Topic: Union Governance

Article CFT elections

New CCE president: Meet Luukia Smith

I’m Luukia Smith and I’m an accounting technician at El Camino College, where I have worked as a classified employee for 30 years. For more than half that time I also led the El Camino Classified Employees, AFT Local 6142, but stepped down earlier this year after I was elected to head the CFT Council of Classified Employees.

My family is from Hawaii. I love the laid-back island culture, and my leadership style is pretty informal, but “laid back” and “informal” do not mean I’m a pushover. Far from it.

Article CFT Convention CFT elections

CFT Convention 2017 in summary: Organize. Resist.

The 75th Annual California Federation of Teachers Convention, held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento, welcomed hundreds of members and memorable speakers eager to combat the destructive and oppressive policies of the Donald Trump Administration. The fact that the first day of the convention fell on Cesar Chavez Day was fitting considering the theme of the convention: Organize. Resist.

The convention was also highlighted by biennial elections, with current leadership receiving overwhelming support for another term.

Article CFT Convention Up Front

State of the Union 2017
Delivered by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt on April 1, 2017

Sisters and brothers, members of the CFT. It is always great to be at our convention, to see friends, to think about the year gone as we prepare for the challenges ahead.

And boy do we face some tough challenges.

The election of Donald Trump jeopardizes the progressive gains of the last 80 years. Trump also threatens, almost daily, the basic sense of ethics, civic mindedness and fairness, valued across the political spectrum.

Article CFT Convention Up Front

State of the Union 2016
Delivered by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt on March 18, 2016

The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck powerfully told the story of one family’s challenge to survive the devastation of the Great Depression of the 1930s. It’s a story that continues to resonate eighty years later. As they begin their journey to California, the Joad family asks Reverend Casey, who in the film version is played brilliantly by the great American actor John Carradine, if he would like to join them.


CFT Convention 2016: Activate Labor for Justice

The 74th annual CFT convention, held in San Francisco and attended by nearly 700 delegates and guests, got off with a bang two hours after the convention began on Friday morning, March 11. That’s when about half the convention delegates piled outside into a light rain and demonstrated in support of affordable, quality public education and the struggle of City College of San Francisco faculty for a decent contract in the face of its accreditation crisis.

Article Obituaries In Memoriam
 Miles Myers, 1931–2015

Miles Myers, 1931–2015

Teacher, union activist, author, and former CFT President Miles Myers died December 15, 2015, from complications related to heart disease. Over six decades, Miles devoted his career to improving educational standards and the conditions for teaching and learning in public education.

Article CFT Convention Up Front

State of the Union 2015
Delivered by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt on March 21, 2015

Good morning CFT members, guests and staff, I want to thank all of you for taking time to help make the CFT a strong, vibrant and progressive voice in the California labor movement. It is your activism and your commitment to our union that makes this organization such an important voice for social justice, for our members and for our students.

Article CFT Convention

CFT Convention delegates working to “Reclaim the Promise”
A recap of Convention 2014

The Reverend William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and leader of the growing “Moral Monday” movement contesting his state’s descent into the nineteenth century at the hands of its Tea Party government, provided a parable to the 600 elected delegates in the waning hours of the California Federation of Teachers’ 72nd annual convention, held in Manhattan Beach over the March 21-23 weekend.

Article Obituaries In Memoriam
 Raoul Teilhet, 1933–2013

Raoul Teilhet, 1933–2013

Raoul Teilhet, a Pasadena high school history teacher who believed collective bargaining offered the path to dignity and respect for public school employees before laws existed allowing it, and served as president of the California Federation of Teachers in successful pursuit of that goal, died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease on June 5, 2013, in Los Angeles. He was 79.

Article CFT elections

Meet leaders of the CFT Council of Classified Employees

Paula Phillips is president of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. After earning a degree in human resource management and working in the private sector, she came to Berkeley Unified as an administrative assistant to the Personnel Commission. She saw the district grading internal job candidates harder than external applicants and didn’t think it was fair.