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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 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 state budget coronavirus

LAO predicts $31 billion budget surplus for 2022-23
Research Brief

Each November, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (the non-partisan advisor for the state Legislature) prepares a fiscal outlook in anticipation of the state budget process that kicks off in January with the governor’s budget proposal.

    Overall, revenues are growing at historic rates and the LAO estimates the state will have a $31 billion surplus to allocate in 2022‑23. The Proposition 98 guarantee for schools and community colleges is estimated to be $11.6 billion (12.4% above the 2021-22 enacted budget). LAO estimates $9.5 billion will be available for new commitments and $10.2 billion will be available for one-time spending.

    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. 

    Sarah Auwarter, president of the Newport-Mesa FederationSkylar Petersen, president of the Lompoc FederationJuan Ramirez with CFT President Jeff Freitas

    Overwork, underpayment, burn out and blame, lead to staff shortages
    Unions speak to pandemic-driven shortage of teachers, subs, paras, classified

    For years, California elementary and secondary schools have had teacher shortages, particularly in areas of special education, math, and science, but it’s grown worse since the pandemic started, with fewer teacher candidates getting credentials, and 26% more teachers retiring in 2020 than the year before.

    Article student debt
    Jessica Saint-Paul at work Peter Huk is a lecturer of writing at UC Santa Barbara Kristi Jacobson at her classroom door

    What does gratitude look like? Find out from three members deep in student debt
    How AFT’s legal victory with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will change lives

    In 2018, Jessica Saint-Paul, who has a doctorate in medical science and teaches public health and health occupation courses at Southwest and Trade Tech colleges, attended a benefits conference put on by her local, the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. They covered Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a federal program that promised if you worked in public service for 10 years and made 120 payments, the remainder of your loan would be forgiven.

    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
    For All Para Todos book cover

    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 lecturers strikes
    Randi, Mia and Jeff in a good frame. The rally stage framed by victory signsJubilant chief negotiator Mia McIver, UC-AFT president.Lecturers celebrate the new contract.AFT President Randi Weingarten and Mia McIverCFT President Jeff FreitasLecturers celebrate the new contract.CFT Vice President Kent Wong, UCLA Labor Center

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

    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 lecturers strikes

    BREAKING: Strike averted — UC lecturers reach groundbreaking settlement at 4 am

    SUMMARY: UC-AFT reached a groundbreaking settlement with UC administration in the middle of the night. The planned two-day ULP strike has been called off.  There will be noon rallies to celebrate today at all nine campuses. 

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