Topic: Safe Workplaces

Article Classified Conference Coronavirus

Virtual Classified Conference educates, unites, entertains
PHOTO GALLERY – How the pandemic has changed our unions

CFT capped an unforgettable year with its first virtual Council of Classified Employees conference. The November 14 online meeting focused exclusively on life with the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were also warm moments of old friends seeing each other, the occasional technical glitch, and a madcap show of goofy eyeglasses.

Article Coronavirus Workers Compensation

New Workers’ Comp law deems corona-related employee illness occupational injury
Quick Facts: SB 1159

On September 17, Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 (Hill, D-San Mateo), which directs the Workers’ Compensation system to presume that an employee’s illness related to coronavirus is an occupational injury and therefore eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if specified criteria are met. The bill creates a “rebuttable presumption” for healthcare workers, first responders, or workers on any worksite that has an outbreak of COVID-19.

Article Coronavirus Elections 2020 Wildfires

Unions are the anchor during a perfect storm
Locals navigate pandemic, reopening, wildfires, elections, social unrest

Facing the threats of COVID-19 and wildfires, local unions and districts across California are trying to figure out how school will look this semester.

• • •

Orange County was one of the first to push for in-person instruction after it had been prohibited based on the county monitoring list.  At the beginning of the summer, the members in the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers were pretty much evenly divided about that.

Article

State issues reopening guidelines for higher education
Includes areas of note for community colleges

California released its reopening guidelines for higher education on August 7.

While most of the guidance is geared to four-year colleges and universities, there are also some significant areas of note for the community colleges, which are summarized here.

Article Coronavirus Distance learning

State Dept. of Public Health updates school reopening guidelines
CFT wants to see stronger guidelines

During his July 17 noon press conference, Governor Newsom announced statewide guidelines for reopening K-12 schools this fall.

While the governor addressed some of the demands that the union articulated to him and state leaders in the CFT letter sent on Monday, CFT still believes that there is more to be done to ensure the safety of California’s teachers, school staff, students, and communities.

Article Distance learning

CFT urges Governor Newsom to delay physically reopening schools
Surging coronavirus cases, testing woes make opening safely all but impossible

The CFT has asked Governor Newsom and state legislative leaders to delay the physical reopening of schools. Despite coronavirus cases surging throughout the state, growing numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, and mounting testing woes, some school districts are rushing to reopen — putting students, teachers, and communities at risk.

In a letter to state leaders, the CFT also urged the governor to provide stronger leadership and direction to school communities, who have been left on their own to make the difficult decision on whether it is safe to reopen schools.

Article Coronavirus

California Community Colleges issue reopening guidelines
Task force develops guidance and recommendations

The California Community Colleges organized a high-level task force to create a roadmap of available resources for the safe reopening of community college campuses.

The task force report contains considerations and recommendations for the Chancellor’s Office. However, the broad recommendation of the Report of the Safe Campus Reopening Workgroup is that further action be undertaken locally by subject matter experts. This includes labor partners such as AFT local unions as well as state, federal and local governments, medical professionals, and those directly managing the pandemic response.

Article Coronavirus

CFT Checklist for Safely Reopening Schools and Colleges
Key checkpoints for physical reopening in the time of the coronavirus

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and colleges across California were shuttered to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Staff remaining on campus performed the challenging duties of distance learning support, meal preparation and pick-up, and deep cleaning to maintain educational services during shelter-in-place orders, as well as prepare for eventual physical reopening.

In the union’s document, Checklist for Safely Reopening Schools & Colleges, the CFT does not encourage the physical reopening of school sites until it is safe to do so. At a minimum, the CFT recommends coordination with state and local public health guidelines on every checklist item in this document to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Article Coronavirus

State Superintendent releases guidelines for reopening K-12 schools
For local discussion on safely reopening the education workplace

On June 8, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released guidance for reopening K-12 schools — Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools.

This guidance was created through the statewide reopening schools task force that fostered a collaborative process for educators and stakeholders, including the CFT. 

Article Coronavirus AFT

Tell Congress to pass the HEROES Act!
Invest now to get America safely back to school and back to work

COVID-19 is triggering state and local budget crises across the nation. State and local governments are incurring huge new costs as they seek to contain and treat the coronavirus and respond to the virus-induced spike in joblessness and related human needs. At the same time, they are projecting sharply lower tax revenues due to the widespread collapse of economic activity brought about by efforts to contain the virus’ spread.

Article Coronavirus Up Front

The task of reopening brings challenge and hope
From the CFT President

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

In my communications with CFT members about school closures and sheltering in place during the past two months, I have often signed off, “Stay safe and take care.” For me, that is more than a convenient turn of phrase.

 As we enter into the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in the midst of a crisis unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and when this story is retold years from now, I have no doubt it will be recorded as a turning point in history. I know most of you are, like me, tired, stressed, and worried.

Article Coronavirus AFT

AFT guidelines call for safe reopening of schools and communities
National union defines five key tenets for reopening

The AFT on April 30 released a detailed road map that, in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, charts a path to safely and responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our communities.

The 20-page, science-based “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities” sprung from an intense collaboration of public health professionals, union leaders and frontline workers to prepare for what happens next in the period between flattening the curve and truly eradicating the virus.

Article Part-time faculty Coronavirus

Relief for part-timers and their families during pandemic
Unemployment Insurance, housing, utilities, student loans

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, part-time faculty — beyond dealing with protecting the health and safety of themselves and their families — are facing threats to their economic security, including loss of income, access to health insurance, and their capacity to pay for housing and utilities.

It is essential part-timer faculty are aware of recent actions taken by the federal government and state of California to provide relief for people facing these challenges.

Article Coronavirus

Custodians on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic
Keeping campuses clean, supporting food service workers

On Friday, March 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to help slow the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus by keeping a “social distance” of six feet from each other.

School districts that were still operating suspended classes and college campuses emptied, but Newsom’s order continued full funding for public education and “essential” workers were told to report for work Monday.

Article Coronavirus

Food service workers whip up millions of Grab & Go meals
Classified employees essential to feeding kids during pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has forced school districts of all sizes to come to grips with the food insecurity their students face.

“In my entire life, I have never seen a medical crisis taken as seriously as this one,” said Carl Williams, head of the Lawndale Classified Employees Federation. “We’re now implementing options we have never discussed before, like shutting down classrooms and teaching online.”