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BFT Action - September 30th, 2018


In this issue:  Contract Campaign Kickoff on Oct. 11, Check Your Paycheck, Sick Leave Bank, 50 Years of African American Studies and more...

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BFT Action--October 2018

Contract Kickoff Event on October 11th at 4 pm

Berkeley Adult School Multipurpose Room

What are the key issues facing Berkeley’s teachers?  The sustainability of our jobs and profession, the strength of our community and schools, stability for our students and families, and of course compensation, affordable benefits and critical working conditions.  

Our contract is the single most important way to address these issues.  We need a great contract campaign with activism from all members to gain a great new contract.  Please come to our kickoff event to hear about our frame for this campaign, and to choose between three workshops where you can get immediately involved (art, speakers training, and training on forming a successful Contract Action Team at your site).

 Please mark your calendar NOW and plan to attend on October 11th.

Don’t leave this to someone else.  Winning a great contract will take all of us.


Wear Your BFT T-shirt on Monday, October 8th to start off our Contract Campaign!

If you don't have a BFT shirt, please fill out this form and send it to BFT Vice-President Matt Meyer.
Is Your Paycheck Correct? Is Your Bonus Correct?
It is important that you take a few minutes with your September paycheck stub and the 2018-2019 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
  • Decrease in cost of medical benefits for those on Kaiser
  • Strong K-5 actions to demand professional voice
  • High BFT membership numbers
  • TIP PD money for teachers is available NOW
  • BFT trained new Site Reps on September 18th
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. Please email your form to

K-5 Teachers Turn Out in Large Numbers

to the September 12th School Board Meeting
Over 125 K-5 teachers attended the September 12th School Board meeting to demand that the District include teachers in decisions in how we assess our students. All 11 elementary sites were represented.  Our members who spoke did a magnificent job of showing our dedication to our students, expressing our concerns about the proposed STAR Reading assessments, and the process that has occurred to date. They spoke passionately about our dedication to closing our equity gaps and evidenced deep knowledge of our students and their needs. 

TIP (Teacher Initiated Professional Development) Money Available NOW
BFT has negotiated funds that are available for teachers to apply for use for teacher initiated professional development. Applications are approved by the Leadership Team at your site. Ask your principal for more information.
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 by October 4th if you are interested.  If you have questions, check out the FAQ.

BFT Members Support BCCE at the September 26th School Board Meeting
Over 30 BFT members came to show solidarity with BCCE at the September 26th School Board meeting. BFT supports BCCE's demand for a living wage and stands together with our classified brothers and sisters.
Election 2018 Volunteering
2018 is a critical election for Berkeley.We are asking all members to volunteer for ONE hour in the month of October to help elect a BFT endorsed School Board and strong defenders of public education for statewide races.

Please sign up here.

Click on this link to see CFT endorsed candidates and measures in your local area.

Important Elections Coming Up

BFT has endorsed Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent for Education. 


BFT has endorsed Jovanka Beckles for Assembly District 15.

It is important that strong defenders of public education are elected to statewide positions.
School Board Candidate Forum

October 3rd, 6:30 - 8:30 Longfellow Middle School Auditorium
The Berkeley PTA Council is sponsoring a School Board Candidate Forum on October 3rd. BFT has endorsed 3 candidates and they will be there to answer questions about their vision for Berkeley Schools. You can submit a question ahead of time here. We encourage BFT members to attend this forum and hear from the candidates. 

BFT Supports Celebration of African-American Studies Department 50th Anniversary Celebration

50 years ago the first official African American Studies Department (AASD) in the nation began and has remained an official department of Berkeley High School. To celebrate, there will be various activities offered throughout the district all year long. The 50th Year AASD Celebration Committee has taken on four major events!

Please mark your calendars to join the celebration! All events, excluding the Malcolm X Day Banquet, will be held on the campus of Berkeley High School. Check out the AASD50YEARS.ORG for more ways to get involved and to donate!

BFT has donated $250 to help with this important commemoration.

BFT Passes Resolution Opposing Kavanaugh's

Nomination to the Supreme Court
BFT stands with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez who have valiantly come forward to tell the truth about Brett Kavanaugh and his history of sexual assault. BFT demands that Brett Kavanaugh withdraw his nomination to the Supreme Court. You can read the resolution 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 2018-2019 BFT members will see two special assessments: One for $5.65 for the CFT Committee on Political Education, and one for $2.00 for CFT Special Assessments.
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
10/5/18 Open Enrollment for Benefits Deadline

10/8/18 All-Day Staff PD

10/26/18 End of First Grading Period 

10/1/18 - 10/31/18 Open Enrollment for Sick Leave Bank

11/2/18 Elementary Parent Conference Day and All-Day PD for Secondary Staff

11/12/18 Veteran's Day Holiday

Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

Our mailing address is:

1432 University Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94702

(510) 549-2307

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