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BFT Action - October 1st, 2017

In this issue:  Diane Ravitch Speaks in Oakland on Oct. 13th, Check Your Paycheck, Sick Leave Bank, Open Enrollment, and more...
BFT Action--October 2017
Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown: The Fight For Public Education

On Friday, October 13th, 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. Both of these people are on the front lines of efforts to defend and strengthen public education in the era of Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration. They are critical voices leading in the defense of the schools our students deserve.

Tickets and information for the event can be found here.   

Is Your Paycheck Correct? Is Your Bonus Correct?
It is important that you take a few minutes with your September paycheck stub and the 2017-2018 salary schedule in order to be certain that you are being paid correctly. You can also check the accuracy of your BONUS once you have checked your overall pay. Directions are here.

Recent BFT Accomplishments

  • Advocated for preserving the Malcolm X VP position for 17/18

  • Anchor member of the coalition that organized the Anti-Hate counter demonstration on August 27th

  • 100% of new teachers at the BUSD New Teacher Orientation became BFT members

  • BFT has a new and improved website

  • BFT trained new Site Reps on September 12th

Enroll in the BFT Sick Leave Bank! Deadline: October 31st

The BFT/BUSD Sick Leave Bank was organized to generate a pool of sick leave days to be available to qualified applicants toward long-term leave in the event of a prolonged illness or injury.

Enrolling in the Sick Leave Bank is both completely voluntary and a great opportunity for BFT members. Enrollment is open for the month of October this year—see your Site Rep if you don’t know whether you’re enrolled or if you need a form. HOURLY workers can find the form here. SALARIED workers can find the form here. Check out our FAQ for more information.

Enrollment forms are due October 31st.

Are You Being Evaluated This Year? Consider an Alternative Evaluation
Teachers who received a proficient or distinguished rating on their most recent evaluation may opt for alternative evaluation.  Teacher may participate in Action Research, Lesson Study, or National Board Certification.   Talk to your evaluator if you are interested.  If you have questions, check out the FAQ.
Open Enrollment Deadline: October 6th
BUSD employees should have received Open Enrollment packets in the mail in September.  

The deadline to make any changes to your health care, vision, dental, life insurance or FSA accounts is October 6th at 5:30 pm. 

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 Oct. 6th.  
Science Field Trips with the City of Berkeley
The City of Berkeley is sponsoring science field trips for multiple grade levels.  These include animal programs, low tide research and sailing. The deadline is October 6th to register your class. You can find out more information on their website
Berkeley Public Schools Fund "Friends and Family" Grants Up and Running!

The Berkeley Public Schools Fund has an ongoing grant opportunity for the 2017-18 school year.  It's called "Friends and Family Grants" and it's similar to Donors Choose but just to BUSD teachers and staff.   Sign up here.

FAQ of the Month: Your Rights When Meeting With an Administrator
Do you know when you have the right to a union representative in a meeting with a supervisor?  Do you know what your union representative's role in such a meeting is?  Answers to these and other important questions can be found at BFT's FAQ.
CFT Special Assessments
Each month BFT members have deductions for special assessments voted on by the California Federation of Teachers at the annual convention.  For 2017-2018 BFT members will see two special assessments: One for $5.65 for the CFT Committee on Political Education, and one for $2.00 for the new CFT Legal Advocacy and Fight Back Fund.
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.

Do You Know the Difference Between Personal Leave and Sick Leave?
All BFT members should know the difference between Personal and Sick Leave, as BUSD is monitoring use of Personal Leave more closely than they have in the past.  Personal Leave is for reasons like weddings, religious holidays, emergencies, illness or death in a member's immediate family.  This list is not exhaustive-- check the Personal Leave contact language for more details.
Calendar of Coming Events
10/6/17 Open Enrollment for Benefits Deadline
10/9/17 All-Day Staff PD
10/27/17 End of First Grading Period 
10/1/17 - 10/31/17 Open Enrollment for Sick Leave Bank
11/3/17 Elementary Parent Conference Day and All-Day PD for Secondary Staff
11/10/17 Veteran's Day Holiday
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

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