Union Leaders


Union Leaders

Every other year, delegates to the CFT Convention elect the CFT President, Secretary Treasurer and 24 Vice Presidents. The officers and presidents of the CFT division councils comprise the CFT Executive Council.



Jeffery M. Freitas was elected CFT President in March 2019 after serving as CFT Secretary Treasurer for eight years. A credentialed secondary math teacher, Freitas has advocated on behalf of members for two decades as president of the Carpinteria Association of United School Employees, AFT Local 2216, and as a field representative and lobbyist for the CFT. In his role as CFT President, Freitas serves as a vice president of the California Labor Federation and the AFT.


Secretary Treasurer

Luukia Smith serves as CFT Secretary Treasurer. Prior to this position, Smith was president of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, representing paraprofessionals and classified employees in the Federation. She also served as president of her local union, the El Camino Classified Employees, AFT Local 6142, for 16 years, representing staff at El Camino College in Torrance.  Smith worked in the accounting department at the college for 30 years. 


Senior Vice President

L. Lacy Barnes, an instructor of psychology at Reedley College is the Senior Vice President of CFT. Barnes, who holds a doctorate, is former president of the State Center Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1533, representing full-and part-time faculty at Reedley and Fresno City Colleges in the Central Valley.


Vice Presidents

The 24 vice presidents typically hold leadership positions in their local unions, and together they represent the broad spectrum of teachers and support staff represented by the CFT. 


Division Council Leaders

Experienced educators lead each of the CFT’s five division councils. Representatives from constituent local unions of each division elect their council leaders in biennial elections.


Rico Tamayo is president of the EC/TK-12 Council. Rico Tamayo, an elementary school teacher for 20-plus years in Compton and Pico Rivera, heads the Early Childhood/TK-12 Council. Tamayo has served as a site representative and is former president of the El Rancho Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 3467, in Pico Rivera.


Carl Williams is president of the Council of Classified Employees, the division representing paraprofessionals and support staff. Williams leads the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4529, representing staff at in the Lawndale Elementary School District, where he works as a custodian.


Jim Mahler is president of the Community College Council and leader of the AFT Guild, Local 1931. He serves on the executive board of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council and teaches engineering, math and physics in the San Diego Community College District.


Mia McIver advocates on behalf of non-tenure-track faculty and librarians at University of California campuses. She teaches literature and writing as a lecturer at UCLA, where she has also served members as president of UC-AFT Local 1990.



John Perez is president of the Council of Retired Members. He was a high school social studies teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and served both as a vice president and president of UTLA before his retirement in 2005. Currently he is president of UTLA-Retired, AFT Local 1021-R.


AFT Vice Presidents

Delegates to the biennial AFT Convention elect officers of our national union. Three CFT leaders represent California as vice presidents on the AFT Executive Council.

Jeffery M. Freitas
CFT President


Juan  Ramirez
AFT President of United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT Local 1021


Carl Williams
President, CFT Council of Classified Employees and Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4529