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Article Representational Elections

Instructional support staff choose AFT as their union

An independent association, the Instructional Support Services Unit, has represented classified staff at Pasadena City College since 1991. Relations on the campus have been generally good, until about five years ago, when more than 200 employees took early retirement and the ongoing economic crisis brought staggering budget cuts.

“We needed to get stronger to protect our members,” said Association President Alice Araiza. “We wanted a union that was reputable, strong and nationally respected.”

Article

Member Speak Out: Classified work makes a difference every day
Paraprofessionals matter more now than ever

FIRST PERSON |  Arti O’Connor

I know my workas a special education para makes a difference when I look into the faces of the children I teach. I know I matter when an excited child says, “Now I get it! I understand it now!” I know I touched a child’s heart when he or she tells me, “You’re a very nice person.” And when a child talks about something sad that has happened in their lives, it means he or she trusts me enough to share something meaningful.

Article

CFT fights for death benefit equity

To help cover the average funeral cost of $7,775, CalSTRS pays survivors $6,163 when a retired teacher dies.

But when a retired classified employee member of CalPERS dies, beneficiaries are paid only $2,000. To close that gap, CFT sponsored AB 2606, carried by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Norwalk, calling for an increase in the classified death benefit to $6,000 over four years. 

Article Local Action

Extreme Makeover: Compton style

The building for rent on South Long Beach Avenue wasn’t much to look at, but officers of the Compton Council of Classified Employees could see exciting new possibilities for their union. First, though, AFT Local 6119 would need to move a wall, install a floor, and paint.

How could the union, which represents 540 employees of the Compton Unified School District, pay for that kind of remodeling? Sweat equity.

California Teacher

Arizona outlaws core Mexican-American Studies program
Tucson High School teacher recounts story of textbook and curricula ban

A few days before she traveled to CFT Convention in San Jose, María C. Federico Brummer received an email at 8 p.m. from the Tucson Unified School District. It contained a list of newly banned books that the district wanted packed by noon the next day. During class, her students watched her comb the cabinets and remove classroom sets of the affected titles.

California Teacher Lecturers Librarians

Classics lecturer maintains classic ideas about unions
New local president Rundin says union makes lecturer job worth having

Classics lecturer John Rundin feels privileged to pass on to another generation the cultural treasures that were given to him by the previous generation. The teacher of Latin and ancient Greek is one of two recipients of this year’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UC Davis Academic Federation.

“I live my job, love what I do, and I love my students,” says Rundin. “It is a great honor.”