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BFT Action - February 6th, 2019

In this issue: March 13 Board Mobilization, Adopt a School, March 7 Membership Meeting, Important Deadlines, and more...
BFT Action--February 2019
March 13th School Board Meeting Mobilization
Please plan to attend our first MASS MOBILIZATION to the Berkeley School Board to support a strong next contract. Community members, teachers and classified staff are joining together to support our negotiations efforts. Rally is at 7 pm and Public Comment is from 7:30 to 8:30. Negotiations begin on March 15th.

Please be sure to wear your BFT shirt on March 13th!

BFT February 11th Walk-Ins to Support UTLA
Adopt an Oakland Striking School
Adopt-A-School efforts for Oakland are up and running! Here is the link to a google form where any teacher/educator can sign up to adopt a school and any community organization can sign up to be a picket partner: 

For background info about Adopt-A-Striking-School Oakland, ideas for how to support Oakland Teachers and students, and suggestions for how to rally support for this initiative at your own school site, visit: Adopt a Striking School!

Here are some quotes from when Berkeley adopted schools in LA:

"The generous donations from Berkeley High School will be purchasing breakfast burritos for all 125 teachers on our picket line tomorrow! We will be sure to take a picture! " -Gillian Russom, Ethnic Studies Teacher at Roosevelt HS in LA
"My staff was starting to feel the pinch after two days in the rain and buying lunch on the go. We traveled from our school site to rallies back to our school site (in the rain)...Northern California teachers came through. Thank goodness we only needed monies for the fifth and sixth day. The best money spent was on HAND WARMERS, PONCHOS, DUCT TAPE FOR THE WOOD STAKES, rain boots, kwik stix poster paints, and plastic bags for our posters. Also, having a small portable folding table helped.  Our staff is dedicated to paying it forward. Kindness and generosity from strangers was amazing."  -Tawni Black Johnson, LA teacher
General Membership Meeting March 7 at the Adult School 

BFT will have a Negotiations and Calendar update on March 7th at the Adult School. Come learn more about possible BFT proposals and possible big changes to the 2020-2021 calendar. 

This meeting will be at 4:00 in the Multipurpose Room at Berkeley Adult School, with snacks provided. 

BFT joined 1000s of educators and community members to demand that public education be fully funded in Oakland on Saturday, February 12th.
Our Union At Work For Members
Here are some recent BFT accomplishments:
  • BFT is aware that the current shortage of substitutes, and the obstacles to becoming a BUSD substitute, have a major impact on members and on teaching and learning.  BFT is prioritizing this issue and has made progress in reducing BUSD barriers. The document burden of applying has been reduced.  In addition, soon subs will be “onboarded” digitally so that they can enter the BUSD sub pool more quickly.
  • Successful Walk-Ins at ALL BUSD sites with great media coverage
  • Large contingent of BFT members at the January 12th Rally for Public Education
  • Many sites attending School Board Office Hours and Board Meetings to support the Contract Campaign     
  • BFT is fighting hard for an earlier hiring timeline and for eligibility pools in hard-to-staff credential areas.
  • BFT signed a Summer School MOU that includes a 4% increase in compensation
  • BFT signed an MOU guaranteeing per diem pay for non classroom teachers who sub during the duty day.
Automatic Leave of Absence Deadline is March 1st
If you have achieved permanent status and have worked in BUSD for at least three years, you're eligible for an automatically granted, full-time Leave of Absence for next year. If you want to apply for a Leave and have it automatically approved, you must submit a Leave of Absence Request Form to Human Resources by Friday, March 1st. We strongly recommend you check out the Leave of Absence FAQ on the BFT website.

Note that you should submit your form via email to Brent Daniels, Director of Human Resources and Sheila Rose, Human Resource Specialist. Please cc BFT on your email.

BFT Executive Officer Elections

This is an election year for BFT Executive Officer positions (President, Vice-President, Executive Secretary and Treasurer). Nominations for BFT Executive Officers open on March 7, 2019 and close on May 2, 2019. Often times people run as a slate (a group of people running together). Please contact BFT President Cathy Campbell at for more information.

BUSD Loses Two Retired Teachers

It is with much sadness that we note the passing of retired teacher, Eric Anderson who taught at Berkeley High for almost 40 years. He served as BFT President in the mid-1960s. He was a popular teacher whose courses were always in high demand. A memorial service will be held for Eric Anderson on Saturday, March 23, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Lawson Rd., in Kensington.

We also mourn the loss of Sylvia Gott who was a speech therapist at several Berkeley schools. She also taught German. The memorial for Sylvia Gott will be on March 2nd at 3:00 pm at the Christ Lutheran Church, 780 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

College Scholarships Available - Deadline to Apply is March 31st 2019
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. 

Deadline is March 31st, 2019! For more information, check out the AFT Scholarships page!

Retirement FAQ
If you are thinking about retiring, make sure to read BFT's Retirement FAQ. You need to plan early!
Do You Plan to Retire Next Year? $1000 Bonus Available for Early Notification
Teachers who formally notify BUSD in writing prior to February 7, 2019 that they plan to retire at the end of the current school year will receive a $1000 bonus. To notify BUSD, teachers should use the Retirement form available on the BFT website and scan it into an email to Brent Daniels at
2019-2020 Academic Calendar
The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar is now available. You can find it here.
Calendar of Coming Events
2/7/19 - High School Open House
2/15/19-2/18/19 No School--President's Day Weekend
2/22/19 - End of 2nd Trimester
3/7/19 - General Membership Meeting
3/13/19 - Mass Mobilization to the School Board at 7 pm
3/29/19 - End of 3rd Quarter
3/30/19-4/7/19 Spring Break