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Article coronavirus

Governor extends COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave through year’s end
New extension will sunset on December 31, 2022

Governor Newsom signed AB 152 on September 29, extending COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave through the end of the year for California workers. This protection was originally set to expire on September 30.

This extension does not come with additional sick leave but instead gives workers access to any of their remaining COVID-19 Supplemental Sick Leave through December 31, 2022.

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.

Article staff shortage coronavirus AFT
Yajaira J. CuapioYajaira J. CuapioDeborah RobledoCharles LoneroRay Gaer

In our voices: The state of our schools, workers, and students
Educators report staff shortages, mental health issues are ubiquitous

Yajaira J. Cuapio has been a social worker in the San Francisco Unified School District for eight years. With the pandemic, she says the last couple of years have been challenging.

“Students have been isolated for so long that it’s having an impact on their social skills. They’re arguing and fighting, and it leads to unsafe interactions,” she said. “Then academically there have been disruptions. For one thing, a positive COVID case would cause students to have to quarantine for 10 days, and if they’re out that long, truancy is established.”

Article staff shortage affordability crisis
Alex Daria, special education instructional assistantAlex Daria, special education instructional assistantRobbie RockMonica CaseyShirley Cruz

How does a district build a village for teachers and staff?
Innovative, affordable, and comfortable housing in Daly City welcomes new and veteran employees

The Jefferson Union High School District knew it had a problem holding onto staff. The district was losing about 25% of its certificated and classified employees yearly, and a survey showed that many were leaving the Daly City school district because of the high cost of housing.

Article coronavirus SCFF PT campaign
San Diego student Joshua McCannJim MahlerJames McKeever

Faculty push for the face-to-face classes that students want
In-person college classes improve learning, build campus community, and lifelong connections

Joshua McCann much prefers going to campus for his San Diego Community College District classes. Now in his second year and intending to transfer to a UC and major in political science, McCann says connections on Zoom or in your Canvas inbox can’t compare to being with a person in real life.

McCann goes to campus for three out of his four classes. The other night after his philosophy class, he stayed for office hours with the teacher, and ended up having a two-hour conversation about the class with some of the other students.

Article lecturers librarians
UC-AFT President Mia McIver

Retrospective: Organizing to win in tumultuous times
Reflecting on five years of union gains for UC librarians and lecturers

By Mia McIver, President, University Council-AFT

When I was elected president of University Council-AFT in 2017, I never could have predicted that the next five years would be as tumultuous as they turned out to be. I also could never have foreseen how our union of University of California lecturers and librarians would organize, build power, win contracts, and accomplish gains that far exceeded my hopes and expectations.

Article WEP/GPO Social Security
rally to end WEP/GPO in Washington D.C.retirees rally to end WEP/GPOretirees fighting to end WEP/GPORepeal WEP/GPO

Take action now to avoid income shock at retirement
End the Social Security penalties WEP and GPO

Districts are supposed to tell new hires about the impact “WEP and GPO” will have on their Social Security—but often they don’t, says Dennis Cox, president of the CFT Council of Retired Members. That means teachers who are counting on a certain amount of income for their retirement get a shock when they find out they won’t be getting it. This happened to Cox.

“I found out I wasn’t going to get my full Social Security benefits and Medicare would be taken out of that,” he said. “I got clobbered, and there’s many people in a worse situation than I am.”

Article Elections 2022
Katie PorterCongressional candidate Christy Smith with CFT members.California Senator Alex PadillaYes on Prop 1Governor Newsom signs Christy Smith's landmark charter reform bill.

California voters crucial to holding U.S. Senate and House
Your vote as a CFT member matters more this November than ever!

You’ve no doubt heard pundits debating the fate of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Like most midterm elections, this November will be crucial in determining the tone and tenor of national politics, as well as the ability of our elected representatives to get things done on behalf of educators and working people.

Though California is often described as a “safe blue state,” it has an important role to play in protecting progressive incumbents and working to flip House seats.

Article racial justice
Latina dancing with words Hispanic Heritage Month CFT

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at school and home
Honoring Latinx history and achievement September 15 to October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year to recognize and celebrate the contributions, diverse cultures, and histories of the American Latino community. With California’s Latino population continuing to grow, and to make up nearly 40% of the state, it’s particularly important to recognize accomplishments and history. In fact, two of the state’s most iconic labor leaders, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the founders of the United Farm Workers, are Latino.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
Part-time faculty on a zoom meeting

Join a campaign kickoff meeting on Zoom — Faculty Healthcare Now!
In phase 2, learn how to secure funding for part-timer healthcare in your community college district

We invite local union leaders, activists, and rank-and-file members to please join us and kick off this phase with faculty power!

In Phase 1 of the Part-Time Faculty Campaign, our collective efforts secured $200 million in ongoing funding for part-time faculty healthcare in the California state budget. Now in Phase 2, we are launching coordinated collective bargaining as members begin to mobilize and bargain in their home districts to secure this funding in contracts or MOUs.

Article WEP/GPO Social Security
Repeal WEP/GPO

Sign now to repeal WEP and GPO!
Stop penalizing teachers and public employees

Everyone deserves a secure retirement, especially those who devoted their career to public service. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) threatens that by substantially reducing or eliminating the earned Social Security benefits of the millions of retired teachers and public employees who contributed to Social Security through other employment.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
raising the percentage of workload

Urge governor to increase workload cap for part-time faculty
Ask Governor Newsom to sign CFT-sponsored bill to raise the cap to 85%!

UPDATE: We are disappointed to report Governor Newsom vetoed AB 1856 on September 25, citing cost concerns. Find his veto message here. This action is now closed.

Please take a moment to urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 1856, which will increase the workload cap available to part-time faculty from 67% up to 85% of a full-time faculty workload in California’s community colleges.