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BFT Action - November 4th, 2019

In this issue: Tentative Agreement Reached, STRS Retirement Membership Meeting
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BFT Action--November 2019
Tentative Agreement Reached!
BFT and BUSD reached a Tentative Agreement on a contract covering the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years! 

Over the two-year period of this agreement salaries will increase by 12%, pending passage of a new parcel tax for employee salaries. BUSD salaries will become significantly more competitive in Alameda County which will help to retain our excellent teachers and hire high-quality new employees.


  • A 2.5% raise retroactive to July 1, 2019.


  • A 2.5% raise effective July 1, 2020.
  • An additional 7% raise contingent on passage of a parcel tax for employee salaries on the March 2020 Berkeley ballot. 

Special education case managers will have limits on the number of assessments they can be assigned, and caps on the size of their caseloads. This will allow these teachers to truly serve their students, strengthen our full inclusion model and help to retain our fabulous special education case managers.

In addition, Independent Study Teachers will be placed on the K-12 Salary Schedule and have a path to permanent status. Please see additional highlights and the full tentative agreement on our website. 

You can access the Tentative Agreement Documents here

Ballots are due to the BFT office by 5pm on Thursday, November 14th.

If you are sending your ballot envelope through district mail please make sure you send it by Friday, November 8. You can also drop your ballot envelope off at the BFT Office (1432 University Ave.). 


Successful School Board Mobilization on October 23

Educators, classified staff, parents, students and community members rallied, chanted, and spoke in support of living wages for teachers and staff, and investment in our Full Inclusion model of special and general education. 

BFT member and King Middle School Teacher Julie Searle led a group of members in creating a fantastic, powerful street mural. 

SPED Teachers and Site Reps gained over 1,000 signatures in support of caseload caps and assessment limits in just under three weeks. 

Thank you to all of you who were able to be there, and able to help bring BUSD families to this event. We had overwhelming support from the PTA, community allies, and parents there! The room was packed and this made a huge impact on BFT's ability to reach a tentative agreement

Transcripts for Salary Advancement Due Thursday, November 15th
If you have completed new units and plan to advance on the salary schedule, official transcripts are due to Human Resources by November 15th—start planning now! The BFT FAQ on Course Approval has a lot of useful information on the subject.

Remember that you must submit sealed, official transcripts to HR. Ask your Site Rep if you have any questions.

Veteran Teachers Mark Your Calendars!
STRS Workshop, January 9th!

This workshop will take place Thursday, January 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia).

This workshop is designed for educators approaching retirement, but all members are welcome. STRS counselors will explain the basics of STRS retirement, the three decisions to make when retiring, and what you should be doing to prepare for retirement.

California Retired Teachers Association Giving Away $100 Grants!
Each school year the California Retired Teachers Association holds three rounds of teacher grants. They have a 30-second sign-up form and randomly select 25 teachers for $100 grants - no strings attached!  You can access more details and the entry form here. The deadline for this round is November 6th. Good luck!

Schools and Communities First 

The petitions to qualify Schools and Communities First for the November 2020 ballot are finally here! There are trainings available so that everyone volunteering to gather signatures understands the process and every signature counts towards qualifying the initiative. There is a 1 hour online training available today.  

There is also an evening Speakers Training being held in Oakland on November 20 from 6- 9 p.m.

If you're interested in participating in one of these trainings, please sign- up using the links below and email BFT Vice President, Janine Waddell  to let us know. 

Online Training- Tuesday, November 5 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Oakland Training - Wednesday, Nov 20th (6-9 PM)

BFT will be playing a major role in the signature gathering phase of the campaign!


If You Have a Question or Concern at Your Site

If you have questions about your rights under the contract or issues that come up at your site, please check out our FAQs. If you still have questions, contact your Site Rep first for support. Your Site Rep will contact us if they need further information. 
BFT Recent Accomplishments
  • Tentative Agreement Reached!
  • Parent mobilization to the BUSD Town Hall
  • We packed the School Board Meeting on October 23
  • Successful Walk- in's across the district on October 18
Is Your Sick Leave Balance Correct?
All full-time BFT members receive 11 Sick Days each year; part-time teachers receive a pro-rated balance. Additionally, if you worked in another district before coming to BUSD your Sick Leave balance should have transferred with you. It is CRITICAL that you check your 10/31 sick leave.  Add up the Sick Leave days you’ve received each year in BUSD plus any days that transferred with you, subtract a rough count of days you’ve used and check that against the balance on your October 31st pay stub. If it seems like there is a discrepancy, please email Sharon Vernae at with a cc to your Site Rep.
Do You Plan to Retire Next Year? $1000 Bonus Available for Early Notification
Teachers who formally notify BUSD in writing prior to February 7, 2020 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 Samantha Tobias- Espinosa
Calendar of Coming Events
11/4/19 Elementary Parent Conference Day and All-Day PD for Secondary Staff
11/11/19 Veteran's Day Holiday
11/14/19- Tentative Agreement Ballots due to the BFT Office
11/25/19-11/29/19 Thanksgiving Break
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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