Topic: Legislative Action

California Teacher CFT Convention

Legislator of the Year: Jose Medina

Many legislators, although they seem good at first, have a “shelf life,” said Community College Council President Jim Mahler, which expires when they stop responding to the people who elected them. Mahler said to combat this by finding your own candidates. Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, winner of CFT’s Legislator of the Year Award, was just who the union was looking for.

California Teacher

CFT introduces significant bills in 2016 session

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 several new bills and a budget proposal aimed at improving our working conditions, and strengthening the labor movement and public education.

Article

CFT bill calling for posting of HVAC reports moves to next house, safety door locks stalled

Santa Cruz’s Robert Chacanaca recently testified for CFT-sponsored AB1126 before the Assembly Education Committee. The legislation, carried by Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), would require public schools to post reports of annual heating, ventilation, and air conditioning inspections on the school’s website. AB1126 drew strong bipartisan support, as shown by unanimous approval. The bill passed the Assembly and moved to the Senate, where it awaits referral to committee.

Article Part-time faculty Reemployment Rights

New CFT bills create minimum job security standards, strengthen the 75:25 regulation

Job security and due process for part-time faculty 
AB 1010 (Medina, D-Riverside) 

This bill calls for the establishment of minimum standards for part-time faculty job security. If enacted, it would require all California community colleges without a collectively bargained contract that provides equivalent or stronger job security and due process rights to establish a seniority list for part-time faculty rehire.

Article Part-time faculty Student debt

Loan forgiveness program may bring relief

Last year, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) made headlines with his “Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act,” a bill that would have made it much easier for part-time faculty to benefit from the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, designed to encourage graduates to pursue a career in public service by offering loan forgiveness for those working full-time in government or the non-profit sector.

Article Part-time faculty

Join CFT campaign for office hours pay, full-time positions

How can we get more state funding for office hours, equal pay for equal work, and new full-time positions that that will benefit existing part-time faculty? CFT is calling on part-timers and their allies to urge the governor to include line items in the state budget dedicated to these essential improvements. 

Advocate for our interests in providing equal education opportunities for students by writing directly to Gov. Brown and others who influence the state budget. Ask the governor and the Department of Finance for these new resources:

California Teacher EpiPens School Nurses

New law asks staff to perform more medical procedures
School employees “volunteer” to medicate students in danger

Senate Bill 1266, introduced by Republican Senator Bob Huff (Diamond Bar), and signed by Gov. Brown on September 16, requires public schools to stock emergency epinephrine auto injectors, known as EpiPens, on campus. This is an expansion of the law that said schools could stock the devices for students with a severe allergy to make it a mandate that all schools have the device on hand.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Faculty protest class cancellations caused by ACCJC sanctions
Two lawsuits and a trial move forward; governor signs CFT transparency bill

The trial to determine if the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges acted unfairly when it pulled City College of San Francisco’s accreditation will go ahead on October 27. In the meantime, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera won a victory when the trial judge ruled on September 19 that accreditors “violated controlling federal regulations” by having an unbalanced evaluation team, with only one academic representative to evaluate the college in 2013.

Article Pesticide Use
Mike O‘Connor, the lead custodian at Anzar High School in San Juan Bautista, monitors the campus for pest problems. O'Connor is a member of the Aromas-San Juan Federation of Classified Employees.

Legislation would bring reporting of pesticide use
Staff to receive training, schools to develop pest management plans

Legislators are debating measures to ensure that pesticides at California schools don’t become a bigger concern than the pests they are meant to exterminate.

Under Senate Bill 1405, schools that use pesticides must designate someone to maintain a complete record of all pesticide use at the site, and submit it to the Department of Pesticide Regulation at the end of each calendar year. Current law requires only professional exterminators to report their use.

Article Unemployment Insurance

Staff seek fair unemployment compensation
Bill to bring equity stalled in Legislature

Linnette Robinson has worked with special needs students at Berkeley High School for four years, after two years in the district’s elementary and junior high schools.

Yet every winter and summer, Robinson and tens of thousands of other classified employees across California scrape by during involuntary “vacations” the best they can. Because while other workers receive unemployment benefits during seasonal breaks, school staff do not.

California Teacher Unemployment Insurance Lobby Day

Staff seek equal access to unemployment benefits
Employees struggle to make ends meet when the paycheck stops during school breaks

Linnette Robinson has worked with special needs students at Berkeley High School for four years. Every winter and summer, Robinson, who has worked stints at other elementary and middle schools, tightens her belt and scrapes by during school breaks the best she can. “Most of us won’t see a paycheck from mid-June to the end of September,” she said.

California Teacher ACCJC Accreditation

Judge rules trial required to determine legality of ACCJC actions
CFT lawsuit advances significant step toward fair accreditation in community colleges

City College of San Francisco started 2014 with some much-needed good news. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled that the school’s accreditation cannot be revoked until a trial determines whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, acted unlawfully in sanctioning the college. Karnow said in his ruling that closing the college would be “catastrophic.”