Results of the CFT officer elections were announced on May 1 after mail ballots were tabulated. The biennial election was held by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a Virtual Convention. All newly elected leaders will take office on May 26, 2021.
Delegates had a lot to celebrate as they convened for the CFT’s 100th Anniversary celebration in March.
The state’s largest local union, United Teachers Los Angeles, had held a wildly successful strike less than two months earlier. And the union’s block of classified employee members were set to begin the CFT’s second century with their highest union profile yet.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Freitas, Smith accept the leadership of CFT
Delegates to the 100th Anniversary Convention elected the first classified member to hold a top leadership position in the CFT, Council of Classified Employees President Luukia Smith, as Secretary Treasurer. The man who has held that position, Jeff Freitas, was elected CFT’s new president.
About 400 delegates at CFT Convention discussed resolutions on a broad range of policy issues; heard from the law school dean at UC Berkeley, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Tony Thurmond, the CFT-endorsed candidate for the job of superintendent of public instruction; joined thousands to rally and march for safer schools and common sense gun control; learned a whole lot about Janus v. AFSCME, a Supreme Court case that could effectively turn the public sector into a “right to work” zone; and heard from a teacher in West Virginia where they succeeded in getting a 5 percent raise for all public employees.
I’m Luukia Smith and I’m an accounting technician at El Camino College, where I have worked as a classified employee for 30 years. For more than half that time I also led the El Camino Classified Employees, AFT Local 6142, but stepped down earlier this year after I was elected to head the CFT Council of Classified Employees.
My family is from Hawaii. I love the laid-back island culture, and my leadership style is pretty informal, but “laid back” and “informal” do not mean I’m a pushover. Far from it.
Delegates overwhelming elected the Unity Slate, led by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt and Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas. The slate’s 24 vice presidents were elected from among a field of 29 candidates. Pechthalt and Freitas have now begun their fourth two-year term as leaders of the California Federation of Teachers.
See more photos on Facebook. Members in Motion. Highlights Recap.
The 75th Annual California Federation of Teachers Convention, held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento, welcomed hundreds of members and memorable speakers eager to combat the destructive and oppressive policies of the Donald Trump Administration. The fact that the first day of the convention fell on Cesar Chavez Day was fitting considering the theme of the convention: Organize. Resist.
The convention was also highlighted by biennial elections, with current leadership receiving overwhelming support for another term.
Delegates overwhelmingly cast their votes for CFT President Joshua Pechthalt, who won 93 percent of the vote in a contested election. Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas was reelected by acclamation.
“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 Manhattan Beach.
Paula Phillips is president of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. After earning a degree in human resource management and working in the private sector, she came to Berkeley Unified as an administrative assistant to the Personnel Commission. She saw the district grading internal job candidates harder than external applicants and didn’t think it was fair.
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.