Berkeley Adult School: Key Rights in the BFT/BUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement
This FAQ is an effort to summarize some of the most important rights of Berkeley Adult School teachers covered by the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement. If you have revisions or corrections to suggest for this FAQ please email BFT.
Note: When this FAQ says “BAS teachers” it refers to BAS teachers that are covered by the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement.
Q: How many hours per week do I need to work to be covered by the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement? How many hours per week do I need to work to be in the BFT bargaining unit?
A: BAS teachers who work nine (9) or more hours per week are in the BFT bargaining unit and are covered by the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement. However, many of the gains negotiated on behalf of this group of teachers also benefit ALL Berkeley Adult School teachers. For example, hourly teaching rate increases benefit all BAS teachers. (Article 2.1.4)
Q: If I am covered by the BFT/BUSD contract am I automatically a full member of BFT?
A: No, you are not. You are part of the bargaining unit, but you need to choose to become an official union member. You can do this by completing a membership form and giving it to your Site Rep. If you are not sure if you are a full union member or not, please contact your Site Rep.
Joining BFT makes BFT stronger and more able to fight for excellent teaching and learning conditions, for better wages and benefits, and for a strong Adult School. Without a union we will be much less able to protect part-time workers, preserve BAS as an institution, and maintain our influence with BAS administration. Union membership provides you with AFT benefits and full democratic voting rights in BFT. Union dues are 1.4% of all wages.
Key Information About BENEFITS for BAS Teachers:
Q: Are BAS teachers eligible for medical benefits through BUSD?
A: BAS teachers in the BFT bargaining unit are eligible for medical benefits through BUSD as long as BUSD is making a contribution to STRS or PERS on behalf of the employee. BUSD makes a contribution to the cost of these benefits based on the number of hours worked per week, and the employee pays the rest of the premium through a paycheck deduction. Coverage is in place for 12 months, but deductions for the employee contribution are taken over 9 months, in the October through June paychecks. (14.12.7)
Q: Are BAS teachers in the bargaining unit eligible for dental benefits through BUSD? Can I sign up for dental benefits ONLY through BUSD?
A: Yes, BAS teachers in the bargaining unit are eligible for dental benefits through BUSD. There is a BUSD contribution to the cost of dental benefits based on the number of hours worked per week, and the employee pays the rest of the premium through a paycheck deduction. The DHMO dental plan is free or very low cost for BAS teachers.
Q: When am I eligible for this coverage?
A: BAS teachers are eligible for medical and dental benefits beginning the second year of employment. Teachers should contact the BUSD Benefits office via email in August of their second year of employment in order to sign up for benefits. If you begin work mid-year you should contact BFT for specific advice about when you are eligible to enroll in benefits. (14.13.1 and Appendix 19)
Q: Are BAS teachers eligible for cash-in-lieu (CIL) if we do not want BUSD medical benefits?
A: Yes, BAS teachers who do not wish to be covered by the District health plan may elect to receive a cash-in-lieu payment each month. This payment is equal to 80% of the employer contribution to the cost of the Kaiser health plan in effect at the time. (14.12.7)
Q: How and when do I sign up for cash-in-lieu benefits?
A: If you are a new employee you should sign up for CIL in August of your second year (the beginning of your second year) by contacting the BUSD Benefits office via email. You should email Eman Elkelani in the BUSD Benefits Office and you should cc BFT. Please contact BFT immediately if you do not get a timely response.
If you are a current BUSD employee on BUSD medical benefits, you can switch to CIL during the Open Enrollment period in September by going in person to the BUSD Benefits office or to the BUSD Benefits Fair. Be sure to keep a copy of your Enrollment Change form.
You must enroll in cash-in-lieu each year to maintain this cash benefit. Directions for how to enroll will be included in the BUSD Open Enrollment booklet.
NOTE: Every eligible BAS teacher should be on BUSD medical benefits OR receiving cash-in-lieu benefits.
Other Important Information:
Q: If I have questions related to Benefits or Payroll, whom should I contact?
A: It is important to use ONLY EMAIL in contacting staff in these departments. For an updated guide to contact names and emails, please see the “Help Guide to BUSD Payroll, Benefits and Human Resources” on the BFT website under “Resources - FAQs”.
Q: Does BUSD need to post vacant positions at BAS?
A: Yes, these positions must be posted via an email available to all BAS teachers. It is very important that BAS teachers regularly check their BUSD email account. (8.3.3)
Q: If I am required by an administrator to move my classroom am I paid for the time it takes to pack and unpack?
A: Yes, any teacher in the BFT bargaining unit who is required by a supervisor to move classrooms will be paid for 12 hours at the curriculum development hourly rate. (9.4.7)
Q: If a I request a change in my assignment at BAS (in keeping with my existing credentials), on what basis is the decision made in terms of whether I receive the new assignment?
A: This decision is made on the basis of certification, program needs (the skills and abilities that are desirable to the performance of the position) and seniority. A teacher who has taught a class the four (4) previous semesters to the satisfaction of the District shall have priority in teaching that class the next time it is offered. (9.6)
Q: Do I have seniority rights if courses in my department are reduced or canceled?
