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BFT Action - January 6th, 2020

In this issue: March Primary Election, STRS Retirement Membership Meeting, Leave of Absence Info and more...
BFT Action--January 2020

Your participation is needed!

In order to pass Measures  E, G, and H, Berkeley teachers and classified staff will be campaigning to ensure that voters understand how important the passage of these measures is for public education in Berkeley. 

We need to make sure that the people of Berkeley get out to vote and know that maintaining the quality of our schools depends on the passage of measures E, G, and H. Measure E will secure at least a 7% raise for educators, and Measures G and Measure H renewals will help modernize our schools, ensuring that they will be safe and well-maintained for a new generation of students.

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!

Did you know that BFT has an Instagram? Follow @BFTunion to stay informed throughout the Measures E, G, and H Campaign.  

Be sure that you also follow BFT on Facebook where upcoming actions and news are regularly posted. 

STRS Workshop, January 9th (THIS THURSDAY)!

This workshop is designed for educators approaching retirement but all BFT members are welcome to attend.  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 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia).

Come out and support our BCCE Colleagues this Wednesday, January 8 for a rally and the School Board meeting. BCCE is currently in contract negotiations with the district.

6:30 p.m. Rally
7:30 p.m. BUSD School Board Meeting

BUSD School Board Chambers
1231 Addison Street.

Local Climate Strike 
January 17, 2020

Earlier this school year, BFT passed a Resolution to support the September 20 - 27 Climate Strike Week of Action. On January 17th, the Oakland Climate Strike and Resilience Village is being organized at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland. In a letter from Youth vs. Apocalypse, leaders described the event as a way to educate the youth about resources they can use to deal with the effects of the climate emergency and ways they can influence climate policy that determines their future. 

Teachers are encouraged to participate in various ways, including doing teach- ins and site based actions on January 17. You can find detailed information of how to participate 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/Retirement form available on the BFT website and scan it into an email to Samantha Tobias- Espinosa at  

We encourage members to make use of this union-negotiated benefit.


The BFT Executive Board is honored to once again support the Berkeley Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Monday, January 20, 2020. 

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. 

Reduced Workload Leave "Willie Brown"
You must notify HR by April 15th if you are want to take a Reduced Workload Leave. Information can be found here.

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. You should have received an email from Brent Daniels in December regarding your leave. The form is available here.


Want To Enroll Your Child In A Berkeley School?

Article 21.3 of the BUSD/BFT contract gives you this right, even if you do not live in Berkeley and are part-time. See the "Enrolling Your Child in a BUSD School" FAQ for more important details. 

Calendar of Coming Events
1/09/20 STRS Workshop for Veteran Teachers--4:00PM, Berkeley Adult School
1/20/20 No School--Martin Luther King Jr. Day
1/27/20 Elementary PD Day
1/27/20 Semester Break - No School for Secondary Teachers