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Lavalais named San Francisco paraeducator of the year

The mayor of San Francisco recently recognized 10 public school educators for their dedication and professionalism. Honorees were selected based on their ability to promote innovative learning, accountability, and equity and access in the classroom and school site.

The 2018 awards included the mayor’s first-ever Paraeducator of the Year. Mary Lavalais attended City College and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a graduate degree in marriage, family, and child counseling at San Francisco State University.

Article Representational Elections

Compton campus police choose AFT as their union

Generations of Compton rappers have created an indelible portrait of their city’s mean streets. Life in this Los Angeles suburb isn’t easy.

Jermaine Ford and the 17 members of the Compton Unified School District police are a “thin blue line” sworn to keep the 36 schools and additional dozen district facilities safe. Their job hasn’t gotten any easier, either.

Article Gun Control

Common sense gun control: A school security guard lives with the loss of his son

A.J. Frazier is a familiar face around San Francisco’s Lowell High School. Frazier has helped guard the campus for the last 15 years, after patrolling Mission High for 15 years.

Few people knew about the pain the outgoing ex-Marine carried inside — until he shared it at a recent rally in Santa Ana’s Centennial Park responding to the deadly shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

Article Janus v. AFSCME

Workplace organizing: Facing new threat, members recommit to their unions

For years, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to clip unions’ wings if the right case came before the bench.

Classified AFT locals across California have been preparing for the decision in Janus v. AFSCMEby asking agency fee payers to become full members, and recruiting at new employee orientations. The membership drives have meant an influx of new enthusiasm and a renewed sense of union pride.

Article Local Action

UTLA rally draws thousands in call for ‘the schools LA students deserve’

Today thousands of educators from across Los Angeles jammed Grand Park today in a rally for “the Schools LA Students Deserve.” They arrived by rail, bus, car and on foot—wearing UTLA red to send a loud message to the Los Angeles Unified School District that teachers will not stop fighting for smaller class sizes, fully staffed schools, clean and safe schools, and fair compensation.

United Teachers Los Angeles was joined in the rally by students, parents, and community groups and supported by its affiliates CFT, CTA, AFT and NEA.

Article Online College

Oppose creation of unnecessary, fully online college

All of California’s 114 community colleges offer online courses, so why do we need a fully online 115th college, especially a non-union one which would hire adjuncts to work for even lower wages, without union protections?

The $120 million the governor is budgeting for this college could be better spent on increasing full-time positions, part-time pay equity, and more paid part-time office hours.

Article Part-time faculty

Support paid office hours for part-time faculty

Send a letter to Gov. Brown asking that more money be put in the State Part-time Office Hours Fund. These letters work. A similar campaign last year helped secure a $5 million increase in the fund, an increase of over 70 percent. That said, the state fund only matches about 10 percent of paid part-time office hours funds, which is why office hours funding is either limited or non-existent in most districts.

Yes, Virginia, adjuncts can get unemployment benefits

Even if you have received a tentative offer of employment for the next semester, you are entitled to apply for unemployment benefits over the break immediately upon completion of your last working day of the semester.

Adjunct instructors are considered at-will employees, because despite the “tentative assignment offer” one may receive, this is not legally considered a “reasonable assurance of employment.”

Article Part-time faculty

Part-timer health benefits: The successes and challenges ahead

Among the many challenges that part-time, or contingent faculty face, health care benefits, or rather, the lack thereof, has been one of the most significant.

According to Bloomberg, healthcare is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and in spite of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in March 2010, the number of bankruptcies attributed to healthcare costs tripled in 2017, while the general rate of bankruptcies fell overall.