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Article Schools & Communities First

Prop 15: It’s not just about closing corporate tax loopholes
It’s about protecting adjunct faculty too!

California is at an educational crossroads made dire by the coronavirus pandemic, and Proposition 15 is an important step in getting California back on the right track.

COVID-19 has not only ravaged the health and lives of countless Californians — it has also ravaged state revenues, with Governor Newsom himself acknowledging overall state revenue declines being in the “tens of billions.”

Article Workers Compensation Student debt Coronavirus

Legislative gains and losses for adjuncts in a time of COVID
Union scores expanded Workers’ Comp support, Student Borrower Bill of Rights

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted public education, so too did it impact the California Legislature and CFT’s legislative goals.

What would normally have been a rigorous six-month period to discuss the state budget and legislation, was reduced to two virtual sessions, one running from May 4 to June 19, and the other from July 27 to August 31. This forced the Legislature, which was slated to hear and discuss some 2,390 bills, to shelve consideration of any bills not deemed related to the pandemic, wildfires, and affordable housing.

Article Part-time faculty Coronavirus AFT

The patient is on the table — Higher Education in America is sick
Opinion

By Geoff Johnson, AFT Guild, San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges

Higher education in America is sick. Its classrooms and campuses have been largely shuttered, save but for students taking lab courses, or practicums, ironically in hospitals. Students and instructors are now confined to the domains of their computers and laptop screens in the educational netherworlds of Zoom or Cranium. With the exception of online instruction developed prior to the crisis, what is being delivered, more so than taught, is a curriculum of coping under the duress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Article Coronavirus Workers Compensation

New Workers’ Comp law deems corona-related employee illness occupational injury
Quick Facts: SB 1159

On September 17, Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 (Hill, D-San Mateo), which directs the Workers’ Compensation system to presume that an employee’s illness related to coronavirus is an occupational injury and therefore eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if specified criteria are met. The bill creates a “rebuttable presumption” for healthcare workers, first responders, or workers on any worksite that has an outbreak of COVID-19.

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 Wildfires

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

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.