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California Teacher Adult education

Adult Education: New regional consortia meld state programs
Grassroots action required to meet community needs

By Cynthia Eagleton

Ever Since Wall street crashed into Main Street five years ago, adult education has been in a state of change. Until five years ago, adult education in California was stable: Classes were provided primarily through K-12 districts as a protected categorical, and in a few cities, as non-credit offerings at community colleges.

California Teacher Elections 2013

Educators score local ballot box victories
Coalition building proves critical to electoral success

“We phone-banked until we couldn’t talk any more,” reported Pamela Ford, president of the Antelope Valley College Federation of Classified Employees, in describing how her local union worked with campus faculty and community allies to elect Barbara Gaines, a middle school principal, to the board of trustees in this conservative high desert region.

California Teacher Community Outreach

Where can families get the best parenting support? From the union!

If you ask your child what he did in school today and get “Nothing,” then ask a more specific question, like “What was the most difficult thing you did today?” This was one of many suggestions fourth grade teacher Michele Bantugan offered 40 parents attending a workshop on communicating with their children at Daly City’s Westlake Elementary School on November 21.

California Teacher Librarians

Reference librarians meet complex queries with a human touch
Highly skilled professionals imperiled by administrative cost-cutting, online chat

“We no longer have a visible reference desk in our two main libraries,” reports Miki Goral, a UCLA librarian of 43 years. “Students first have to go to the circulation desk. If the student working there thinks they need to talk to a reference librarian, they often refer them to a 24/7 online chat, which is staffed by a UC librarian only during certain hours.

Otherwise they could be chatting with a librarian in New York, or even Australia. Plus chatting can take 40 minutes to do what you can do in 5 if you’re actually talking.”

Article Member Benefits

New booklet! Know Your Rights: A guide to workplace laws for classified employees and paraprofessionals

This new 40-page booklet provides a comprehensive analysis of the California Education Code as it relates to classified employees. It includes topics such as hours of employment, vacation and leaves, refusal to perform unsafe work, layoff and reemployment, collective bargaining rights and much more.The booklet also covers the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and contains the Weingarten Rights.

Article

2014 brings new professional opportunities

By Paula A. Phillips, President, CFT Council of Classified Employees

As 2013 winds to a close and we look back on the year, there are many reasons for classified employees to be thankful. After years of cuts, more resources are flowing into schools and colleges, thanks to our efforts to pass Prop. 30. K-12 education will see a more equitable funding formula and a new law requires more consideration of classified staff in district professional development plans.

Article Affordable Care Act Part-Time Employment

Affordable Care Act helps uninsured part-time workers

Lisa Agcaoili paces nervously as she waits to speak with a Covered California counselor in a West Los Angeles College cafeteria. Thousands of people have come to a Health and Enrollment Fair for solid information about their options under the Affordable Care Act.

Agcaoili hasn’t had insurance in the more than 20 years she has worked for the Lawndale Elementary School District. The part-time instructional assistant works fewer than 30 hours a week and isn’t eligible for district health plans. She is over 50 and suffers migraines daily.

Article Local Action

More local action from around the state

»Menifee Council of Classified Employees negotiated five bereavement leave days for members, matching the number district teachers have. 

»Tuolumne County Council of Classified Employees won a 3.15 percent increase in compensation for classified employees in the county office.

»United Educators of San Francisco published a booklet, Paraprofessionals and their Union, detailing the history of district paras and their union. 

Article Local Action

Palomar staff forge alliance with faculty, see major gains, doubling of membership

The Palomar College Council of Classified Employees and campus administrators in San Marcos settled a contract and memorandum of understanding that moved the staff forward by three major steps. 1) The 385 unit members received a $2,000 lump sum salary increase and 0.72 percent, plus a 3 percent raise that faculty also received. 2) This first contract replaced a 25-year-old employee handbook. 3) The local won binding arbitration for grievances.