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BFT Action - April 1st, 2020

BFT Action--April 2020

Dear BFT Members,

Thank you for your leadership and support for students and families during this time. Please see the most recent, updated Distance Learning FAQ for information about questions that have been coming up! During this time, your BFT Officers and Executive Board are meeting and will provide updates as they come about. Take care of yourselves!


Schools and Communities First Update 

The Schools and Communities First Campaign submitted over 1.7 million signatures last week. This is nearly twice the number needed to qualify for the November ballot!! You can read more about this here .

You were essential in reaching this goal! Thank you for your time and amazing signature gathering efforts at your sites and in your communities. BFT surpassed our initial goal of 750 signatures and turned in 1,351 signatures! 


If you don't have internet access at home, please contact BFT Vice President Janine Waddell, at ASAP!

Unemployment & Underemployment Benefits for Educators
(click on time slot below to register)


Wednesday, April 8, 2020
12:00pm - 1:30pm
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Are you losing your job (or losing hours) as a result of the current pandemic? Is someone in your household unemployed or underemployed? In many cases, you may be eligible for benefits you’re not aware of. Unemployment benefits have been significantly expanded as a result of recent laws, and we’ll cover important changes members need to know about. This workshop will also demystify the process of applying for unemployment benefits. Learn about requirements of the Employment Development Department (EDD) and the step-by-step process when applying for benefits. This workshop will particularly benefit temporary certificated staff, and anyone facing reduced, cancelled, or unscheduled teaching loads in the present and near-future. 


Finding Relief from Student Debt
(click on time slot below to register)  

Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00pm - 1:30pm
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Is student debt still weighing you down in the current crisis? There may be a way to find relief! Recent federal legislation provides some relief from your student burden, at least on a temporary basis.  And if you work for a public institution or for a nonprofit, you may already qualify for public service loan forgiveness. Learn what’s changed to relieve the student debt burden during the current pandemic.  We’ll also share how to qualify for loan forgiveness, how to make your payments manageable, and how we can work together to address the student debt crisis in California. 


AFT Telephone Town Hall with
U.S. Surgeon General

TODAY: Tuesday, April 7 @ 4:00 p.m.

This call will feature Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General. All AFT Members are welcome to join; Dr. Adams will be taking questions from our healthcare members about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Register here to join this call!


Keep BFT T-shirt days going at your site!
Check out Washington Educators on a recent "Wear-it Wednesday" BFT shirt day!

If your site has a virtual BFT t-shirt day, please send photos to BFT Vice President Janine Waddell at
Online Timesheet Clarification

You may have seen an email earlier this week from Nicole Caldwell in the Payroll Department about filling out electronic timesheets. She then clarified, but we wanted to clarify for you as well.

Certificated Employees working their normal FTE and receiving their normal salary do NOT need to fill out timesheets. They're designed for hourly/ daily subs, other hourly positions that may be working overtime, and other exceptions that would normally be filled out on a blue paper timesheet.

 Are you following BFT on Instagram? Follow @BFTunion to see updates and member photos.

We've also highlighted moments over the last few months from the Measures E, G, and H Campaign and Schools and Communities First. Check it out!

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

BFT Site Rep Nominations for 2020- 2021 due Friday, May 8
Nomination forms for BFT Site Rep positions will be emailed out in the next couple of weeks to all members. Being a Site Rep is a great way to get involved in your union--you're part of one of the most important decision-making bodies in the union, the Executive Board. As a Site Rep, you become a leader at your school site, helping your colleagues with contractual and quality-of-work issues. Nomination forms are due back to BFT Friday May 8. It is best to email your form to Be sure your email has a clear subject heading.

Are You Interested in a Reduced Workload Leave, aka a "Willie Brown" Leave?

A Reduced Workload Leave (RWL) allows a teacher to work part-time but still receive BUSD contributions to STRS and benefits as though they were working full-time. To be eligible, a teacher must be at least 55 years old and have worked in a certificated position for at least 10 years, with the last 5 years full-time. Teachers can take RWL up to 0.50FTE under state law, and the deadline for notifying BUSD HR is April 15, 2020. For more information, check out our Reduced Workload Leave FAQ.

Update on Course Approval:

HR is not requiring a course approval form through this summer. You will turn in a new form (that has not been created yet) with your transcripts when we return. Essentially this means that all courses that receive course credit are 'approved'. 

Leaving BUSD at the End of the School Year?
Please notify Brent Daniels  in writing (and please 'cc' BFT at as soon as possible if you are certain that you will be retiring or resigning your position in BUSD at the end of the school year. Early notifications will have a direct and positive impact on temporary or Prob 1 teachers who have not yet been rehired for next year.
Interested in a Job Share?
If you are a K-5 teacher interested in a job share for 2020- 2021, please contact BFT at so we can connect you with other teachers seeking job shares!
Voluntary Transfer Rights in BFT/BUSD Contract
The BFT/BUSD contract provides teachers the right to request a voluntary transfer to an open position at a different school as long as they have a positive evaluation and meet certain criteria (e.g. certification, credential, minimum years experience, specialized training, etc.). If you have questions about how to make use of your rights in the area please see our FAQ on Voluntary Transfers. You should also make sure to carefully monitor certificated job postings in your email. 
Planning Ahead for Retirement
If you are even considering retiring from BUSD in June 2020, we recommend that you immediately begin the retirement planning process. Please see the BFT FAQ on retirement for information.
Calendar of Coming Events
May 7- School Board Endorsement Panel (Pending)
May 8- Site Rep Nomination Forms are due by email