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BFT Action - December 8th, 2019

In this issue: Schools and Communities First, Parcel Tax Campaign, Contract Ratification, STRS Workshop
BFT Action--December 2019

Agreement Ratified!

BFT membership ratified the Tentative Contract Agreement for 2019-2021 with 93% approval. The School Board also voted in favor of the agreement on November 20. A retroactive payment of 2.5% for work done in 2019- 2020 was issued on November 22. Some hourly employees will receive this on the December 13 mid-month paycheck.

In addition, the 2.5% raise should have taken effect in your November 26 paycheck. If hourly, this will take effect on December 13. 


The BFT Executive Board voted to endorse all three measures that the BUSD School Board has put on the March 2020 ballot. In addition to a special tax for an additional 7% ongoing raise for all employees starting next year, these measures include support for school facilities and the maintenance department. All three of these measures will support the schools that students and educators deserve!

Your participation is needed!

In order to pass these measures, Berkeley teachers and classified staff will be campaigning to ensure that Berkeley voters understand how important the passage of these measures will be to support public education in Berkeley. We want as many members as possible to volunteer to phone bank and precinct walk in January and February. There might be a “no campaign” and we can’t afford to lose. Our organizing will be essential!

Check with your Site Rep to find out when your site's adopted volunteer slot is. If you can't make it on the day your site volunteers, please choose a different day. You can sign- up using the paper sign-up form, or  sign-up online. Please scan paper forms to

Our continued fight for Berkeley schools is essential!


Schools and Communities First

BFT will be playing a major role in the signature gathering phase of the Schools and Communities First campaign! Between now and Winter Break, your Site Rep will be gathering signatures at your site if you live in Alameda or Contra Costa County. We'll be gathering signatures for other counties in January. We need a people-powered effort to get this initiative on the ballot. The goal is to have 95% of BFT members sign these petitions.

Schools and Communities First will reclaim $12 billion per year for K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities, and close commercial property tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy investors use to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.

E-mail Janine Waddell at if you want to learn how to be more involved.

Mark Your Calendars!
STRS Workshop, January 9!

This workshop is designed for educators approaching retirement although it is informative for all BFT members. 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. The meeting will take place January 9 at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia).


2020 Election Surveys


 YOUR input is needed on important issues in the 2020 Presidential election.

Please take CFT’s third presidential election issues survey, which focuses on kitchen table issues that are important to all voters and  CFT’s fourth and final presidential election issues survey, which focuses on climate change and environmental issues. 

In addition, don't forget to take the AFT  endorsement process survey. With the 2020 presidential election underway, AFT members’ voices need to be heard.

BFT Vice President Janine Waddell will be representing K-12 California Teachers this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Public Education Forum 2020. There will be a discussion with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates about their plans for K-12 and higher education.

Is Your Step and Column Correct?

Employee Verification Forms were sent out earlier this month. If you submitted units to move over on the salary schedule, please make sure that your listed column on the form is correct. Any step movement should also be reflected on this form. The new (updated) salary schedule is not available yet, but to calculate your new rate, take your current yearly salary and multiply by 1.025. Divide that number by 12 to see your monthly gross pay.

The Strategic Impact Grant 
application is open for submitting proposals now through December 16 (at midnight). 
You can find the application here (click on Strategic Impact Grant tab). 
Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals by January 31. 

Strategic Impact Grants are larger projects serving the grade, department, school, or District level. 
The purpose of Strategic Impact grants is to encourage teacher innovation and collaboration in order to improve student outcomes.
The Strategic Impact Grants approved for 2018-19 can be found here.

Need a New BFT T-Shirt?
If you don't have a BFT shirt, please fill out this form and send it to BFT Vice-President Janine Waddell.

We also have a new stock of RED Keep Teachers in Berkeley shirts. 

The Peralta Federation of Teachers (Oakland, CA) is fighting for a fair contract. PFT is committed to improving the working conditions of their educators to improve learning conditions for students. Stand in solidarity with PFT as they negotiate their contract by signing this petition
Are You Considering a Sabbatical or Leave of Absence for 2020-2021?
Eligible teachers who plan to apply for a sabbatical leave or request a full-time unpaid leave of absence for the 2020-2021 school year must notify Human Resources of their intentions by March 1st. Under Article 12.1.2 of the BFT/BUSD Contract, Leave of Absence requests submitted by March 1st are automatically granted. We strongly recommend reading the Sabbatical FAQ and Leave of Absence FAQ on the BFT website for more information. The Sabbatical application and  Leave of Absence Request Form are also available on our website. 
Important February 1st Deadline for Part-Time Teachers
If you are currently on full or part-time leave you need to notify BUSD of your plans for 2020-2021 by February 1st, 2020.

Reminder:  December certificated paychecks will be directly deposited January 2nd. If you don't have direct deposit, your check will be mailed on January 2nd.

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 sharonvernae@berkeley.netwith a cc to your Site Rep.
College Scholarships Available - Deadline to Apply is December 15
The AFT and CFT offer several college scholarship opportunities for children of union members (both high school and seniors and continuing college students).  The CFT Raoul Teilhet scholarship applications for high school seniors are due December 15, 2020 and can be found here  For students already in college, the due date is June 15, 2020 and the application can be found here.
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 Separation form and scan it into an email to Brent Daniels at
Contacting BFT by Email

Members: With the exception of sensitive matters, please cc your Site Reps on all emails to so that there is full communication.  This will ensure that you get the information and assistance you need promptly.  Thanks!

Calendar of Coming Events
12/15/19 Deadline for CFT Raoul Teilhet Scholarship Application
12/16/19 Deadline for BPSF Strategic Impact Grants
12/21/19 - 1/5/20 Winter Break
1/9/20 STRS Workshop -- 4:00PM, Berkeley Adult School
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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