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BFT Action - September 9th, 2017

In this issue: 1% Bonus for 17-18, Network for Public Education Conference in Oakland, BFT speaking out against hate, Evaluations, and more…
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BFT Action--September 2017
1% Bonus Paid on September 29!

As negotiated, non-hourly BFT members will receive a 1% bonus with their September 29th paycheck. The bonus will be calculated based on the 17-18 salary schedule. Look out for our annual “How to Check Your Paycheck” email at the end of September, which will include instructions on how to check your bonus. Hourly BFT members will receive a 1% bonus in August 2018.

Thank You for Showing Up to Unite Against Hate in Berkeley
BFT members attended the Unite Against Hate rally in Berkeley on August 27th. Matt Meyer, BFT Vice-President, spoke about supporting our young people as they advocate for a better world. Thank you for attending this rally and representing our union and our schools at this important event.    
Open Enrollment for BUSD Benefits: September 11 - October 6

BUSD employees should have received Open Enrollment packets in the mail at the start of the month.  

The Health Benefits Wellness Fair will be held on September 12th between 12:00 P.M and 5:00 P.M. in the District’s Board Room – 1231 Addison Street.

Open Enrollment for Flexible Spending, Parking, and/or Transit Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts allow an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for certain health and childcare related expenses.  Parking and Transit Spending Accounts allow an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for parking or transit costs related to their commute to work.  Open enrollment for FSAs is currently taking place until October 6th.  Employees who are currently enrolled will need to submit a new application even if they are not making any changes.  

Berkeley Public Schools Fund 2016-2017 Classroom Grants Deadline

Online applications for Berkeley Schools Fund grants are now open! The deadline for the applications is midnight on Saturday, September 30th. See for more information. Don’t wait until the last day to apply! New teachers—you can ask your BTSA support provider or a veteran colleague at your site to assist you.

Join the Downtown YMCA with No Registration Fee
All BFT members are eligible to join the Y without paying the $99 - $150 enrollment fee during the month of September.  You can also try out the Berkeley YMCA for free from September 14th through September 24th.  To join, go to the Downtown Y with a photo ID and your BFT membership card.  If you do not have a card please call BFT at 549-2307.
Network for Public Education Conference and Events October 13-15
The Network for Public Education Conference is taking place in Oakland this year on October 14th and 15th. The theme of the conference is "Now More Than Ever: Fight for Public Education." The Network for Public Education is made up of teachers, parents, students and citizens that have organized to fight to defend public education. BFT will be running a workshop on how our Quality Education Agenda is utilized in our community to further our goals. You can sign up for the conference here.  
On Friday, October 13th, there is a large public event in addition to the conference. Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, will be speaking with Jitu Brown, national Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance, at Oakland Technical High School at 7:30 pm. This event is co-sponsored by KPFA. Tickets and information on the event can be here.   
Do You Need a BFT T-Shirt?
If you need a BFT T-shirt, please email Matt Meyer. Include your requested size and site for delivery.
They Call Me Mix Kickstarter Campaign
Lourdes Rivas, a Kindergarten teacher at LeConte Elementary, has written a bilingual children's book titled They Call Me Mix. This is one of the few children's books for the K - 2+ age range that focuses on transgender characters. Lourdes has established a Kickstarter account to raise funding to print the book and make it available to a wider audience. You can check out more information on this campaign and donate here.  
The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center invites you to an evening with Civil Rights icon Dolores Huerta, September the 9th, in Berkeley.  Ms. Huerta is in the Bay Area in conjunction with the release of the documentary "Dolores" a film on her life.
Dolores, the Movie
Saturday, September 9, 5:20 P.M. and 7:40 P.M.
Shattuck Cinema, 2230 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

Dolores will do a question and answer time immediately following the film. 

You can purchase tickets from the Shattuck Cinema.

Come to the Make It Fair Campaign Town Hall to learn about closing the Prop. 13 commercial property tax loophole. Join the effort to restore billions of dollars to invest in local communities including our schools.  RSVP here. State Senators Nancy Skinner and Scott Wiener will be speaking.
Teachers of Color Network Facilitators for 2017-2018

This year’s TOCN facilitators are Lucero Lupercio (LeConte Elementary), Sarah Moreno (Thousand Oaks Elementary), Gloria Munoz-Hughes (Willard Middle), Shannon Erby (Berkeley High) and Monique Duncan-Harris (Berkeley High). If you’d like to get involved with the Network, please contact any of them via email. Thank you to these members for taking on this important service to their brothers and sisters in Berkeley schools!

Don’t Forget to Request Course Approval for Units Towards Salary Advancement

If you plan to take courses this year to move over on the salary schedule and increase your compensation you must submit a BUSD prior course approval request no later than two weeks after the start of the course.  The credits you earn will not count towards salary advancement unless you get prior approval!! The required form is available on the BFT website's Forms page.

FAQ of the Month: Inservice Credit!

Do you attend IEP and SST meetings? Committee meetings outside your duty day? Did you know that you can receive credit for salary advancement or sick leave for these meetings? Check out the Inservice Credit FAQ on the BFT website for details.

Did You Move Classrooms This Summer?

Teachers who are required by a district administrator, including principals and vice-principals, to move classrooms are entitled to receive up to twelve hours of pay at the curriculum development rate. We recommend that you keep a copy of the time sheet you turn in to your administrator.

BFT Organizing Team

This year’s Organizing Team consists of Matt Meyer (Berkeley High), Angela Reed (Jefferson), Sean Keller (Jefferson),  and Julie Searle (King). We’re excited to work with this team to further BFT's organizing, social justice and political goals on the local, statewide and national levels in order to defend public education.

Are You Being Evaluated This Year? Consider an Alternative Evaluation!

Teachers who received a rating of proficient or distinguished on their most recent evaluation can opt for an alternative evaluation with the agreement of their evaluator. Options include Action Research, Lesson Study, or National Board Certification. If you have questions, look at the  Alternative Evaluation FAQ on the BFT website or contact us at If you did an alternative evaluation in your last evaluation cycle and want to do one again, this may be possible. Talk to your evaluator if you’re interested!

Are you Moving Over on the Salary Schedule Due to New Units?

If so, please remember that you must turn in OFFICIAL (sealed) transcripts to the BUSD Human Resources Office by November 15th in order for your salary to increase this year.

Calendar of Coming Events
9/7/17 Elementary School Back To School Night
9/14/17 Middle School Back To School Night
9/19/17 - Bft Exec Board meeting
9/28/17 High School Back To School Night
9/30/17 Last Day to Apply for BPSF Grants
9/11/17-10/6/17 Open Enrollment for Benefits 
10/2/17 - 10/31/17 Sick Leave Bank enrollment
10/13/17 - Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown at Oakland Tech
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

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Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 549-2307 
fax (510 549-2308

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