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Overview

Resources

Union Media

  • CFT United is the CFT’s all-union magazine that contains information relevant to members including a section specific to the issues of classified employees.
  • Classified Insider contains valuable news and information about the workplace issues of California classified employees and paraprofessionals and is emailed to members.
  • AFT PSRP Reporter covers issues of relevance to classified employees and support staff members of the AFT Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) division and is part of AFT Voices.
  • Subscribe to the AFT PSRP email that contains news and information for classified employee and paraeducator members of the AFT.

Organizing Materials

  • 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

  • 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.
  • Know Your Rights: A guide to workplace laws for classified employees and paraprofessionals in California 
    A comprehensive 40-page analysis of the California Education Code as it relates to classified employees and paraprofessionals covers topics such as hours of employment, vacation and leaves, refusal to perform unsafe work and collective bargaining rights, plus the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. It also contains your Weingarten Rights.
  • Family and medical leave
    Our articles defines the leaves available in federal laws, state codes, and individual collective bargaining agreements. Your union local may also bargain improvements.

Our Classified Voice is Strong

At CalPERS

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

  • Mike O’Neill, a bus driver and member of the Jefferson AFT Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1481, is the CCE liaison for CalPERS.

In the Community Colleges

The Consultation Council of the California Community Colleges comprises 18 representatives who have an opportunity to advise the chancellor and board of governors on state policy decisions. Thanks to successful CFT-sponsored legislation, classified staff now have two seats on the council.

  • Pamela Ford, president of the Antelope Valley Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4683, is the CFT representative on the Consultation Council.
Article

UESF’s big win for paras shows strength and challenges for Classified workers
UESF leaders share the vision and wins of historic new contract

People call San Francisco a city of love and a city of fog, according to Cassondra Curiel, the President of United Educators of San Francisco. But what it really is, she said, is a union town. 

Curiel told attendees at the Council of Classified Employees Conference that the union of 6,500 classified and certificated members just won one of the biggest tentative agreements in the history of the organization.

Article

Bittersweet Legislative Year for CFT Part-time Faculty

Bittersweet would best describe the end results of the 2022-2023 legislative season for community college part-time faculty.

One of the clear positives was the realization of a record 8.22% cost-of-living allowance for California Community Colleges, up .09% from Governor Newsom’s initial proposal of an 8.13% COLA in January. The COLA followed off a fairly robust COLA of 6.56% in 2021-2022. 

Article Obituaries In Memoriam

Honoring Mary Bergan
Long time CFT President Mary Bergan passed away November 30th, 2023

Mary Bergan
September 13, 1941 – November 30, 2023

Mary Astrid Bergan, former president of the California Federation of Teachers died November 30, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, after a long illness. Her career of service stemmed from a Kennedy-era idealism that took her first to the Peace Corps and on to classroom teaching and ultimately an enduring leadership role in education unionism. 

Article

Senate candidates show strong support for public education at CFT forum

Watch the highlights of the candidate forum here

At the CFT Senate Candidate Forum on October 14, over 300 CFT members in person and online got to hear directly from the leading candidates on their records on and support for public education. 

The event was part of the CFT State Council, held in San Jose with the candidates – Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff – all appearing online. 

Post

Student Application Portal
Applications now being accepted!

Welcome student applicants! Here you will find information about scholarship eligibility and the link to our online application portal. Please read each section carefully and plan ahead to allow enough time to complete your application. The application period for each CFT Raoul Teilhet Scholarship is open for six months.

APPLICATIONS & DEADLINES

When you click on the application link below, you will be asked you to create a log-in for our application portal. Please keep track of your username and password. Once you have a log-in, you may work on your application at any time until you complete it and submit it.

We recommend that you allow four weeks to complete your application. It requires you to complete several sections and write an essay. In addition, the application requires other individuals to respond to your requests and you cannot control the timeliness of their responses. Please start your application early and plan your time accordingly to allow for successful completion. 

APPLY HERE

Continuing College Students

Application opens: December 15, 2023
Deadline to apply: June 15, 2024
 

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicants must be high school seniors or undergraduate continuing college students.
  • The applicant’s parent or guardian must be a member in good standing of an AFT local union in California.
  • The applicant must be listed as a dependent on their parent’s or guardian’s tax return.
  • Award selection is based on academic achievement, special talents and skills, participation in extracurricular activities, community service, financial need, and a 500-word essay on a social issue of the applicant’s choice.
  • Scholarships are awarded for any one year of higher education: High school seniors who received Raoul Teilhet Scholarships are not eligible for another scholarship as continuing college students. Continuing college students who received a Raoul Teilhet Scholarships are not eligible to apply again.
  • The CFT accepts only online applications.

PLANNING AHEAD

Requirements for each scholarship are detailed in our application portal. However, knowing in advance what documentation and other information you will need may speed your application. Here’s what to have ready when you apply for a CFT scholarship.

  • Transcript: You will need your most recent transcript. High school seniors are asked to provide an official transcript. 
  • Parent/Guardian Federal Tax Return: The first two pages of your parent’s or guardian’s signed federal tax return are required.
  • Member Verification by Parent/Guardian: You will need your parent’s email address.
  • Member Verification by AFT Local Union President: You will need the name and email address of your parent’s AFT local union president.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three recommendations are required are required for high school senior applicants, and two recommendations are required for continuing college student applicants. You will need the email addresses of your recommenders.
  • Essay: A titled essay on a social issue of the applicant’s choice, not to exceed 500 words.

