BFT had many victories last year in advocating for our members, our students and for quality public education.
BFT continued the fight for a strong contract when school began last fall. BFT Members mobilized to the School Board Meeting on September 18 and again in October, packing the house with over 500 people, rallying for the need for a significant raise and caseload caps for Special Education.
BFT successfully signed a contract through June 2021 that includes a 5% raise from the BUSD general fund, as well as an additional 7% raise from the Measure E parcel tax for a total of a 12% raise over two years. BFT also gained significant supports for Special Education Case Managers including limits on the amount of assessments they complete and caps on their student caseload. In addition, Independent Study teachers were moved to the salary schedule.
Passage of Measures E, G, and H
BFT was instrumental in the passage of Measures E, G, and H. Measure E will provide an ongoing 7% raise for all BUSD employees. Measures G and H fund our maintenance and facilities budget which keep our schools safe, clean, and updated. Over 250 BFT members participated in weekly phone banking, and precinct walking, every weekend from January- March. All three measures passed with over 80% approval. BFT members were part of the core volunteer effort to get these measures passed.
BFT joined the California Alliance for Community Schools (CACS) this year 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. In addition, BFT sent 5 members to the CACS Summer School program which focused on organizing power within local unions.
High Member Participation and Engagement
BFT held regular membership meetings this past year as well as summer Executive Board meetings. Contract Action Teams were formed at almost every site. Over 70% of our members took our Distance Learning Survey giving the Negotiations Team critical information and feedback. We continued our visually appealing monthly e-newsletter, negotiations updates, and vibrant website.
High Union Membership
BFT maintained a 98% membership rate and increased the number of members making voluntary monthly contributions to our PAC fund. Our union is as strong as ever.
Schools and Communities First (Prop 15)
The Schools and Communities First ballot measure will bring $6.1 million to BUSD if passed in November. The first essential step in getting Prop 15 on the ballot was signature gathering. BFT organized members in collecting over 1,200 signatures throughout the Spring.
As schools were closing in March, BFT was able to protect sick leave for members, pay for substitutes and built a crisis learning plan in a matter of weeks that took into account the diverse needs of our members and students. Over the summer, BFT passed two resolutions to protect the health and safety of our school community.