Generations of Compton rappers have created an
indelible portrait of their city’s mean streets. Life in this Los
Angeles suburb isn’t easy.
Jermaine Ford and the 17 members of the Compton Unified School
District police are a “thin blue line” sworn to keep the 36
schools and additional dozen district facilities safe. Their job
hasn’t gotten any easier, either.
Sixty unsung heroes flexed their union
muscle and joined the Lawndale Federation of Classified
Noon duty supervisors serve as at-will employees and work only a
few hours a day at the district’s six elementary and two middle
schools, but the final straw, according to Local President Carl
Williams, was not getting a 4 percent raise that faculty and
Citing disrespect by their district and low pay as motivation,
more than 90 percent of faculty at the West Valley-Mission
Community College District casting ballots in the November 19
representational election chose to affiliate their previously
independent union with AFT/CFT.
Workers at three Bay Area private schools gain a stronger voice
in the workplace
When math teacher Cheryl LaBrecque joined the staff of the French
American International School in San Francisco in 1999, the
preK-12 school was small and “things worked better.” Staff
members “had a closer relationship with administration,” she
says. Since then, it has become “more corporate, more top-down,
more about money.”
CFT welcomes teachers and staff at Lycée Français de San
Teachers and staff at the French immersion school Lycée Français
de San Francisco choose to have the support of strong state and
national unions by affiliating with the CFT and AFT.
Strength in numbers, access to more resources,
and professional assistance are just a few of the reasons more
than 240 professional classified staff members at Pasadena City
College voted AFT their union this spring.
An independent association, the Instructional Support Services
Unit, has represented classified staff at Pasadena City College
since 1991. Relations on the campus have been generally good,
until about five years ago, when more than 200 employees took
early retirement and the ongoing economic crisis brought
staggering budget cuts.
“We needed to get stronger to protect our members,” said
Association President Alice Araiza. “We wanted a union that was
reputable, strong and nationally respected.”
For nearly a decade, classified employees in the
Berkeley Unified School District were divided between two unions,
but when a majority of operations and support workers signed
petitions to be represented by the Berkeley Council of Classified
Employees, AFT Local 6192, they were reunited. In December the
school board agreed to the workers’ decision.