We recommend that you allow four weeks to complete your application. The application requires you to complete several sections and write an essay, In addition, it requires other individuals to respond to your requests and you cannot control the timeliness of their responses. Please start your application as early as possible and plan your time accordingly to allow for successful completion. 

Article

A unique salary formula ensures higher wages in Salinas Valley

Kati Bassler, President of the Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1020, says the salary formula the local has had since 2011 ensures members they will get a fair share of district funds.

“Their increase in salary is based on financial standing of district,” she said on a video call. “It creates a culture where everyone understands that if the district gets more money, they’re going to get a raise.”

Article

CalSTRS and CalPERS Data Breach: Impacts and Actions
Information and action items to protect yourself

Both Dennis Cox, the Southern Vice President for the CFT Council of Retired Members, and Doug Orr, Chair of the CFT Retirement Policy Committee, want impacted members to do whatever they can to protect themselves from a recent data breach that affected both CalSTRS and CalPERS.

In June, officials from both pension funds announced that cyber attackers stole information, including names, Social Security numbers and birth dates.

Article

New Look for Orange County Classified Professionals
“Employees” is now “Professionals” – in line with the CFT approach

Get out your smart phones and change your listing for AFT Local 4794. Members of the Coast Federation of Classified Employees voted unanimously at their spring meeting for a new name and look. “Employees” is now “Professionals” – in line with the CFT approach – and a Local 4794 task force created a new logo.

Article

Lawndale Federation brings home medical coverage for part-timers
The District scheduled part-timers so they were always a few minutes short of the ACA requirement to provide health benefits.

Watch this powerful video of members talking about their hard fought win for medical benefits.

For 30 years, the Lawndale Elementary School District denied their part-time classified employees health benefits. The District scheduled part-timers so they were always a few minutes short of the ACA requirement to provide health benefits.

Article

Back to School Tour 2023

As the new school year gets underway, CFT’s elected leaders will once again take part in a Back to School tour with visits happening across the state. The tour window will open in August and continue throughout September, with CFT leaders taking the opportunity to meet with local leaders and rank-and-file members to kick off the year.

The visits will be attended by President Jeff Freitas, Secretary Treasurer Lacy Barnes and Executive Vice President Juan Ramirez. 

Article

Data leak impacting hundreds of thousands of STRS and CalPERS retirees and beneficiaries

In June both the CalSTRS and CalPERS systems announced that data from a third-party vendor had leaked, impacting hundreds of thousands of retirees and beneficiaries in both systems. The leak did not impact actively employed members of either system.

In total, cyber-attackers stole personal information from 769,000 CalPERS retired members, including names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates. The hackers also may have gotten the names of former or current employers, spouses or domestic partners, and children.

Article Classified Conference gun control

AVERTing disaster: Every second counts
Surviving an “active shooter” on campus takes quick decisions and actions

Members doing safety training with fake orange guns

The names of the schools are etched in our minds: Columbine High, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High, Uvalde Elementary. Gunmen with grudges have struck at all grade levels and in every corner of the country.

Most shootings take place at businesses, but news stories more often focus on schools. Deadly shootings are, in fact, tearing up U.S. schools at a record pace. According to Education Week, as of October 24 there have been 40 school shootings this year, with a toll of 34 dead and 88 injured.

Governor signs six CFT bills, plus budget trailer bills with union priorities
Legislative Update

State Capitol

Governor Newsom signed six union bills at the end of September that the CFT successfully lobbied in both houses of the Legislature. The CFT had sponsored or co-sponsored 16 legislative bills alongside several budget proposals in the last year of the 2020-22 legislative session. A majority of these priorities made it to the governor’s desk or were included in the state budget, with only one bill being vetoed by the governor.

Article Up Front staff shortage

We are united for education and justice
Back-to-School tour and opinion poll provide strong foundation for strategic planning

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

Another school year has started. As an educator, August and September have traditionally been the time when I set New Year’s resolutions for the coming academic year. It starts me off on a positive note to identify my goals, my priorities, and the areas in which I want to learn and grow.

I think about our work at CFT in much the same way, and just like when I was teaching, beginning a new school year as an organization is not just the work of one person. Setting goals for the CFT is not just the work of leaders or the Executive Council. Rather it demands real-time feedback from our membership so that we, as a statewide union, can respond to the issues members identify as top priorities. To do that important work, we have undertaken a number of projects to listen to members and respond to what we have heard.

AFT resolution asks U.S. Department of Education to conduct higher ed study
Calls for national data about adjunct/contingent pay and benefit inequities

Geoff Johnson, AFT Guild San Diego

CFT once again demonstrated its commitment to adjunct/contingent faculty by submitting and winning unanimous passage of its resolution “Calling for Department of Education Study of Pay and Benefit Inequity” at the AFT Convention July 15 in Boston.

Article Classified Summer Assistance Program

CFT’s due process bill succeeds, puts classified on even footing with faculty
Summer Assistance expands to community college staff, Juneteenth becomes official school holiday

due process, dictionary listing

Governor Newsom capped the 2020-22 legislative session by signing a flurry of bills that CFT sponsored, co-sponsored or supported. Senate and Assembly bills with strong bearing on classified employees ranged from due process during workplace appeals, to a fair repayment plan for accidentally overpaid wages.

Following are the new laws CFT fought to win for classified employees and paraprofessionals.