the classified service. The CFT monitors CalPERS actions and sends a representative to its board meetings.

For Staff in the Community Colleges

Consultation Council comprises 18 representatives from all levels of the community college system who have an opportunity to advise the chancellor and board of governors on state policy decisions. Thanks to successful CFT-sponsored legislation, classified staff have two seats on the council. The CFT representative on the Consultation Council is Thomas Hamilton from Long Beach City College. 

Article

UC-AFT recognized on Assembly Floor

Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, Chair of the Higher Education Committee, recognized the University Council-AFT on the Assembly Floor during UC-AFT’s first group lobby day at the State Capitol on April 1.

Before becoming a state legislator, Medina was a teacher at Riverside Poly High School and served as an elected trustee of the Riverside Community College District.  For his dedicated work on behalf of education, CFT honored Medina with its Legislator of the Year Award in 2016.

Tri-National Conference: Top-down educational reforms endanger public schools

By Sarah Ringler, Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers, Retiree Chapter 

 Evidence shows that teachers are stressed. A 2017 survey in British Columbia found that two-thirds of teachers felt “stressed and emotionally exhausted all, or most of the time. In the United Kingdom, 86 percent of teachers reported increased workplace stress. In the United States, 40 percent of teachers quit teaching within five years, leaving schools with inexperienced teachers who often are assigned to teach the most challenging and vulnerable students.

Article Strike Local Action

Charter schools cost L.A. Unified nearly $600 million per year, board votes for moratorium
Six Days That Shook Los Angeles - Part 2

Eight days after the six-day strike had ramped up public pressure, the Los Angeles Unified school board passed a groundbreaking resolution calling for a moratorium on new charters in the district until Sacramento completes a study of how their unchecked expansion has affected traditional schools. The district also made a significant investment in local community schools.

On day two of the UTLA strike, members teaching at a South L.A. charter also walked out, and stayed out until victory two weeks later. 

Article Strike Local Action

The power of parents: A new generation shows its commitment to local schools
Six Days That Shook Los Angeles - Part 5

United Teachers Los Angeles has fought for nearly 50 years to give parents a greater voice in how their children’s schools are run. In recent years, UTLA stepped up its outreach by hiring community organizers, building coalitions, and working with supporters in changing neighborhoods.

Those efforts bore fruit in January, when thousands of parents joined teachers on picket lines across the 700-square-mile school district to fight for “the schools our students deserve.”

Article Charter schools

CFT scores major legislative victory by prohibiting for-profit charter schools in California

The Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers successfully fought back an expansion of for-profit charter school chains in 2014 by mobilizing members and organizing swift community action.

Gemma Abels, the president of the Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers, saw how for-profit charter schools hurt the children and families in her district in Santa Clara County. A school there, Flex Academy, operated by the largest for-profit charter company – K12 Inc. – closed just a few weeks before school started, leaving families scrambling to find places for their children.

Article Endorsements

Choose True Blue on November 6: Vote Tony Thurmond for state superintendent

Teachers welcomed the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Tony Thurmond at an event hosted by the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers in Watsonville.

It’s not every election cycle that California finds itself with critical, competitive races, but 2018 is not just any election year. California is a battleground state to take back the House of Representatives. Jerry Brown is termed out, so voters will elect a new governor for the first time in eight years. And the race for state superintendent pits charter schools against public schools.

Article Up Front

A Blue Wave — only if we make it happen

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

Years back, my family took a trip to Hawaii. While there, Japan suffered a serious earthquake and we were told to prepare for a tsunami that never materialized. Like the one on my trip, the “blue wave” that could give Democrats a majority in the House and possibly the Senate, might be just as illusory as our Hawaiian experience. Unless we help make it happen.

Article Janus

CFT members step up to the plate following Janus v. AFSCME decision

Theresa Alvarado Quainoo, an academic department assistant and member of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees, has committed to working with her colleagues to strengthen the union as the attacks come.

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned decades of precedent and eliminated the right of public sector unions to collect fair share, or agency fees, from non-members.

The justices ruled 5-4 in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois fee payer, in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, overturning the 1977 precedent established in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Those backing the case clearly hoped the decision would cripple union operations, but with so much at stake for educators and public education, CFT members have not only chosen to stay united but have gained in strength as a result.