Newsroom

Article Coronavirus

Governor signs 10 important bills to close unprecedented session
Legislative Update

August 31 marked the end of an unprecedented two-year legislative session, one in which the number of bills heard was pared down because of the COVID-19 pandemic and all hearings were held online.

Governor Newsom had until September 30 to sign or veto those bills that made it to his desk. Below is a summary of several CFT priority bills that the governor has either signed or are on his desk awaiting his action. Bills without an emergency clause and signed into law will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Article Student debt

Governor signs union-sponsored Student Borrower Bill of Rights
Sweeping legislation to protect student loan borrowers

Governor Newsom signed CFT co-sponsored AB 376, the Student Borrower Bill of Rights, on Friday, September 25. This critical piece of legislation will bring much-needed reforms to the student loan market and regulate the private sector companies that service both federal and private student loans for California borrowers.

Article Coronavirus Elections 2020

Unions are the anchor during a perfect storm
Locals navigate pandemic, reopening, wildfires, elections, social unrest

Facing the threats of COVID-19 and wildfires, local unions and districts across California are trying to figure out how school will look this semester.

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Orange County was one of the first to push for in-person instruction after it had been prohibited based on the county monitoring list.  At the beginning of the summer, the members in the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers were pretty much evenly divided about that.

Article AFT

Q&A Carl Williams: First classified AFT vice president from California
“We are essential and this work cannot be done without us”

On September 1, Carl Williams was elected to join 39 other AFT Vice Presidents from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Williams joins two other vice presidents from California, a group that has included former CFT Presidents Mary Bergan and Joshua Pechthalt over the years, and now current President Jeff Freitas.

Article Coronavirus Elections 2020

Facing most difficult conditions in decades, unions meet the moment
Organizing for equity at work, home, and in communities

Strong organizing has meant workplace gains and more political power for faculty during the pandemic, with members showing up in larger than ever numbers to virtual bargaining sessions and meetings.

All this while millions, many who are out of work, struggle to meet basic needs. Food insecurity has more than doubled throughout the state, and in some counties, it’s tripled. With such widespread devastation affecting students, their families, and some members, unions are stepping up to find new ways to make a difference in their campus communities.

Article Coronavirus

New working groups align UC-AFT with nationwide racial justice efforts
Hardship fund helps members in need due to pandemic, wildfires

By Mia McIver, UC-AFT President 

Contingent teaching faculty and librarians at the University of California recently voted to create three new working groups to combat racism and support each other with mutual aid. With the firm conviction that Black Lives Matter, UC-AFT members aim to align our union’s efforts with those of activists fighting for racial justice nationwide.

Article Coronavirus Retiree chapters Elections 2020

Retirees mobilize for most important election in their lives
The threat to our social norms is “mind boggling”

Every senior has a long personal view of U.S. history, but nearly all would agree that this presidential election will be the most important ballot they cast in their lives. The prospect of Donald Trump in the White House for four more years has ratcheted up emotions.

“The threat to our Constitution, to our institutions, and to our social norms is mind boggling,” said Dennis Cox of the CFT Council of Retired Members.

Article Elections 2020 Schools & Communities First

Fixing commercial tax system will help fund schools and community colleges
Prop 15 will improve funding for public education

Over the past 40 years, disinvestment in public education has caused California to fall from one of the top states in per pupil spending to one that ranks near the bottom.

The California Schools & Local Communities Funding Act would raise up to an estimated $12 billion every year for schools and local communities by ending the unfair system that allows a fraction of the wealthiest commercial and industrial property owners to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Fixing commercial tax system will help communities prepare for wildfires
Prop 15 will fund local fire protection districts

As a result of our rapidly changing climate, California has experienced the deadliest, largest, and most destructive wildfires in its history. 

In the past five years, we’ve had nine of the 20 most destructive fires the state has ever had, including the Camp Fire in Butte in 2018, the Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma in 2017, the Carr Fire in Shasta & Trinity in 2018, and the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura in 2017.