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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 retiree chapters

Elders Speak! project preserves union history for future generations
AFT Local 2121 marks 50th anniversary with oral history

Retirees comb the local files

By Bill Shields

Janitors organize live onstage, in multiple languages. A domestic worker ponders the meaning of life as she mimes ironing clothes. Dancing hotel workers tell how they won a good contract. These stories emerged from an oral history project called Work Tales produced by the Labor and Community Studies Department at City College of San Francisco. I spent 25 years teaching in this department.

Article lecturers

Two higher education activists join UC-AFT leadership
First woman of color and first labor historian

Trevor Griffey in a planning group

In a history-making move, the University Council-AFT is taking steps to expand representation in its leadership. Two new vice presidents have been elected, both of whom are contingent faculty from campuses that have not previously been represented — UC Merced and UC Irvine. Iris Ruiz, from Merced, is the first woman of color to serve on the UC-AFT Executive Board. Trevor Griffey is the first labor historian; he also has a pre-continuing and intermittent appointment.

Article Elections 2022 endorsements SPI

CFT endorses Gavin Newsom, Tony Thurmond for June 7 primary
Find union endorsements for the statewide Primary Election

Primary Election in red, white and blue

With the June 7 Statewide Primary Election fast approaching, the 2022 election season is fully underway. CFT has been preparing by conducting candidate interviews for the state’s top offices and legislative districts around the state. All statewide constitutional offices will be on the ballot, and CFT has endorsed a candidate for each seat.

Article AFT part-time faculty PT campaign

New AFT report shows pandemic wreaked havoc on nation’s adjunct faculty
Transition to remote learning, impact of virus lead to declines in job security, increased reliance on public assistance

WASHINGTON — A new national adjunct faculty survey from the AFT underlines the brutal economic reality faced by millions of contingent and adjunct faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities — and illustrates how the pandemic further eroded job security and bolstered the need for public help.

Article PT campaign state budget part-time faculty

Member action leads governor to pledge $200 million toward part-time faculty healthcare
CFT campaign brings early success in state budget

The CFT campaign to secure healthcare for part-time faculty in the community colleges is up and running, and it’s clear that member action has already led to early success in Sacramento.

During the holiday break, 1,400 people sent letters to Governor Newsom and key legislators demanding funding for part-time faculty healthcare. As a result of these efforts, the governor allocated $200 million in his January 10 state budget proposal to fund healthcare for part-time faculty on an ongoing basis. This increase represents more than 400 times the level of funding in the existing state program.

Article coronavirus

Worker action extends COVID paid sick leave
Retroactive to January 1, 2022 and sunsets September 30, 2022

CFT and our labor partners have fought hard to reinstate COVID-19 paid sick leave. On February 9, Governor Newsom signed the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave legislation (Senate Bill 114) into law. This is a huge win that will help keep our workplaces and communities safe. 

Supplemental Paid Sick Leave became available starting February 19 — ten days after the legislation was signed. Here is a summary of what is included in the new law:

Article PT campaign part-time faculty

CFT launches campaign to secure healthcare for part-time faculty
“Adjuncts deserve, at the very least, the basic right of healthcare”

graphical presentation of inequality in healthcare

The pandemic has pushed many harsh realities in higher education to the forefront, none more so than the inadequacy of healthcare for part-time faculty. With the cost of an average COVID hospitalization, according to a number of sources, running in excess of $20,000, the financial effects alone on an uninsured part-timer contracting COVID can be devastating. Add a possible uninsured family member or members to the mix, and the reality becomes even more frightening.

UC lecturers’ victory inspires broad movement for equity across higher education
CFT wages a campaign for part-time faculty in the community colleges  

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

For about three years the University Council-AFT engaged in protracted negotiations on behalf of lecturers in their unit. Their aims have always been about fairness — better working conditions for lecturers and improved learning conditions for students. Their fight has been about not only winning economic and contractual gains for members, but gaining professional respect and recognition for their teaching at the University of California. Their campaign has been a true member-driven effort, rooted in years of organizing by the statewide local that represents both continuing lecturers and librarians, led by their president, Mia McIver, and a committed negotiations team. 

