Topic: Standing Together

California Teacher Janus
Theresa Alvarado Quainoo, an academic department assistant and member of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees, has committed to working with her colleagues to strengthen the union as the attacks come.

CFT members step up to the plate following Janus v. AFSCME decision

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned decades of precedent and eliminated the right of public sector unions to collect fair share, or agency fees, from non-members.

The justices ruled 5-4 in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois fee payer, in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, overturning the 1977 precedent established in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Those backing the case clearly hoped the decision would cripple union operations, but with so much at stake for educators and public education, CFT members have not only chosen to stay united but have gained in strength as a result.

Article Labor Solidarity By Jim Miller

Lessons for Labor Day 2018: Solidarity works!

It has been the worst of times and the best of times for the American Labor Movement in 2018.

Economic inequality has continued to spiral out of control as policy coming out of Washington, D.C. designed to tilt the scales in favor of the rich and corporations weakened the rights of working Americans at every turn. At the Supreme Court level, anti-labor justices joined the assault against labor and undermined public sector unions’ rights to collect dues. This, combined with a tax bill that radically redistributed wealth upward and paved the way for new austerity measures aimed at gutting Social Security and Medicare, had some pundits sounding the death knell for unions and the legacy of the New Deal.

Article Rank & Files

Lavalais named San Francisco Paraeducator of the Year

The mayor of San Francisco recently recognized 10 public school educators for their dedication and professionalism. Honorees were selected based on their ability to promote innovative learning, accountability, and equity and access in the classroom and school site.

The 2018 awards included the mayor’s first-ever Paraeducator of the Year. Mary Lavalais attended City College and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a graduate degree in marriage, family, and child counseling at San Francisco State University.

Article Janus v. AFSCME

Workplace organizing: Facing new threat, members recommit to their unions

For years, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to clip unions’ wings if the right case came before the bench.

Classified AFT locals across California have been preparing for the decision in Janus v. AFSCMEby asking agency fee payers to become full members, and recruiting at new employee orientations. The membership drives have meant an influx of new enthusiasm and a renewed sense of union pride.

Article Scholarships Member Benefits Local Action

3,000 reasons to appreciate her union

Monica Marlatt, a career development specialist for Santa Cruz city schools, has good cause to appreciate her membership in AFT Local 6084, the Santa Cruz Council of Classified Employees.

Marlatt’s daughter, Madeline, is studying nursing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Books and nursing fees alone totaled $900 last semester, but help is on the way. This summer the CFT awarded Madeline, and eight more continuing college students, a Raoul Teilhet Scholarship for $3,000.

Article Classified School Employees Week

Celebrate our week! May 21-27 is Classified School Employee Week

The work of classified employees is easily overlooked, but your behind-the-scenes work matters every day to the success of our schools and colleges. Join us in celebrating Classified School Employees Week on May 21-27 in 2017 — it’s our week to celebrate us.

The Council of Classified Employees has created tools you can use. Use the poster and graphics in your workplace and on social media. Let’s get out the word — classified employees and paraprofessionals are helping California students succeed every day!

Make Classified School Employee Week Meaningful

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

Schools can be amazing places. Institutions that focus on the education and nurturing of young people have a special place in our society. While the interaction of students with their teacher is obviously an essential part of the educational process, it really does take a community of people to make learning possible and schools successful.

California Teacher Friedrichs v. CTA Vergara v. California

Victory! Courts reject conservative anti-union lawsuits

Attacks on educator rights and union fair share halted…for now

On April 14, the California Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision in the Vergara v. California case. The suit sought to dismantle seniority and due process rights for teachers in the name of students’ equal access to education. The appellate court wisely ruled that there is no constitutional link between tenure and student performance.

California Teacher Strike Accreditation ACCJC

San Francisco City College faculty calls one-day strike
April 27 action protests college administration stonewalling

Rain, wind, and a four-hour round trip from her home could not keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike in the school’s history.

“I wanted to support my fellow faculty,” she said. “There’s a lack of respect for faculty here. That’s what led to this strike and all the time, energy and effort the union has put into it.”

Article Classified Conference Rank & Files

Classified Conference highlights: Proud to be classified, three staff named Members of the Year

At the annual conference held October 9-11 in San Jose, there was a smorgasbord of learning opportunities for attendees. Classified staff and paraprofessionals took advantage of the offerings, which were both informational and social.

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, representing the East Bay’s 15th Assembly District described his hardscrabble upbringing and his path to becoming a state legislator. He also told how being a member of the West Contra Costa School Board helped him understand the essential work of classified employees.

Article

Building a classified community

By Paula A. Phillips, President, Council of Classified Employees

What could a groundskeeper or a guard have in common with a bus driver or a computer technician? More than many people think.

As classified employees, we work with faculty to make schools and colleges the glue that holds our communities together. We helped lead the fight for Proposition 30 and now, two year later, new funding is arriving in districts across California.

Article Classified Conference Rank & Files

Classified Conference: Support staff wear many hats…proudly

At the annual conference, the Council of Classified Employees celebrated the diverse work of support staff in a dazzling panoply showing the many hats they wear.

CCE Southern Vice President Carl Williams called out classified job titles one after another. Secretary, paraprofessional, groundskeeper, custodian and media technician. Admissions and records technician, safety officer, library technician, accounting coordinator, and bus driver.

California Teacher Classified Conference Rank & Files

Support staff proud of the many hats they wear
Tom Torlakson thanks CFT members for crucial backing

At their annual conference, the Council of Classified Employees celebrated the diverse work of support staff in a dazzling panoply showing the many hats they wear. 

CCE Southern Vice President Carl Williams called out classified job titles one after another. Secretary, paraprofessional, groundskeeper, custodian and media technician. Admissions and records technician, safety officer, library technician, accounting coordinator, and bus driver. 

Article Classified School Employees Week

Your local union values your work all year long

By Paula A. Phillips, President, Council of Classified Employees

Every May, districts from San Diego to Susanville take time to recognize the contributions of their staffs. Classified School Employees Week is the third week of the month and pays tribute to staff members who play key roles in creating environments that promote student achievement, safety and health.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson described classified employees as “hard-working and devoted school employees who exemplify what commitment to school and student really is,” and as workers “who make the extra effort to support their students, schools and communities.” Torlakson is right. Annual recognitions are wonderful.