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BFT Action - September 9th, 2019

In this issue: September 18 BUSD School Board Mobilization, Open Enrollment for Benefits, Union Benefits
BFT Action--September 2019

September 18  School Board Mass Mobilization

BFT Members and Berkeley Community Members

Our contract has expired and showing up in large numbers to this early School Board meeting will put pressure on the School Board to prioritize negotiations, to address the sustainability crisis impacting both certificated and classified staff, and to address the support needed in our full inclusion program! 

Students and families need a stable teacher and classified workforce. Teachers are worried about their ability to stay in BUSD for the long haul without a significant salary increase. Special Education Case Managers want to successfully implement our Full Inclusion model of education for all. 

All BFT Members should plan to attend the September 18th School Board Meeting to support our contract negotiations, which will resume September 12. Bring your family and friends!

6:00 - 7:15 Rally and Music
@University and Bonar

7:15 - 8:30 p.m. BUSD School Board Meeting
1231 Addison Street Board Chambers

2019- 2020 Contract Campaign

As we head into the new school year, we have an ambitious agenda to continue our  contract campaign. The Sustainability Crisis is impacting our members and our families.  

Help with Leafleting on September 5 and September 12
Mark your calendar! With a big school board mass mobilization approaching on September 18, it's time to mobilize our community. We'll be leafleting at Elementary and Middle School Back to School Night at each site. Specific information will be coming from your site rep. 
Sign up HERE to volunteer

Attend Our September 9 SPED Speaker's Training
BFT will be offering a speaker's training this Fall specifically developed around our SPED Contract Campaign. Members from all sites have attended previous speaker's trainings, and many spoke at School Board meetings last year. At this training, members can develop their own speeches that focus on student support, caseloads, and assessments. General Ed and Special Ed teachers are encouraged to attend.  Email Janine Waddell, BFT Vice-President, if you are interested in attending on September 9. The training will be one hour from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at
2020 Bonar St. Room 120.

Aurora Theater Offering Discounted Tickets to BFT Members
The Aurora Theater's production of EXIT STRATEGY runs from August 30- September 29. The play tells the story of five Chicago public school teachers, their vice principal, and a student who stand up against their failing school system 

BFT has partnered with the Aurora Theater to offer these discounted tickets.Use the promo code COMMUNITYBFT to purchase $20 tickets (up to 4 tickets per purchase) to any Sunday evening performance.

Global Climate Strike
September 20 - 27

BFT passed a Resolution to support the September 20 - 27 Climate Strike Week of Action. The Global Climate Strike is youth led and is taking place all over the planet to address our climate crisis. Teachers are encouraged to participate in various ways, including doing teach- ins throughout the week of September 20. You can find detailed information of how to participate HERE


We have a new order of the RED Keep Teachers in Berkeley shirts, with art by Miriam Stahl. These shirts are being sold for $25 and run in unisex sizes S-XXL. Send an order form and payment to BFT through district mail or scan and email the form to Janine Waddell and we'll send a shirt to your site!

Apply For a 2019-2020 Berkeley Public Schools Fund Classroom Grant
Online applications for Berkeley Schools Fund grants are now open! The deadline for the applications is midnight on Monday, September 30th. Click here for more information. Don’t wait until the last day to apply! New teachers—you can ask your Teacher Induction Program support provider or a veteran colleague at your site to assist you. 

Open Enrollment for Benefits is from

September 9- October 4

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. 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 year Long!)
All BFT members are eligible to join the Y without paying the $99 - $150 enrollment fee all year long. You can also try out the Berkeley YMCA for free from September 15th through September 28th. 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.

National Board Certification for Teachers

Congratulations to Oxford teacher Jaime Vines who completed her National Board Certification for teachers (NBCT) last year. Jaime joins several other teachers in Berkeley Unified, who have also made this commitment to develop their practice and expertise in the classroom. 

For more information about the NBCT program, click HERE.

Check out our 2018- 2019 BFT Accomplishments!
Teachers of Color Network Facilitators for 2019-2020

This year’s TOCN facilitators are Lucero Lupercio (Silvia Mendez), Sarah Moreno (Thousand Oaks Elementary), Gloria Munoz-Hughes (TSA for ELD), 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!

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 Janine Waddell (Vice-President BFT), Josh Austin (BHS), Aryn Faur (BHS), Andrea Pritchett (Willard), 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
9/5/19 Elementary School Back To School Night
9/12/19 Middle School Back To School Night
9/26/19 High School Back To School Night
9/30/19 Last Day to Apply for BPSF Grants
9/9/19-10/4/19 Open Enrollment for Benefits 
10/1/19 - 10/31/19 Sick Leave Bank enrollment