Newsroom

Article Part-time faculty COPE

Organizing faculty and students for action in Oakland

FIRST-PERSON | Janell Hampton

As a part-timer, I had become more involved in my local’s actions and issues because a friend brought me to a union meeting. She is an old school organized labor wonk, and her invitation, offered years ago, put me in a strong position to apply to become an organizer in the CFT program called Political Leaders United to Create Change, or PLUCC. My local union applied for the shared grant-funded position and was awarded a grant.

Article Part-time faculty

Teachers as organizers: Part-timers embrace political organizing this election year

This year, part-timers have been active from the classroom to the state level in advocating for higher education funding and the rights of students. Lisa Chaddock, part-time instructor in geography at San Diego City College and Cuyamaca College, traveled to Sacramento in March to testify in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on behalf of AB 1826, which would limit full-time faculty overload to 50 percent of a full-time load.

Article Labor Solidarity

What labor lost and won in Wisconsin

By Velma J. Butler, President, CFT Council of Classified Employees

There is no denying or candy-coating it: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was not recalled in the June 5 special election. Progressive voters led by public sector employees fell short of that goal, beaten in large part by a 7-1 flood of anti-union money.

Article Racial Justice

“No Time to Quit”
A look at school desegregation by former CFT President

By Miles Myers, Former CFT President

In the nation’s first school desegregation case, on February 13, 1931, in Lemon Grove, California, the Mexican parents of Roberto Alvarez went to court to stop the Lemon Grove Grammar School from denying access to Mexican children. A victory for Roberto in the local court stopped the case from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. But the same issue did reach the U.S. Supreme Court almost twenty-two years later (1953) when the Black parents of ten-year-old Linda Brown sued the Topeka (Kansas) School Board, demanding that skin color (and race) not be used to deny her access to her neighborhood public school. Unlike the Lemon Grove court, Topeka courts did rule that skin color could be used to deny Linda’s entrance to the nearby public school and, thus, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. Her local public school, she said, was her gateway to opportunity, and thus, that gateway should not be blocked by segregationist policies. She won.

Article Local Action

CFT budget analysis saves classified jobs in Aromas

At the bargaining table June 8, administrators of the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District proposed layoffs, demotions, and reduced hours for a third of the 68 members of the Federation of Classified Employees. Most of the member negotiators would feel the cuts personally.

Two visitors saved the day: A sympathetic member of the school board joined the district team, and the CFT budget analyst joined the classified team.

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.