Topic: Organizing

Article Classified Conference

Classified Conference showcases history of effective representation

The annual conference hosted by the CFT Council of Classified Employees featured exciting plenary speakers, elected officials, a big fun Mardi Gras-themed party, and workshops for nearly every interest. The event was held October 18-20 at Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa.

Participants celebrated 31 years of classified representation through unionism, honoring council leaders, past and present, and highlighting the key role that classified employees perform every day in California’s schools and colleges.

California Teacher Charter schools

Educators at three charter schools choose AFT as their union
From a county jail to construction academy, charter workers are seeking union representation

Seeking a larger voice in their workplaces, career stability and the power to better serve their students, teachers and counselors at three charter schools recently voted AFT as their union, and will have the benefit of belonging to well-established and effective AFT local unions.

California Teacher

Locals take bold steps to build power in tough times
Faculty-classified alliance, improved communications empower members

Two Southern California classified locals have recently seen how unity pays off.
“Our members understand that the more of us who go in, the stronger voice we have,” says Debbi Claypool, president of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees.

The northern San Diego County local represents about 400 classified employees at Palomar College, including maintenance, clerical, police, payroll and janitorial, according to Claypool, a business services technician.

Article Part-time faculty Labor Solidarity

Get Connected
Organizations and campaigns advocating for contingent faculty

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL

Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL ) An integrated coalition of activists from faculty organizations and unions representing contingent, non-tenured faculty members in all segments of higher education in North-America, with the goals of coordinating activities to educate the public about the inequities of contingent faculty, promoting legislation, and improving bargaining rights, working conditions and education standards.

Article Part-time faculty

CFT grants help faculty organizers reach freeway flyers
One-on-one conversations galvanize part-timer participation

How can we convince more part-time faculty that union membership and participation are the single best way to improve working conditions, pay rate, and job security within California’s community colleges? One-on-one conversations, say part-time faculty Natasha Bauman and Sharon Kerr, whose local unions are both recipients of a new grant from CFT. The Member Organizing Committee, or MOC, grant helps locals conduct member outreach and sign up new members.

Article Part-time faculty COPE

Organizing faculty and students for action in Oakland

FIRST-PERSON | Janell Hampton

As a part-timer, I had become more involved in my local’s actions and issues because a friend brought me to a union meeting. She is an old school organized labor wonk, and her invitation, offered years ago, put me in a strong position to apply to become an organizer in the CFT program called Political Leaders United to Create Change, or PLUCC. My local union applied for the shared grant-funded position and was awarded a grant.

Article Representational Elections

Instructional support staff choose AFT as their union

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.”

California Teacher Lecturers Librarians

Classics lecturer maintains classic ideas about unions
New local president Rundin says union makes lecturer job worth having

Classics lecturer John Rundin feels privileged to pass on to another generation the cultural treasures that were given to him by the previous generation. The teacher of Latin and ancient Greek is one of two recipients of this year’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UC Davis Academic Federation.

“I live my job, love what I do, and I love my students,” says Rundin. “It is a great honor.”

California Teacher Millionaires Tax

March in March voices rising anger with increasing cuts
Faculty, students, and staff demand Millionaires Tax at state Capitol rally

Getting on the bus at UC Berkeley on March 5, Desiree Angelo acknowledged how hard it has been to get to her senior year there. “I was a transfer student, a high school dropout, and a low-income student too,” she recalled.

“Because I dropped out, I don’t quality for a lot of financial aid. To afford the fees, which have gone from $5100 to $7100 a semester while I’ve been here, I’ve had to work in the dining hall. The discussion sessions for my classes have been cut, and with 500 students in a class, we really need them. So I’m paying more, getting less, and working like crazy just to stay here.”

California Teacher Representational Elections

Berkeley workers succeed in quest for AFT representation
Operations and support workers reunite with colleagues in Local 6192

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.

California Teacher Retiree chapters

New retiree chapters offer social connection, wield political clout
Expertise of post-career members brings valuable asset to mid-size local unions

Although it began as a social group, the recently chartered retiree chapter of the ABC Federation of Teachers has become increasingly political, says its president, Gayle Pekrul. “Many retirees are not interested in just being social — they want to be involved in the issues.”

California Teacher

Local organizer preps for fall elections, takes on financial giant
Peralta Federation challenges Morgan Stanley to share bailout windfall with district

Janell Hampton rarely slows down as she goes about connecting faculty, students, staff, unions, and community groups. The political organizer for the 1000-member Peralta Federation of Teachers is pulling together people with a long-term vision for improving public education. She calls her work “the perfect opportunity to impact the world in a way other than teaching.”