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BFT Action - September 5th, 2018

In this issue: Climate March, Contract Campaign Kickoff, Evaluations
BFT Action--September 2018
October 11th Contract Campaign Kickoff: 4pm - 6 pm at the Berkeley Adult School
We will be kicking off our 2018-2019 Contract Campaign on Thursday, October 11th at the Berkeley Adult School Multipurpose Room, and we are asking ALL BFT members to attend.  This event will take place from 4pm to 6pm and you will leave informed, energized and engaged.  There will be an overview of our goals, our narrative and our proposed contract campaign plan, and workshops to actively engage with this campaign.  Please mark your calendar now and plan to attend.  Our ambitious goals will depend on the active participation of all BFT members to be achieved.
Fall Volunteer Activities
BFT has endorsed Ka'Dijah Brown, Julie Sinai and Ty Alper for BUSD School Board. Now we need to help get them elected. Also, Tony Thurmond and Jovanka Beckles need our help to win their highly contested races so they can support public education statewide.

Phone banking is a critical component to gaining support for these candidates and turning out the vote. We need all BFT members to donate one hour of time to support these fall election goals. Sign up here.

Join BFT for the RISE for Climate Jobs and Justice March in San Francisco on September 8th. Unions and other labor organizations are organizing a Labor Contingent to demonstrate that runaway climate change is a labor and working families issue. These organizations and BFT support a rapid just transition to a 100% renewable and sustainable energy economy.  
We will meet with the Labor Contingent at the intersection of Steuart and Market Street at 10 am.
Wear your BFT T-Shirt!
Join the CalSTRS Child Separation Divestment Campaign
Teachers across the state are demanding that their retirement dollars not be invested in companies that profit off of the Trump administration's child separation policies. We demand that CalSTRS immediately divest from GEO Group and CoreCivic, and pressure General Dynamics and United Rentals to urgently end their material support for the detention of migrant children.
Sign the petition!
B-Par Panel Opening for Interested BFT Members: Deadline Tuesday, September 18th
NOTE: Elementary Teachers especially encouraged to apply.
The B-PAR Governing Panel is the joint Union/District panel that oversees the Berkeley Peer Assistance and Review (B-PAR) program. Made up of four BFT appointees and three BUSD appointees, this panel oversees BTSA, Voluntary Peer Coaching, Alternative Evaluations and PAR, and makes recommendations to the Superintendent regarding PAR-referred teachers.
There is one immediate opening on the panel for a BFT member. Each position currently earns a stipend of $1744.00 per year. The highest priority need is for an elementary teacher on the panel (there are currently middle school and high school teachers on the panel, but no K-5 teachers).
To apply for these positions you must:
      -     Be a tenured BUSD teacher with at least five years of experience in the district
      -     Have an interest in professional development and teacher quality

Click HERE to find out how to apply.


Apply For a 2018-2019 Berkeley Public Schools Fund Classroom Grant
Online applications for Berkeley Schools Fund grants are now open! The deadline for the applications is midnight on Sunday, September 30th. Click here 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.
Open Enrollment for BUSD Benefits: September 10th - October 5th 

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 20th 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 5th.  Employees who are currently enrolled will need to submit a new application even if they are not making any changes.  

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 13th through September 27th.  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.
Do You Need a BFT T-Shirt?

If you need a BFT T-shirt, please scan this form and email it to Matt Meyer
Teachers of Color Network Facilitators for 2017-2018

This year’s TOCN facilitators are Lucero Lupercio (Silvia Mendez), 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.

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.

BFT Organizing Team

This year’s Organizing Team consists of Matt Meyer (Vice-President BFT), Dustin Patenaude (Substitute),  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
9/6/18 Elementary School Back To School Night
9/13/18 Middle School Back To School Night
9/27/18 High School Back To School Night
9/30/18 Last Day to Apply for BPSF Grants
9/10/18-10/5/18 Open Enrollment for Benefits 
10/1/18 - 10/31/18 Sick Leave Bank enrollment
10/11/18 - Contract Campaign Kickoff at Berkeley Adult School Multipurpose Room
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

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