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
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
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
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
The resolution, which passed with resounding support and no
opposition, also supports this minimum in “all other AFT locals’
campaigns for fair adjunct pay.”
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.
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
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.
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.