Article racial justice Black Lives Matter

Ways to honor Black History Month at school and home
February is Black History Month

On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved a joint resolution to submit the proposed 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, to the state legislatures. While the history of Black Americans involves so much more than slavery, it is imperative that students fully understand the institution of slavery, its dissolution and the aftermath in order to understand today’s racial inequity.

We have compiled some meaningful collections of resources for Black History Month. These resources may be of interest to educators in the classroom, unions, and families and communities.

Article state budget coronavirus

Education sees another increase in governor’s state budget proposal
Legislative Update

Governor Newsom proposed significant increases for education and a 5.33% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in his state budget for 2022-23 released January 8. In his proposal, the governor addressed five concurrent state crises — COVID-19, climate change, inequality, homelessness, and public safety — several of which are reflected in the education budget. This budget is a preliminary proposal subject to negotiations with the Legislature and will be revised in May, with its final passage in June.

Download the Legislative Update

Article lecturers strikes

UC lecturers greet new contract as “a game changer” and “only the beginning”
PHOTO GALLERIES

Randi, Mia and Jeff in a good frame.

The view from Westwood

UCLA — It was about 3 a.m., UC-AFT President Mia McIver recalled, when negotiators for the University of California texted the administration’s “final offer.” McIver knew that all major contract issues, from job security to salary increases, were settled. She also knew that 6,500 lecturers were set to strike at all nine UC campuses in a few hours.

Article

Teaching social justice and labor history: A how-to for K-12 educators
Kids' Book Reviews

Reviews by Bill Morgan

It used to be hard to find quality non-fiction, especially history, for kids. It was dumbed-down, or poorly formatted, or biased, or written in dry adultese, or some combination of these. Thankfully, that has changed.

A new generation of high-interest, attractively packaged kids’ books dealing with social justice issues and using leveled vocabulary are now available. This is a group of some of the best recent ones that I have used in my years teaching social studies for social justice.

Article union communications

CFT wins top awards in national labor media competition
Federation lands 11 awards for communications in 2020

In a friendly competition with state and regional labor groups around the nation, the CFT won 11 awards from the International Labor Communications Association.

The awards show that content is still king. The CFT website won First Place in “best electronic content” for the third year in a row. Seven member-based stories won awards, with four claiming First Place honors.

Article retiree chapters

You can help start an AFT retiree chapter!
Retiree division sets sights on organizing more chapters

Kate Disney, president of the West Valley-Mission Federation of Teachers

For most of her career, Kate Disney taught engineering at Mission College in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara. Disney learned the ins and outs of the West Valley-Mission Federation of Teachers contract when she became a union rep in 2017. She was elected president of the local in 2019.

“You learn about different sections of a contract as you go through different phases of your life and career,” she said. “Certain portions are more important at different ages.”

Article part-time faculty

Governor’s veto of AB 375 disappointing setback in push for increased workload cap
Legislative update for part-time faculty

California governor's office with the bronze bear statue outside

“Bittersweet” might be the best word to describe CFT’s legislative efforts on behalf of part-time faculty this year, with gains in categorical funding, but a last-minute veto of the union-sponsored bill to raise the teaching cap in a single community college district from 67% to 85% — AB 375.

Article coronavirus

Answers to common questions about return to in-person 
FAQ for teachers and support staff in TK-12 schools

masked teacher with masked students

Now that California schools have returned to in-person classes, teachers and staff on campuses up and down the state are having to navigate a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-August, the CFT held a tele-townhall meeting to connect directly with members and hear about your workplace concerns. Below are answers to the most common questions we heard from you.

Article coronavirus staff shortage

What does classified work look like 20 months into the pandemic?
Staff shortages, vaccine mandates, strict school bus protocols, but also pay raises and lots of union support

rural bus driver wearing a face mask

California schools reopened to a new normal. Classified staff are getting their arms around vaccine mandates and making safety protocols part of their daily routines. And nearly every district, from rural elementaries to urban community colleges, are facing serious labor shortages.