Berkeley Federation of Teachers Key Accomplishments of 2022-2023
BFT had many victories last year in advocating for our members, our students and for quality public education.
BFT successfully signed a contract through June 2025 that includes a 12% raise over a two year period and additional increases through salary schedule reforms. In addition, the District will cover 50% of any increase to health care costs. BFT also gained significant support for class size and maximums at both the elementary and secondary levels, Speech and Language Pathologist assessment caps, increased Counselor stipends, increased substitute pay and improved timelines for Leaves of Absences and Column movement. BFT and District negotiated and signed an Memorandum of Understanding for Berkeley teachers to receive inservice credit, substitute days and compensation for writing student letters of recommendation. In addition, the contract now includes increased compensation for preschool and elementary teachers who take in students from classrooms without substitutes.
Political Engagement and Election Victories
BFT endorsed candidates through a transparent and inclusive process. Many of our members are involved in the decision-making process which includes questionnaires, interviews, debate and then a vote. We organized precinct walks and phone banks to support our endorsed candidates in the 2022 elections. In March 2022, we helped elect Alysse Castro, the new Alameda County Superintendent of Schools. In November 2022, all three BFT-endorsed School Board candidates won their elections with our financial and boots on the ground support.
High Union Membership and Participation
BFT maintained a 98% membership rate and with a large number of members making voluntary monthly contributions to our Political Action Campaign fund. We communicate with members through monthly e-newsletter, negotiations updates, informative websites, and social media outreach. BFT held regular membership meetings this past year as well as surveys. Our members spoke at School Board meetings throughout the year and organized on site based issues. Our union is as strong as ever.
BFT continues to be a part of the California Alliance for Community Schools (CACS) and has been an essential part of the statewide conversation among local unions. BFT leaders met with the CACS group of 11 other California educator unions regularly to discuss how our collective power creates the schools that our students and educators deserve. Our members went to Sacramento to lobby for legislation that supports our public schools.