CFT once again demonstrated its commitment to adjunct/contingent faculty by submitting and winning unanimous passage of its resolution “Calling for Department of Education Study of Pay and Benefit Inequity” at the AFT Convention July 15 in Boston.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta kicked off the State Council meeting on Saturday morning, March 19. After an introduction by CFT President Jeff Freitas who talked about Bonta’s commitment to going after people who use their power to harm others, demanding corporate accountability, and fighting for public education, Bonta came on stage.
He talked about how the encouragement and support of staff, coaches and teachers had made it possible for him to go to college and then to law school.
During World War I, the Ottoman Turks carried out one of the largest genocides in the world’s history, massacring 1.5 million Armenians. Turkey continues to deny the genocide, but the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to recognize it in 2019.
This spring United Teachers Los Angeles, in conjunction with the CFT Civil, Human, and Women’s Rights Committee, brought a resolution before CFT Convention calling for the state federation to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide and commit to sharing resources for teaching about it in the classroom. The Executive Council passed the resolution on June 12.
At this year’s CFT Convention, several resolutions provoked a lot of discussion, especially considering the attendees were virtually raising their hands to be acknowledged from their living rooms, rather than on the actual convention floor. Some of these included condemning anti-Asian violence, mandating healthcare for part-time faculty, reforming Social Security to support teacher retirement, supporting the PRO Act to increase union organizing, and maintaining a list of retirees to contact.
The CFT held its first online State Council on May 2. In what may be the highest attendance in recent years, about 140 representatives from local unions tuned in on a Saturday afternoon for the well-managed three-hour Zoom meeting that allowed delegates to vote on numerous policy issues before the Federation.
While the issues of pay inequity, the lack of job security, and access to health benefits are major challenges that plague part-time faculty —collegiality, inclusion, and connection with their campuses and fellow faculty are also important for a part-time faculty member’s long-term involvement with a particular institution.
Key to increasing adjunct involvement and connection in the California community colleges is increasing both the opportunities for and compensation of part-time faculty participation in shared governance.
On its 100th Anniversary, the CFT voted to rebrand itself. In accordance with Resolution 1, which convention delegates passed unanimously, it will now be CFT: A Union of Educators and Classified Professionals. The change formally recognizes that the union proudly represents a broad spectrum of education workers.
Luukia Smith, elected Secretary Treasurer of the CFT by delegates, and the first classified employee to serve in this position, was first to rise in support of the change.
One of the more talked about resolutions passed by the biennial AFT Convention this July was Resolution 15, which calls for AFT to support City University of New York adjuncts in their quest to achieve through “actions, demonstrations, and advocacy,” a minimum of $7,000 per three-credit class.
The resolution, which passed with resounding support and no opposition, also supports this minimum in “all other AFT locals’ campaigns for fair adjunct pay.”
On May 5, the State Council approved a resolution put forth by the CFT Part-Time Committee, calling for CFT to sponsor legislation “to establish a permanent healthcare program for part-time faculty and their dependents.”
At this year’s CFT Convention, delegates passed Resolution 15 calling for the CFT to support changing the workload cap in a community college district to 80 percent of a full-time equivalent load, effectively allowing part-time faculty to teach up to 12 units.
About 400 delegates 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 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.
At the CFT Convention March 31 through April 2, delegates took action on 23 policy resolutions addressing topics from community schools to immigrant rights to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Resolution 1 Support best practices in
Local Control Accountability Plans
Resolution 4 Ensure adult education exists in its best and fullest capacity
Resolution 5 Call for rationality in testing
Resolution 6 Support for the California Education for a Global Economy Initiative
Resolution 7 Sponsor an education technology implementation study
Resolution 8 Create a School Climate and Student Engagement Advisory Committee
Resolution 10 Create a working group on teacher induction
Delegates took on social justice concerns, passing a resolution from the United Educators of San Francisco and the CFT Executive Council to officially support the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Resolution 23 calls for community meetings, teach-ins and curricula, such as what’s already posted on UESF’s website and AFT’s Share My Lesson.
At the CFT Convention in March, the full body of delegates passed three important resolutions that affect part-time faculty.
Delegates to the annual CFT Convention passed two resolutions submitted by the CFT Part-Time Committee calling for the union to pursue legislation that would help part-time faculty secure full-time employment.