Topic: Legislative Action

California Teacher Charter schools

CFT scores major legislative victory by prohibiting for-profit charter schools in California

Gemma Abels, the president of the Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers, saw how for-profit charter schools hurt the children and families in her district in Santa Clara County. A school there, Flex Academy, operated by the largest for-profit charter company – K12 Inc. – closed just a few weeks before school started, leaving families scrambling to find places for their children.

Article Online College Part-time faculty

Oppose creation of unnecessary, fully online college

All of California’s 114 community colleges offer online courses, so why do we need a fully online 115th college, especially a non-union one which would hire adjuncts to work for even lower wages, without union protections?

The $120 million the governor is budgeting for this college could be better spent on increasing full-time positions, part-time pay equity, and more paid part-time office hours.

Article Part-time faculty

Support paid office hours for part-time faculty

Send a letter to Gov. Brown asking that more money be put in the State Part-time Office Hours Fund. These letters work. A similar campaign last year helped secure a $5 million increase in the fund, an increase of over 70 percent. That said, the state fund only matches about 10 percent of paid part-time office hours funds, which is why office hours funding is either limited or non-existent in most districts.

Article Career Ladders Free College Noon Dutys

Legislature’s actions benefit classified
“Noon dutys” now part of the classified service

The job title varies from one school district to another, but most “Noon Dutys” — as part-time playground supervisors or noon duty aides are often called – are women working five days a week for two or three hours a day. They are often the lowest paid employees on campus.

Current law blocked most noon dutys from classified status, but that changes on January 1. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed AB 670 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), giving a leg up to about 1,500 part-timers across the state.

Legislature sends governor bill to include noon duty aides in classified service

Current law exempts part-time playground employees from classified status if they don’t also hold a second position in the same school district. Legislation now on the governor’s desk, however, would include part-timers who don’t have a second job.

AB 670 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) would help about 1,500 “noon dutys” statewide.

“Part-time playground employees work side by side with classified employees performing similar duties,” Thurmond said. “They deserve the same protection and benefits as classified employees.”

Article Educational Technology

Union success: Audit to analyze technology and training plans

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee recently approved a motion by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, to review community college districts’ long-term strategic plans to upgrade instructional technology and training. The audit will include a large college district, a medium-sized one, and a small one as a cross-section of the state’s 72 districts.

Suleman Ishaque, chair of CFT’s Educational Technology Committee — who works for the Los Angeles Community College District — expects the auditor to find that districts have few, if any, plans for ongoing training, even for employees in charge of campus information technology networks.

Article

Bringing playground aides into the classified service
AB 670 would give part-time “noon dutys” long overdue workplace rights

Lesa Estrada has been a noon duty aide at Lawndale’s Anderson Elementary since her son began kindergarten here more than 25 years ago. “All three of my children attended Anderson,” Estrada said. “I’ve seen kids grow up and bring us their children. Now some are bringing us their grandchildren.”

Estrada is one of about 60 playground aides who work two or three hours daily at the Lawndale elementary district’s nine campuses. Their jobs often mirror staff positions, but state law specifically excludes them from “the classified service.”

California Teacher

Mid-session update: Union-sponsored bills pass through key legislative committees

Our CFT-sponsored legislation successfully passed out of policy committees before the May 12 deadline for bills introduced in their house of origin to be heard. The union’s proposal before the Joint Legislative Audit Committee also succeeded. In addition, CFT is lobbying several priority bills and continues to monitor legislation that would be harmful to educators, our students and communities. You can find regular legislative updates here.

California Teacher

Union moves new priorities: CFT seeks paid maternity leave, technology audit, labor education

CFT seeks paid maternity leave, technology audit, labor education

Each year our members recommend legislation that will address important issues to educators and the students we serve. Based upon these recommendations and Executive Council approval, the CFT is sponsoring four new bills, an audit and two budget proposals aimed at improving our working conditions, and strengthening the labor movement and public education.

California Teacher State Budget

STATE EDUCATION BUDGET: Highlights and lowlights in governor’s initial proposal

On January 10, Gov. Brown released his proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year amidst uncertainty about how federal actions may impact California. Federal funds currently account for more than one-third of the state budget, and according to the California Budget & Policy Center, 7.9 percent of federal dollars currently go to K-12 education and 5.2 percent to higher education.

Article Lobby Day

Leadership Conference promotes activism in difficult times

At the Leadership Conference, California’s top legislative leaders confirmed their stance defending our state’s progressive values and union members learned CFT’s legislative and political priorities for the coming year — all this amidst the national backdrop of a massive movement to reject the most unqualified nominee ever for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

Classified win family sick leave and grants to become teachers

Classified employees took two giant steps forward in Sacramento during 2016 after the CFT shepherded four bills through the state Legislature that address staff priorities. Gov. Jerry Brown signed two of the bills.

AB 2122 appropriates $20 million over five years to encourage classified employees to return to school and become teachers. Grants from the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program to districts and county offices of education will provide up to $4,000 annually to staff seeking a bachelor’s degree and credential.

Article Part-time faculty Reemployment Rights

Historic victory: New law brings reemployment rights for part-time faculty
Governor signs CFT-sponsored bills calling for districts to negotiate with unions

Community college districts will be compelled to negotiate what CFT-sponsored legislation calls “reemployment preference for part-time, temporary faculty.” The landmark provisions require districts to negotiate with the union in order to receive significant funding available from the state Student Success and Support Program.

California Teacher

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Through the hard work and advocacy of leaders, members, and staff, the CFT recorded one of its most successful legislative sessions ever. During the 2015-16 session, the union sent an unprecedented five CFT-sponsored bills, and helped send another three priority bills, to the governor for his signature. Gov. Brown had until September 30 to sign or veto the bills, which are listed below.

Right for the job: When classified and paras become teachers
CFT-sponsored AB 2122 helps staff transition to certificated status

Carlos Howe began working as a security officer for the Hawthorne School District in 2000, but he wanted more. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration, Howe joined the Santa Monica Police Department. It wasn’t a good fit.

“My hair was on fire everyday. I had recently married and was a brand new father, but it was dangerous and I was always gone, so I switched gears.”

Article Lobby Days

How we made history at Classified Lobby Day: CFT champions bills for classified

April 20 was a historic day for us. We attended the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security to speak in support of our sponsored death benefit equity bill, and we were there when the bill passed out of committee for the first time.

Raising the death benefit to parity with faculty has fallen short in nearly a dozen previous attempts. The increase contained in AB 1878 would provide survivors of classified staff more money for the funerals of their deceased loves ones by increasing the death benefit for classified employee members of CalPERS.