Newsroom

Article Professional Development

Unions find innovative solutions for staff development

Career development has been a convenient target of budget cuts, but locals unions have found creative approaches for investing in staff.

A sabbatical program the AFT Guild negotiated with the San Diego Community College District allows nine classified employees a year to take 16 weeks paid leave to study at an accredited college.

Nathan Talo used his leave to take a giant step toward his psychology degree. Talo began working at Mesa College as a part-time account clerk 15 years ago, and is now a senior account clerk.

Article CFT Elections

Meet leaders of the CFT Council of Classified Employees

Paula Phillips is president of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. After earning a degree in human resource management and working in the private sector, she came to Berkeley Unified as an administrative assistant to the Personnel Commission. She saw the district grading internal job candidates harder than external applicants and didn’t think it was fair.

Article Local Action

Berkeley local unions fight for fair contract, cooking and gardening program

The faculty and classified AFT local unions in the Berkeley Unified School District rallied on May 8 before a district board meeting. With state funding to the district on the rise, educators say the district can provide more for its employees, especially since it is holding $7.9 million in its ending fund balance.

The workers are also trying to save the successful cooking and gardening program threatened by cuts to the federal program, Network for Healthy Californians. 

Article Classified School Employees Week

Celebrate the role of classified staff during Classified School Employee Week!
May 19-25 is our week!

Classified staff keep California schools and colleges working. From making sure the buses are on time and running safely to helping college students obtain financial aid so they can stay in college, the work of classified members makes a difference every day.

Classified work in dozens of job roles ranging from clerical, maintenance and operations, food service, and computer services to classroom aides. Each classified worker helps the workplace run a little better and contributes to the quality of education for our students.

California Teacher MOOCs

Massive Open Online Classes threaten quality of education

Low-cost educational alternative likely to widen digital divide

MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE CLASSES have been hailed by officials at the companies that run them (the three biggest are edX, Udacity and Coursera) as a way to provide access to classes at elite universities to everyone, but critics say that MOOCs — free online course with potentially thousands of students, many of them outside the United States — would undermine education quality, increase the digital divide and cost teachers their jobs.

California Teacher

Federal cuts threaten cooking and gardening classes
Berkeley community rallies to save famous kids’ grow-it-yourself program

Facing a massive loss of federal funds, Berkeley Unified officials may yank an innovative gardening and cooking program up by the roots. The slash and burn tactics are drawing widespread community fire.

For about 15 years, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has taught low-income families about nutrition through school programs like the Network for a Healthy California. Congress, however, has revised its funding formula and California, which used to receive nearly a third of all USDA money, will lose about 40 percent of its grant. The funding for direct-to-kids programs like the NHC will be shifted to local health agencies to run publicity campaigns.