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BFT Action - March 8th, 2018

In this issue: March 14th Day of Action, March 8th Membership Meeting, Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta Essay Contest, and more...
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BFT Action--March 2018

BFT Says No Cuts to Sites!


All of us working together as a Union created a great victory: The vast majority of proposed budget cuts to school sites for 2018-2019 were ultimately rejected by District staff and the Board.  The Union was able to protect essential Academic Counselor positions at BHS; the Vice-Principal position at MX which is so critical to staff and students; the BHS Dean of Attendance that helps students get to school and to class; and the Campus Monitor position at Washington.  Due to our advocacy our School Board chose to make needed cuts in legal costs and consultant fees, rather than slashing services at our sites.

Thank you to all the members who came and supported our mobilization. Through collective power, we prevented significant cuts from occurring. You can read BFT President Cathy Campbell's February 21st speech here

Membership Meeting on Future Compensation Negotiations and the 2018/19 Contract Campaign, This Thursday March 8th!

Please attend our March Membership Meeting on March 8th. This meeting will be at 4:00 in the Multipurpose Room at Berkeley Adult School 1701 San Pablo Avenue, with snacks provided. 

Are you concerned about our next round of compensation negotiations, which will start next year?
Do you want to know more about the Union's plans to win a great contract?


Backpack Full of Cash Film Showing a Success
Thanks to everyone who attended the Backpack Full of Cash screening at Longfellow Middle School on March 1st. Our community came together to learn how school privatization threatens our public schools and ways we can fight back. Through collective action we will resist the Trump/DeVos education agenda. 
April 12th Membership Meeting: Potential Calendar Changes
Please plan on attending our April BFT Membership Meeting at the Adult School Multipurpose room at 4 pm on April 12th. We will be discussing potential changes to the school year including a shorter summer, ending first semester before winter break, and adding some breaks to the school year. It is important that as many members as possible have an opportunity to weigh in on these changes.
Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta Essay Contest! BFT Encourages ALL Teachers to Participate! Share with your students!

Calling all teachers! Join the Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta Commemorative Essay, Poetry and Poster Contest! This year's contest centers on the book "The Distance Between Us" by Reyna Grande. Reyna Grande writes about her experience growing up in Mexico and the United States. 

The contest is open to all BUSD 5th-12th grade students. For more information, you should email the Commemorative Committee at The dates of the contest are March 12 - April 13th. 

March 14 Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence
BFT is encouraging all K-12 sites to plan an action in support of the Day of Action on Wednesday March 14th for 17 minutes. Contact your Site Rep for more information.

BFT Member Carrie Johnston was interviewed by KPFA to provide a teacher perspective on  the recent school shooting in Broward County, Florida. Her interview starts at minute 5:10.


Perspectives and Reflections From Latino Teachers

Check out the new report Our Stories, Our Struggles, Our Strengths which looks at the challenges Latino teachers face in our school systems.


BFT Successes

  • 3 large mobilizations to School Board meetings to protest budget cuts to sites

  • Over 300 members have recommitted to our Union

  • Great public comment by BFT members supporting the recruitment and retention of teachers of color

Tina's Teacher Project is Looking for Volunteers
Tina's Teacher Project, a part of REACH Shirati, is building professional learning communities between the United States and Tanzania. People interested in volunteering in a school founded by a former Shirati resident and BHS teacher Christine Nyanda Chacha should check out this website and video
The Long Shadow Fundraiser for Resistance Action East Bay April 11th
Resistance Action East Bay (RAEB), which includes several BFT members, is sponsoring a showing of the The Long Shadow, a documentary exploring the origins of slavery and connecting it to racism today. The fundraiser is at the Grand Lake Theater at 7 pm on April 11th. A discussion with the filmmakers will follow the movie. Tickets are available at the door. 
Information on Federal Loan Forgiveness

Some teachers working at BUSD schools may be eligible for a $5000 loan forgiveness. Eligibility is dependent on school site and specific years that of work that qualify. You can find out more information here.

March 8th International Women's Day Rally at Berkeley Civic Center Park
There will be a rally celebrating International Women's Day at Civic Center Park in Berkeley on March 8th at 4:30 pm. Speakers include Cat Brooks from KPFA and Cecilia Palmeiro from Ni Una Menos. There was also be music from the BHS jazz band and refreshments. This event is endorsed by BFT and many other local unions.
CFT Convention Delegates 
This year's CFT convention delegates will be:
- Cathy Campbell
- Angela Reed
- Josh Austin
- Tracey Iglehart
- Yvette Felarca
- Janine Waddell

Thank you to these members for this service to your union, and thank you to everyone who nominated themselves!

Tax Reminder!

It's that season again. Just a reminder that your BFT dues are 1.4% of your Gross Income and they're tax-deductible.

College Scholarships Available - Deadline to Apply is March 31st 2018!
Are you planning on continuing your education? Do you have a dependent that is a senior in high school and planning to attend college? AFT can help! As part of the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program, the AFT offers four $8,000 scholarships to high-achieving high school seniors who are dependents of AFT members. They also offer ten $1,000 grants to AFT members seeking to continue education in their field of work. 

For more information, check out the AFT Scholarships page!

Are You Interested in a Job Share Next Year?
If you are a K-5 teacher interested in a job share for the 2018-2019 please contact BFT so that we can connect you with other teachers seeking job shares.
Calendar of Coming Events
3/8/18 Membership meeting about BUSD Budget/Upcoming contract campaing--BAS MPR at 4:00PM
3/14/18 Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence
3/23/18-3/25/18 California Federation of Teachers Convention
4/2/18-4/6/18 Spring Break
4/12/18 - Membership meeting about calendar -- BAS MPR at 4:00 PM
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

Our mailing address is:
1432 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 549-2307 
fax (510 549-2308