Governor Newsom capped the 2020-22 legislative session by signing
a flurry of bills that CFT sponsored, co-sponsored or supported.
Senate and Assembly bills with strong bearing on classified
employees ranged from due process during workplace appeals, to a
fair repayment plan for accidentally overpaid wages.
Following are the new laws CFT fought to win for classified
employees and paraprofessionals.
Governor Newsom signed six union bills at the end of September that the CFT successfully lobbied in both houses of the Legislature. The CFT had sponsored or co-sponsored 16 legislative bills alongside several budget proposals in the last year of the 2020-22 legislative session. A majority of these priorities made it to the governor’s desk or were included in the state budget, with only one bill being vetoed by the governor.
On September 30, Governor Newsom signed the final budget trailer bills sent to him by the Legislature after passing the bills and a “budget junior” on August 31. Budget trailer bills are created by the Committee on Budget to provide technical language for the implementation of fiscal allocations. The budget junior bill includes additional allocations as well as additional items necessary for implementation of some July budget expenditures.
The budget-related bills go into effect immediately. CFT priorities in the budget trailer bills are listed below.
“Fighting an unfair firing can be a lengthy process,” said Tina
Solórzano Fletcher of San Diego’s AFT Guild, Local 1931, which
represents faculty and staff at local community colleges. “Our
certificated members who appeal a termination continue to receive
compensation. Our classified employees should also.”
Tens of thousands of classified staff in K-12 school districts
across California have signed up for the third year of an
innovative state program to support some of the lowest paid
employees on campus.
The Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program (CSESAP)
allows eligible staff to withhold up to 10 percent of their
monthly salary during the school year, and receive that money —
matched by the state up to a dollar for a dollar — in one or two
payments the following summer.
Bernard Benson is enrolled in the new Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program. His deductions began in August and will continue through June. The state will match his savings up to a dollar for dollar in July.
“It would be ludicrous for me not to participate,” explained Benson. “Where else can I set aside $200 a month for 11 months and make a 100 percent return on my investment?”
Classified employees should take special note of Assembly Bill
1808, an omnibus education trailer bill. Along with dozens of
AB 1808 increased the state budget for staff training and
other classified programs by $100 million.
Half the increase was earmarked for professional training,
including $45 million for K-12 districts and $5 million for
community college districts. The other $50 million will go into a
Summer Assistance Fund for staff who earn less than $49,920 per