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Union Media

  • Classified Insider contains valuable news and information about the workplace issues of California classified employees and paraprofessionals and is emailed to members.
  • CFT United, formerly named 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.
  • 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 e-Newsletter provides 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

  • 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

Classified School Employee Week

Once a year, we make an extra effort to celebrate the support staff and paraprofessionals who help our early childhood centers, schools, and colleges succeed. Classified School Employee Week is the time to showcase our work. It is celebrated during the third full week in May of each year. In 2020, Classified Employee Week is May 17-23.

Retirement System

CalPERS is 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 Up Front

Union work is social justice work

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

When I was elected CFT President in March, I said in my speech to Convention delegates: “I believe that when we fight for education, we also fight for social justice, racial justice, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and climate justice.”

To be a social justice union, we must not only consider the complex lives of our members and the challenges they face, but look beyond the doors of the schoolhouse to consider the ways our campus communities intersect with our larger communities. When we fight for labor, we must fight for our communities, too.

Article

New state program matches funds classified employees set aside
What you need to know about Classified School Employee Summer Assistance

Bernard Benson is enrolled in the new Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program. His deductions began in August and will continue through June. The state will match his savings up to a dollar for dollar in July.

“It would be ludicrous for me not to participate,” explained Benson. “Where else can I set aside $200 a month for 11 months and make a 100 percent return on my investment?”

Article

How American education has changed since “Leave it to Beaver”
Tracking diversity and achievement in our schools since 1960

By John Perez, President, Council of Retired Members

In 1960 America was a very different place. Father Knows Best was ending a seven-year run, but we were still watching Leave It to Beaver. Women earned only 63 percent as much as men for the same job. Teachers were considered “tall children,” better seen than heard.

Article Labor art

Movie Review: American Factory
Community as union, union as community

By Bill Morgan

I know, you’ve seen them before: hard-hitting documentaries about workplaces, filled with candid interviews and tough, unstinting footage of workers organizing and management tactics to forestall them. The problem is, the unions usually lose these days, one way or another. We are left with those fleeting moments of courage and solidarity as our only inspiration.

Article Online College

CFT takes bold next step in opposition to statewide online community college
Union to sue CalBright for violations of Education Code

Duplicating existing programs. Diverting taxpayer resources. Recruiting students from other districts. Not meeting critical deadlines. Lack of input from faculty stakeholders. Lack of transparency.

These are some of the reasons  leaders from the CFT’s Community College Council strongly oppose the state’s new all online community college, now doing business as “Calbright,” which they say was created to fill a need that doesn’t exist.

Article Labor art

How unionizing the Lusty Lady has influenced faculty members
Novelist and poet works to organize faculty in creative departments

When Aya de León started as a lecturer in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and director of its Poetry for the People program, she was excited to join AFT Local 1474. She’s been working since she was a teenager, de León says, but this is the first job where she has a union to represent her.

When she was younger, the idea of being in a local seemed very adult to her, and now being a member of one makes her feel she has arrived, she says. That’s just one reason she’s excited to be a union member.

Article Lecturers

UC lecturers take bold stand with university in negotiations
Momentum has built activism and organizing success

Eighty UC-AFT members and their allies showed up at the first bargaining session at UC Davis as lecturers began their contract negotiations last spring. The impressive number of rank-and-file members in the room to support the team helped them win open bargaining, says UC-AFT President Mia McIver.

Article Legislative Updates Jane Hundertmark

CFT lands an unprecedented 10 bills on the governor’s desk
Legislative Update

Of this year’s 16 CFT-sponsored or co-sponsored bills, the union lobbied successfully to pass 10 of them through the Legislature and onto the governor’s desk for his consideration. The governor has until October 13 to sign or veto the bills.

September 13 marked the end of the first year of the two-year legislative session. Six of CFT’s bills became two-year bills and will be considered again when the Legislature returns from Interim Recess on January 6. 

Article CFT 100

The birth of a statewide Federation
A piece of our history is revealed for the first time

By Dennis Kelly

On May 16, 1918, J.P. Utter wrote to the president of the AFT to remind him that a year earlier Utter had asked about chartering a local. In that year, the Vallejo teachers had organized 57 of 58 teachers and principals, had elected two officers, created a salary committee that delivered a raise, demanded and won 12 monthly paychecks, and had created a temporary organization. Utter enclosed $10 for the charter fee. 

Article split roll Proposition 13

Improved corporate tax reform initiative refiled with state
CFT working with coalition to put funding measure on the 2020 ballot

This week, the Schools & Communities First campaign refiled the the split roll ballot initiative with significant improvements. The refiling is a result of organizing during 2018 that allowed the campaign to hear feedback from stakeholders across the state on the ballot measure, and to consult with California’s leading policy and legal experts. CFT is a key member of the campaign coalition. 

Article Labor Solidarity

Unions weather the storm and look to build a brighter future
Happy Labor Day 2019

FIRST PERSON | Jim Miller

These last few years have been particularly challenging times for the American labor movement as we’ve faced everything from a host of anti-labor policies coming from Washington to a Supreme Court decision designed to gut public sector unions. The good news is that despite all of that, the union movement has persevered and the number of Americans who support unions and say they would like the opportunity to join one is the highest it has been in decades. 

Article Immigration

Support union families torn apart in Mississippi ICE raids
Know how to support immigrant students and families

The CFT and AFT join other progressive groups in condemning the ICE raids in Mississippi – the largest immigrations raids waged in a single state. Immigration and Customs Enforcement swept up nearly 700 undocumented workers from several food processing plants last week, leaving as many families scrambling for support. 

The plant workers of Koch Foods in Mississippi were union members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1529.

Article

September 20 Student Climate Strike

On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people from across the world will strike to demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis. The day kicks off a week of action across California led by students and supported by environmental groups and unions.

Earlier this summer, the CFT Executive Council voted to endorse the student climate strike, and to support educators, classified, and students’ efforts to demand bold climate action at all levels of government and institutions.

Post

AB 500 – Paid maternity leave for teachers and school workers

We are sorry to report that Governor Newsom has vetoed AB 500. Despite overwhelming bipartisan votes in both the Assembly and Senate, the fierce opposition to the bill from K-12 and community college districts was too much to overcome. Thanks to the nearly 2,000 CFT members and allies who wrote letters to the Governor, urging him to sign AB 500. We will continue to fight for educators and school workers who wish to start families.

Article CFT 100

What To Do Between Strikes
An essay by Raoul Teilhet

Editor’s note: This essay was presented to CFT Convention on March 9, 2002. Because of Raoul Teilhet’s Parkinson’s disease, it was read by then-Vice President Greg Camacho-Light, a drama teacher from the Gilroy Federation of Teachers and Paraprofessionals. Gov. Gray Davis attended convention that day and officially named it Raoul Teilhet Day. 
 

By Raoul Teilhet

Article Labor Solidarity

We need you… to become a Unionist

Editor’s note: What follows is a condensed version of an inspired presentation from the CFT’s 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 Charter schools

State Charter School Task Force makes recommendations
Superintendent of Pubic Instruction releases much-anticipated report

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released the much-anticipated Charter Task Force Report on June 7, ahead of the July 1 deadline.

The report’s central focus is twofold: the fiscal impact that charter schools have on traditional public schools and the inconsistencies in how charter schools are authorized throughout the state. Recommendations were made to alleviate concerns in these areas and provide specific ways to address fiscal impact and authorization challenges.