Lab techs. Secretaries. Bus drivers. Groundskeepers. Food service
workers. The varied hats classified staff members wear cover a
multitude of job roles, said Carl Williams, a senior custodian
and president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees.
He had members pick up a hat and come on stage when they heard
their job title called out.
Laura Rico has worked in education for more
than 40 years, starting as an early childhood teacher at the
Artesia High School Children’s Center in the 1970s where she
became a member of the ABC Federation of Teachers.
“Inspiring and well organized,” was how AFT 2121 President Tim
Killikelly described the 73rd annual California Federation of
Teachers’ Convention, held over the weekend of March 20-22 in
CFT’s Community College Council President Jim Mahler called state
Senator Marty Block, who represents the cities of San Diego,
Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach, the union’s “go-to guy on
every issue for decades,” when awarding Block the CFT’s
Legislator of the Year Award.
Raoul Teilhet, president of the CFT from 1968 to 1985, who
oversaw the successful struggle for a collective bargaining law
for education employees, was “a rock star,” said AFT Vice
President and United Educators of San Francisco President Dennis
Kelly. CFT President Emeritus Miles Myers read a poem and thanked
Teilhet for the good times. Long-time CFT staffer Annette
Eisenberg told of Teilhet leaving a registration form on her desk
after finding out she had never voted, and how he made everyone
feel they mattered.
North Carolina’s Reverend Barber says it’s time for some
“These are serious times,” Reverend William Barber II told the
CFT Convention delegates on Sunday morning. Barber is president
of the NAACP in North Carolina and the leader of the fast-growing
Moral Mondays Movement, which protests cuts to education,
healthcare and food stamps. He worked delegates into a fervor
telling them that sometimes they needed to get out of their
conference seats and go into the streets to fight back against
things they think are wrong, and that it’s time for some
From helping pass Proposition 30, which raises billions of
dollars for education, to fighting back against Vergara v.
California, a lawsuit filed on behalf of nine student plaintiffs
which seeks to dismantle teachers’ rights, AFT President Randi
Weingarten stands up for California educators and students.
In some cities, the education unions and the mayor engage in
battle. But that’s not the case in Los Angeles where Eric
Garcetti was elected mayor in May 2013 with early support from
the CFT. He welcomed Convention delegates Friday morning by
saying he always keeps his education background in mind.
The Reverend William J. Barber II, president of the North
Carolina NAACP, and leader of the growing “Moral Monday” movement
contesting his state’s descent into the nineteenth century at the
hands of its Tea Party government, provided a parable to the 600
elected delegates in the waning hours of the California
Federation of Teachers’ 72nd annual convention, held in Manhattan
Beach over the March 21-23 weekend.
Speakers laud union’s accomplishments and inspire future
Midway through this year’s state convention, CFT President Josh
Pechthalt and Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas ran unopposed as
part of a slate called QES-Quality Education Slate and the entire
slate was elected by acclamation.