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BFT Action - April 8th, 2018

In this issue: Membership Meetings, School Board Endorsements, SBA Information, and more...
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BFT Action--April 2018
April 12th Membership Meeting: Possible Major Changes to the Academic Calendar
We encourage all members to attend the April BFT Membership Meeting on April 12th at the Adult School Multipurpose Room at 4:15 pm. We will be discussing possible major changes to Academic Calendar can better meet the needs of our students and teachers. There will be discussion about starting school earlier in August and ending First Semester before Winter Break. There will be a presentation and time to give feedback and talk with colleagues. 
BUSD School Board Candidate Interviews: May 3rd
On Thursday, May 3rd, BFT will be interviewing candidates for the BUSD School Board as part of our endorsement process. All BFT members are encouraged to attend and give your thoughts at the end of the interviews. This is an important part of our political process here in Berkeley. Interviews will take place from 4:00 - 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 3rd at the Berkeley Adult School Multi-Purpose Room. Dinner will be provided.

Endorsement decisions will be made on Thursday, May 10th , at 4 pm at the Oregon Street conference room. All members are encouraged to attend both meetings.

BFT Wins 3 Communication Awards at CFT Convention
BFT won awards at the 2018 CFT Convention for:
  • Best Flyer or Poster for King English Teacher Julie Searle's 2017 Sunflower Placard
  • Best Website
  • Best Email Newsletter for our BFT Action
BFT Resolution Passes at the 2018 CFT Convention
The BFT Resolution “Defend the Dignity and Rights of Immigrants” passed with large support at the 2018 CFT Convention.
BFT Site Rep Nominations for 2018-2019 due Friday, April 27th
Nomination forms for BFT Site Rep positions will be distributed this week to all members in your mailbox. Being a Site Rep is a great way to get involved in your union--you're part of one of the most important decision-making body in the union, the Executive Board. As a Site Rep, you become a leader at your school site, helping your colleagues with contractual and quality-of-work issues. Nomination forms are due back to the BFT office by Friday April 27th. It is best to email your form to Be sure your email has a clear subject heading.
GELAP Fee Reimbursement
Thanks to BFT advocacy, the District has agreed to pay GELAP fees for teachers interested in teaching K-5 PE, K- 5 Science and 9th grade Physics in 2018-2019. A GELAP allows a teacher to teach outside of their credential area while they work toward a new authorization. Please email if you are considering one of these teaching assignments.
March 14th Day of Action For Safe Schools
Many sites across Berkeley participated in the March 14th Day of Action. See the gallery here.
March 24th March For Our Lives Banner
SBA Testing Season is Upon Us Again...

As we enter another season of SBA testing, it's as important as ever that we in BUSD keep testing in proper perspective and minimize its disruptive impacts on our most vital work: teaching our students to be informed, empowered, active citizens in the 21st century. Many members don't know that much of the decision making around SBA administration happens at the site level--if you haven't had a staff or leadership team meeting to discuss SBA administration, now's the time! 

For instance:

  • What support services or interventions do we want to ensure continue during testing? How can we make that happen?
  • Is it possible to keep the library open, even for parts of the day?
  • What should teachers at our site do if there are technology issues? How can we work to lessen the emotional strain of testing on our students?
Berkeley Public Schools Fund Honors !
This year's Schools Fund Luncheon is on Friday, May 11th and is themed "Rising Voices, Rising Leaders." Appropriately, they're honoring Mikko Jokela and Rosina Keren: Congratulations Mikko and Rosina--you deserve it!

Are You Interested in a Reduced Workload Leave, aka a "Willie Brown" Leave?

A Reduced Workload Leave (RWL) allows a teacher to work part-time but still receive BUSD contributions to STRS and benefits as though they were working full-time. To be eligible, a teacher must be at least 55 years old and have worked in a certificated position for at least 10 years, with the last 5 years full-time. Teachers can take RWL up to 0.50FTE under state law, and the deadline for notifying BUSD HR is July 15, 2018. For more information, check out our Reduced Workload Leave FAQ.

 Two Berkeley Rep Opportunities for BFT Members
The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Book Launch 
Come to a discussion between Stephen Spinella, Tony Taccone and authors Issac Butler and Dan Kois. The event is free and there will be special seating in the first two rows for BFT members. 
When: Monday, May 7th at 8:00 PM
Where: Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. Berkeley
Email for tickets.

Special 2018-2019 Berkeley Rep Season Preview For BFT Members
Come learn about the 2018-2019 Berkeley Rep season. 
Where: Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St. Berkeley
Email for tickets.

These events are for BFT members. If you are not sure of your Union membership status please email

REMINDER: Please Do NOT “Rate” Subs in Aesop
When you are absent and your class has a substitute teacher, you may get an email from Aesop asking for feedback on your sub.  Please DO NOT use this function to express concerns.  Please see your administrator with any concerns.  Whenever possible, please also contact the sub directly.
Don't Forget Course Approval!

If you plan to take summer coursework to move over on the salary schedule and increase your compensation, you must submit a BUSD 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. See our FAQ on the subject for more details. 


Leaving BUSD at the End of the School Year?
Please notify the Human Resources office in writing (and please 'cc' BFT at as soon as possible if you are certain that you will be retiring or resigning your position in BUSD at the end of the school year. Early notifications will have a direct and positive impact on temporary teachers who have not yet been rehired for next year.


Interested in a Job Share?
If you are a K-5 teacher interested in a job share for 2017-2018, please contact BFT at so we can connect you with other teachers seeking job shares!

Voluntary Transfer Rights in BFT/BUSD Contract
The BFT/BUSD contract provides teachers the right to request a voluntary transfer to an open position at a different school as long as they have a positive evaluation and meet certain criteria (e.g. certification, credential, minimum years experience, specialized training, etc.). If you have questions about how to make use of your rights in the area please see our FAQ on Voluntary Transfers. You should also make sure to carefully monitor certificated job postings in your email. 
Planning Ahead for Retirement
If you are even considering retiring from BUSD in June 2018, we recommend that you immediately begin the retirement planning process. Please see the BFT FAQ on retirement for information.
Calendar of Coming Events
4/12/18 Academic Calendar Membership Meeting at Adult School MPR 4:15 PM
5/3/18 BUSD School Board Candidates Forum at Adult School MPR 4:00 pm
5/10/18 BFT School Board Endorsement Membership Meeting at 1720 Oregon St. 4:00 PM