A: Yes, there are significant seniority rights for BAS teachers. Please read Article 9.6.3 of the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement for more information (available on the BFT website) and contact your Site Rep or the BFT office if you have questions. (9.6.3)
Q: Can I get paid for setting up my classroom in August?
A: Yes, teachers can get paid for a voluntary workday any time in the two weeks preceding the first day of work in August. Teachers must be paid for a minimum of three hours. Teachers should check with the Principal if they plan to request pay for more than three hours (pre-approval is required). This August workday can be individually scheduled by the teacher with the Principal. Teachers are paid at their regular teacher hourly rate for this work. (10.7)
Q: Do I get paid for the two staff development days prior to the first day of school in August?
A: Yes, BAS teachers shall have a minimum of two days at the beginning of the school year, with a minimum of three hours per day, of staff development. Teachers are paid at the curriculum development hourly rate for this work.
Q: When are the other staff development days for BAS teachers?
A: These days occur in October and January in alignment with the BUSD all-district PD day in October, and the BUSD elementary PD day in January. These days are mandatory for morning and afternoon on-site teachers, and evening and off-site teachers are strongly encouraged to attend. Morning and afternoon on-site teachers are compensated at their teacher hourly rate for this work; Evening and off-site teachers are paid at the curriculum development hourly rate. (10.7.3)
Q: Can I get paid for closing down my classroom for summer?
A: Yes, BAS teachers can get paid for a voluntary workday of three hours any time in the last three weeks of the Spring semester, or the two weeks following the end of the Spring semester. This workday can be individually scheduled with the Principal. Teachers are paid at their regular teacher hourly rate for this work. (10.7.5)
Q: How is “full time” defined for a BAS teacher?
A: A full time BAS workweek is thirty (30) hours per week. (10.8)
Q: How much paid planning and meeting time do I receive per month?
A: Bargaining unit Adult School teacher receive four (4) paid hours per month for planning and meeting time (three hours of planning time and one hour of meeting time). These hours are paid at the curriculum development hourly rate. (11.7.1)
Q: Can BAS teachers fill in for a colleague who is on a semester leave of absence, or who resigns near the beginning of a semester?
A: Yes, BAS teachers can do this. A BAS teacher can do this for only one semester if their hours will exceed 17.5 hours per week with the new assignment. (11.7.4)
Q: Can BAS teachers do job shares?
A: Yes, please see Article 11.7.4 of the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement for more information about BAS job shares. (11.7.4)
Q: Do BAS teachers earn paid sick leave?
A: Yes, BAS teachers covered by the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement earn one hour of sick leave for every 16.5 hours of work. This sick leave accrues. (12.2.12)
Q: Are BAS teachers eligible for an automatic full-year, full-time unpaid leave of absence for one year?
A: Yes, BAS teachers are eligible for all leaves of absence without pay for up to one year. (12.16.2 and 12.1)
Q: Are there class size maximums for BAS classes?
A: No, there are not. However, if needed a small committee can be formed to discuss the distribution of students among existing classes within each department. (13.9.1)
Q: What is required if the administration wants to close a class based on low enrollment?
A: If BAS administration wants to close a class a committee made up of a BAS administrator, the relevant department coordinator and teachers representatives selected by BFT must meet to discuss the possible closure. (13.9.1)
Q: If I am a Coordinator, do my coordinator work hours count toward calculating my contribution to health benefits (see 14.13) and my earned sick leave (see 12.2.12)?
A: Yes, these hours do count toward both of these calculations. (14.6.2)
Q: Do my coordinator hours count toward the sixty percent restriction?
A: No, these hours do not count toward the sixty percent restriction. (14.6.3)
Q: Is there any kind of labor/management committee that monitors the BAS budget?
A: Yes, there is a committee made up of the BAS Principal, the BFT President and the BAS BFT Site Reps which monitors the current and projected BAS budget. (14.19.2)
Q: How does evaluation of BAS teachers work?
A: This is covered in Article 15.10 of the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement and BFT encourages any BAS teacher being evaluated to review this section. Here are some key pieces of information:
New BAS teachers are evaluated in their first year. They can be evaluated in their second and third years at the discretion of the administrator.
Veteran BAS teachers who have been employed for three or more years are evaluated every three years (assuming a satisfactory evaluation in the last evaluation).
The teacher must be observed for no less than one observation lasting at least 20 minutes.
Any BAS teacher being evaluated must be informed and must be notified of the name of their evaluator by September 30th. The teacher needs to be told the courses/programs for which the review will occur.
A teacher being evaluated can request a meeting with the administrator to review the performance review form and procedure.
A conference must follow any observation within ten (10) working days of the observation.
Q: What are the pay rates for BAS teachers?
A: These are outlined in Appendix 11 of the BFT/BUSD collective bargaining agreement, and are posted on the BFT website. The BAS teacher hourly rates and the curriculum development rate are included in this appendix. The BAS teacher hourly rate increases at Year 4 and Year 10.
Q: Whom should I contact at BAS for key questions?
A: BFT recommends using EMAIL for all important or time-sensitive questions. We recommend an email to both the principal and vice-principal. Please send your email again if you do not get a response within 48 hours, and include your Site Reps as a cc in your follow up email.
Q: Is there a paid orientation for new BAS teachers?
A: Yes, there is an annual, paid orientation for new BAS teachers.