The CFT offers a full schedule of topnotch online trainings.
Our webinars are provided through Zoom videoconferencing and
last about 90 minutes. You may find course
AFT Member Benefits
Member benefits can be a useful tool to engage members. Get
informed about the benefits available to members through AFT that
add value to being a union member. Learn about some of the new
benefits available this year, including discount programs and
identity theft protection, and get answers to your questions
about the variety of programs offered by AFT.
All Politics is Local: Lobbying Legislators and other
Elected Officials at Home
To many of our members, Sacramento seems far away and we only
engage with our elected representatives around elections. But
there is great value to building relationships with local
representatives through our union worksites, and many
opportunities to engage them at home throughout the year. Join
our legislative staff to learn how to build your political
engagement locally. We’ll cover the best ways to develop and
maintain local relationships, including successful member
lobbying visits with your representatives. Strengthening these
local relationships can play an important role in your local
initiatives and statewide CFT campaigns.
Building Worksite Structures that Work in Higher Ed
Powerful unions require strong leadership structures that are
broad and deep enough to engage our entire membership at the
worksite. A union with distributed leadership can keep members
informed, better handle worksite problems, and provide a
foundation for major campaigns. How do we build such a structure,
and how do we identify and recruit new leaders? Learn from our
organizers and other local leaders how to build strong site
leadership on your campuses, and what resources CFT can offer to
COPE 101 – Do’s and Don’ts for Political Engagement
Learn best practices to set up and run a local COPE (Committee on
Political Education) program, with our recommended best
practices to fund candidate campaigns and voter initiatives.
You’ll come away with important tips to avoid common pitfalls and
make sure your local’s political program keeps everything legal.
Compliance with Union Legal and Constitutional Requirements
Learn how to keep your union operations legal, and consistent
with important requirements of the AFT and CFT Constitutions.
There are layers of requirements concerning representation,
negotiations, officer elections, and convention representation
that derive from both the law and our parent unions. Ensure your
local practices are consistent with these requirements to avoid
potential problems that could divert precious time, energy, and
money away from your local priorities.
Digital Communications: Action Network, Hustle, and E-Forms
Member engagement and communication are central to a strong
union, and have gradually shifted increasingly to digital forms.
AFT and CFT support many tools and platforms for digital
communication and engagement that enhance our work, and are
available to all AFT locals. Learn how our locals are using
Action Network, Hustle, and electronic membership forms to engage
their members and improve their communication programs. Find out
which tools best fit your needs, and how to get additional
support to implement them in your own local union.
Legal Update: Duty of Fair Representation and Maintenance of
Get an important update on best practices to uphold the Duty of
Fair Representation (DFR) and maintain your membership. Refresh
your understanding of the DFR legal requirement to provide equal
representation to both members and non-members of your local
union. What are current legal challenges to these requirements,
and what practices are recommended to steer clear of them? Learn
about any new legal challenges to these practices that might
suggest changes to your local union’s current practices.
Understand the latest challenges to union requirements to “opt
out” of membership, and learn the best practices recommended to
handle such requests. In addition to providing the latest news on
these legal developments, we’ll provide time for discussion and
some Q&A with our chief counsel.
Legal Update: Parental Leaves for Education
Members frequently ask how to prepare for childbirth or adoption,
and which laws and programs provide benefits. Are school
employees entitled to the leave and pay provisions of FMLA and
CFRA? How do members know if they’re eligible for disability
benefits, and under which plans? What are my rights to
child-bonding leave? What benefits are common in union contracts,
and how do members coordinate all of these benefits with the
employer? Join one of our attorneys to find out how it all works
and provide the answers your members need.
Local Union Plans That Get Results
Planning involves more than making a list and checking off boxes.
A good plan establishes vision and direction, democratizes our
knowledge, focuses resources, and keeps us on track to our goals.
Our best work emerges from proactive planning instead of reactive
responses. Improve your understanding and skill in creating solid
plans for your local, from individual meetings to extended
Making the Most of Site Meetings
The increasingly busy lives of our members often make it
difficult for them to attend union membership meetings. But there
are lots of ways to bring the union meetings directly to our
members’ worksite! From informal union coffee breaks to
formal standing worksite meetings, meeting members where they
work can be a valuable way to build visibility and increase
member participation. Learn how our locals have successfully
brought the union to their members, and how to plan your own
meetings to be successful.
Member-to-Member Outreach Drives
Member-to-member outreach drives have become a necessity for many
of our local unions today. Successful outreach programs increase
membership, build visibility, and identify new leaders, and
activate member participation. They are a critical component of a
local union program in worksites lacking a robust new employee
orientation program, and when turnover is high. Learn what’s
required to run a successful outreach drive, and hear from local
leaders who have used them to build stronger local unions.
Signature Gathering for Schools & Communities First
In this one-hour training, we will make sure everyone has a
common understanding about the Schools and Communities First
initiative we are now trying to qualify for the November 2020
ballot. We will answer questions about the initiative, discuss
recommended messaging for our audiences, and review the rules and
instructions for gathering signatures. One mistake can disqualify
an entire petition! Make sure that you (and your colleagues) know
all the rules and instructions so we can make every signature
count. This training is strongly encouraged for everyone who
gathers signatures, and for those who will be recruiting
volunteers to assist.
Understanding and Negotiating Health Benefit Plans
Negotiating health benefits consumes tremendous time and energy,
and much of the ‘negotiations’ happens away from the bargaining
table between districts, brokers and providers. Learn the
different ways that medical benefit plans are structured and
priced so you can play a more active role in shaping the benefit
packages in your own district. You may become better informed
than your employers about the best options to minimize costs
while maximizing benefits.
Understanding California’s State Budget
Everyone knows that our schools and colleges are underfunded and
lack the resources students need. But how well do we understand
the way schools are funded in the first place? Join our CFT
Research Director to learn how education is funded through
California’s budget process, and the role CFT and our members
play to advocate for better funding for our schools and
Winning New Members from the Start: New Hire
Our experience since the Janus decision highlights the importance
of a well-executed new hire orientation program. Good
relationships forged at the beginning of employment between the
union and new employees are stronger and tend to persist over
time. The most successful union orientations are those that
utilize a team, a well-prepared presentation, good materials, and
advance preparation. The good news is that every local union is
capable of such a program! Utilizing our collective experience
and stories from successful local unions, we’ll provide
everything you need to be successful signing up new employees
from their first day on the job.