When he accepted the Raoul Teilhet Educate, Agitate, Organize
Award, Robert Chacanaca, known as “Chaca,” asked for a moment of
silence to remember Teilhet, the former CFT president who
successfully pursued collective bargaining.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.