Topic: Standing Together

Article part-time faculty
HELU Winter SummittHigher Ed Labor United logo

HELU Winter Summit unites efforts across unions
Promotes socio-economic and racial justice in higher education

HELU, or Higher Education Labor United, a cross-union and cross-sector coalition, held its Winter Summit virtually on February 23-27, pushing forward with the larger goals of reclaiming the promise of higher education, and promoting socio-economic and racial justice embodied by the New Deal for Higher Education campaign and Scholars for a New Deal in Higher Education.

Article racial justice Leadership Conference
Sandra GuzmanBelinda BlumImmigration attorney Leis Rodriguez

Members support and mentor undocumented students
Dedicated educators help students succeed and thrive

For Belinda Lum, sociology professor at Sacramento City College and chief negotiator for the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, it was because she’s the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of people who came over from China with fake papers. For Leis Rodriguez, it was wanting to use her law school degree for her passion and becoming an immigration attorney.

Article staff shortage
Palomar classified leaders with CCE leaderslarge group of Berkeley classified employees with CCE leadersCCE President Carl Williams talks to Palomar membersPalomar members at table with swag

Classified leaders hit the road to meet locals
Listening tour leads to greater understanding, solidarity

After more than a year of Delta and Omicron surges and other COVID-19 pandemic obstacles, officers of the CFT Council of Classified Employees embarked on a statewide listening tour of AFT local unions representing classified employees.

“There will never be a perfect time, so we just hit the road,” said CCE President Carl Williams. “Our members have heard what we have to say. Now they want to be heard.”

Article union communications

CFT wins top awards in national labor media competition
Federation lands 11 awards for communications in 2020

In a friendly competition with state and regional labor groups around the nation, the CFT won 11 awards from the International Labor Communications Association.

The awards show that content is still king. The CFT website won First Place in “best electronic content” for the third year in a row. Seven member-based stories won awards, with four claiming First Place honors.

Article union communications

CFT website, UTLA strike series capture triple first place honors
Union wins nine first place awards for communications

The CFT won nine First Place awards in the International Labor Media Communications contest for work published in 2019, in a competition delayed by a few months because of the pandemic. 

2019 was a busy year for the CFT and for union communications. In the first three months alone, the union experienced the UTLA strike, the launch of the new CFT website, and CFT’s 100th Anniversary Convention.

Article Coronavirus community building

San Diego County college staffs tackle food insecurity in their communities
Food bank distributions feed thousands of families
PHOTO GALLERY

March 20 was the last day of on-campus classes for about 18,000 San Diego City College students. The college has maintained a food pantry for needy students, faculty and staff, but AFT Local 1931 stepped up the emergency response in September with monthly giveaways.

“It’s joyful to see everyone — students, staff and faculty — come together to help. My happiness was seeing everyone smile,” said Neary Sim, a Guild member and instructional office specialist in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Article coronavirus

New working groups align UC-AFT with nationwide racial justice efforts
Hardship fund helps members in need due to pandemic, wildfires

By Mia McIver, UC-AFT President 

Contingent teaching faculty and librarians at the University of California recently voted to create three new working groups to combat racism and support each other with mutual aid. With the firm conviction that Black Lives Matter, UC-AFT members aim to align our union’s efforts with those of activists fighting for racial justice nationwide.

Article environment wildfires

Unions step up to help wildfire evacuees
Wildfires threaten member homes and lives

Fires in California, many started by lightning, have burned a little more than a million acres, and scores of people have lost homes and thousands more have been forced to evacuate, including CFT members. The fires, some of the largest in the state’s history are burning in areas including Lake, Napa, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties.

“Let’s have our voices count!” urge CFT Black leaders
Avalanche of protests call for racial justice following murder of George Floyd

For days, hundreds of thousands of people have filled the streets of 160 cities across the country, even during the coronavirus pandemic, expressing their outrage and grief at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Two Black leaders of the CFT, with long histories of fighting for racial equity, say they could not help being profoundly moved by the murder itself, and the outpouring of rage in response.

Now – yes, now – is the time for contingent faculty to organize
If we don’t fight now, we may not get another chance

By Josh Brahinsky and Roxi Power, UC-AFT Santa Cruz

When graduate-student workers at the University of California at Santa Cruz voted overwhelmingly in December to reject their statewide union contract and follow the West Virginia teachers’ model of a wildcat strike, the precarious lives of academic workers became a news story once again.