Most public school teachers working today count on traditional
pensions — which guarantee a monthly income based on age, salary
and years of service — as their main source of financial security
For years, people have been trying to attack pensions with ballot
propositions, said Doug Orr, an economics professor at City
College of San Francisco and the chair of the of the CFT
Retirement Policy Committee. Those propositions always go down in
defeat, Orr said, and now those attacks on pensions are coming to
New documentary film Gun-Free Retirement features CFT members
In April 2013, a few months after the shootings at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six
adult staff members, the board of California State Teachers’
Retirement System voted to divest from firms making weapons that
are illegal to own in California. More than two years later, that
hasn’t happened, and Joshua Pechthalt, president of the CFT,
wants to make sure it does. Soon.
Santa Maria part-timers negotiate numerous improvements
Part-time instructors at Allan Hancock College
negotiated an 8 percent pay increase over the next two years
starting this spring when all part-time academic employees
received a 4 percent salary increase. They will get a 2 percent
raise this fall and another in fall 2016. In a tremendous boost,
service faculty (counselors, librarians, and nurses) received an
additional 20 percent pay increase.
To help part-time faculty understand how districts report service
credit and to ensure they receive all service credit they have
earned throughout their teaching careers when they retire,
CalSTRS has opened new centers in Irvine, Glendale, and Santa
Clara, staffed by benefits counselors trained to navigate
CalSTRS reports that its unfunded liability grows by $22 million
every day that nothing is done. While most California public
pension funds can raise annual employer rates when they need more
money, CalSTRS requires legislation to raise rates.
The Legislature has begun public hearings to address a $71
billion funding gap in the pension system for K-14 teachers.
Without an increase in contributions, CalSTRS predicts its assets
will be depleted in about 30 years.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is mounting a major attack on
educators’ pensions. He has filed a voter initiative with the
Secretary of State and may start collecting signatures in early
2014 to qualify it for the November ballot.
In a victory for part-time community college faculty enrolled in
the CalSTRS retirement program, Gov. Brown signed into law
CFT-sponsored SB 114 to correct the misreporting of
retirement service credit.
The governor signed CFT-sponsored SB 114. Authored by Sen. Leland
Yee (D-San Francisco), this bill helps correct misreporting of
part-time faculty work to ensure the right amount of retirement
TEACHERS AT OHLONE Elementary School were
greatly relieved when Arysta LifeScience, a Japanese chemical
company, announced on March 20 that it would no longer sell
methyl iodide in the United States for use as a pesticide.