Newsroom

Article Labor Solidarity

Unions weather the storm and look to build a brighter future
Happy Labor Day 2019

FIRST PERSON | Jim Miller

These last few years have been particularly challenging times for the American labor movement as we’ve faced everything from a host of anti-labor policies coming from Washington to a Supreme Court decision designed to gut public sector unions. The good news is that despite all of that, the union movement has persevered and the number of Americans who support unions and say they would like the opportunity to join one is the highest it has been in decades. 

Article Immigration

Support union families torn apart in Mississippi ICE raids
Know how to support immigrant students and families

The CFT and AFT join other progressive groups in condemning the ICE raids in Mississippi – the largest immigrations raids waged in a single state. Immigration and Customs Enforcement swept up nearly 700 undocumented workers from several food processing plants last week, leaving as many families scrambling for support. 

The plant workers of Koch Foods in Mississippi were union members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1529.

Improved corporate tax reform initiative refiled with state
CFT working with coalition to put funding measure on the 2020 ballot

This week, the Schools & Communities First campaign refiled the the split roll ballot initiative with significant improvements. The refiling is a result of organizing during 2018 that allowed the campaign to hear feedback from stakeholders across the state on the ballot measure, and to consult with California’s leading policy and legal experts. CFT is a key member of the campaign coalition. 

Article Online College

CFT calls out critical problems in launch of online college 

On Monday, July 15, CFT President Jeff Freitas testified before the Board of Trustees of CalBright, California’s new online-only community college, sharing CFT’s continuing concerns with the launch of the college.

During his testimony, Freitas detailed several key areas that the online college has failed to meet its obligations and the law. Due to the serious nature of the violations, CFT is considering all legal options should the college not change course.

Article Legislative Updates

Sponsored bills move to next house or become two-year bills
Legislative Update

May 31 was the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin. The bills that were not heard on the floor in their house of origin became two-year bills. Bills that did not achieve a majority vote on the floor of their respective chamber are dead unless the author was granted reconsideration. Policy committees resumed on June 3, 2019, to begin hearing bills from the other chamber.

Article Charter schools

State Charter School Task Force makes recommendations
Superintendent of Pubic Instruction releases much-anticipated report

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released the much-anticipated Charter Task Force Report on June 7, ahead of the July 1 deadline.

The report’s central focus is twofold: the fiscal impact that charter schools have on traditional public schools and the inconsistencies in how charter schools are authorized throughout the state. Recommendations were made to alleviate concerns in these areas and provide specific ways to address fiscal impact and authorization challenges.

California Teacher CFT 100

Commemorating 40 years of collective bargaining
The difference one law makes for teachers and classified employees

Editor’s note: California Teacher published this article in 2015, 40 years after K-14 teachers and classified staff won collective bargaining rights in California.

By Elaine Johnson

On May 20, 1976, I cast the first vote for teachers’ collective bargaining in the state of California. TV cameras recorded the event at Redwood High School in Larkspur, and in those pre-DVR times, the family watched it that evening on the 6 o’clock news.

California Teacher CFT 100

Memoir of a Union Lobbyist: 50 Years Looking Back

Editor’s note: This memoir was originally published as “30 Years Looking Back” in August 1999 by the Institute of Industrial Relations in CPER, A Periodical of Employee Relations in the Public Sector. 

By Mary Bergan

I begin with Robert Reich’s admonition that a memoir is not a history. It chronicles events as the writer remembers them. This is a memoir.

California Teacher CFT 100

What To Do Between Strikes
An essay by Raoul Teilhet

Editor’s note: This essay was presented to CFT Convention on March 9, 2002. Because of Raoul Teilhet’s Parkinson’s disease, it was read by then-Vice President Greg Camacho-Light, a drama teacher from the Gilroy Federation of Teachers and Paraprofessionals. Gov. Gray Davis attended convention that day and officially named it Raoul Teilhet Day. 

California Teacher CFT 100

The birth of a statewide Federation
A piece of our history is revealed for the first time

By Dennis Kelly

On May 16, 1918, J.P. Utter wrote to the president of the AFT to remind him that a year earlier Utter had asked about chartering a local. In that year, the Vallejo teachers had organized 57 of 58 teachers and principals, had elected two officers, created a salary committee that delivered a raise, demanded and won 12 monthly paychecks, and had created a temporary organization. Utter enclosed $10 for the charter fee.