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February 26, 2010

BFT Action - March 2010
02/26/2010
In this issue: March 4th Statewide Day of Action to Defend Public Education, César Chávez Commemoration, Information for Temporary Teachers, BFT Job Opening and more...
March 4th Statewide Day of Action for Public Education – Attend an Event in Berkeley!
March 4th is a Statewide Day of Action to Defend Public Education. All BFT members are asked to participate with your site in local events happening that day. With the Governor proposing to cut an additional $2 billion from education next year and to make massive cuts in social services, we all need to take action.

Before School:
All elementary and middle schools will be leafleting before school. Check with your site reps for locations and materials. Twenty minutes of your time will make a difference!

After School
We are asking teachers, classified staff, administrators, parents and families to join us in lining Martin Luther King Jr. Way from University Avenue to Dwight Way with signs, musical instruments, billboards, etc. People should start gathering at 3:30 or after (come at the time that works for your site). Our “stand up for education” actions raise awareness and activism in our community!

CFT “March for California’s Future”
CFT, along with many Union and community allies, has organized a “March for California’s Future” through the Central Valley to Sacramento beginning on March 5th and ending on April 21st. The march will highlight the need to restore quality public education for every student, a government and economy that serves all Californians, and a fair tax system to fund California’s future. If you would be interested in participating in the march (either during spring recess, or as release provided by BFT) please call 549-2307.

Do You Have a BFT T-shirt?
Wearing your stylish BFT shirt at events, rallies, etc. will make us stand together and stand out. Shirts are available in crew neck or scoop neck in a variety of sizes (including children’s). Call the BFT office at 549-2307 to place an order.

Only Bargaining Unit Subs Should Be Pre-Arranged
Remember that SubFinder does not screen out non-bargaining unit substitutes. It is each teacher’s responsibility to prearrange only bargaining unit substitutes. BFT bargaining unit subs pay Union dues and deserve the preference provided to them under the contract. We need to support our substitute brothers and sisters. Pre-arranging a non-bargaining unit sub can lead to disciplinary action against the classroom teacher and the non-BU substitute teacher.

César E. Chávez Commemoration Period March 20th to April 23rd 
The Chavez Commemoration Planning Committee, with the support of the City of Berkeley, BUSD, and UC, adopted a flexible “commemorative period” rather than a single day to honor César Chávez. This will allow for many activities to happen without competing with one another. BFT encourages all members to participate in some way. Material to assist in planning activities and developing lesson plans is available at: http://www.ecologycenter.org/chavez.

Temporary Teachers Being Released
Due to California’s budget crisis it is now routine for districts to release all temporary contract teachers in early March, and that will likely happen here in BUSD. Even though you are released, it is very possible that you will be rehired by BUSD for next year. If you are a teacher on a temporary contract, we highly recommend reading the FAQ for temporary teachers on the BFT website. Feel free to also call BFT at 549-2307 for more information.

Updated List of Substitute Teachers Who Can Be Pre-Arranged
The Spring 2010 version of the substitute teacher bargaining unit list is available on the BFT website. Please refer to the note above concerning only prearranging bargaining unit members. 

Film and Discussion Series: Opening a Dialogue About Race, Education and Berkeley
A four-part series of films and discussions about race, education, and Berkeley will take place at Berkeley Arts Magnet from February through May. On Thursday, March 11th the film “The Color of Fear” by Lee Mun Wah will be shown and a discussion will follow. All events take place in the BAM auditorium with a potluck supper at 6:00 p.m. and the films and discussions at 6:30 p.m. For more information see the home page of the BFT web site.

New BFT Job Opening – 2010 Elections Coordinator Position 
In anticipation of important elections in June and November, BFT has created a paid 2010 Elections Coordinator position that will include work from March 2010 through November 2010, and a $3500 stipend. You should receive the job posting and application form in your box. Applications are due March 10th and interviews will be on March 11th at 4pm at the BFT office.

Deadline for Filing 2009 Flexible Spending Account Reimbursement
Reminder: Those with money still left in their Flexible Spending Accounts have until March 31, 2010 to submit claims for reimbursement for expenses incurred in 2009.

Are You Interested in a Job Share Next Year?
If you are a K-5 teacher interested in a job share for 2010-2011, please contact BFT at 549-2307 or bft4tchrlmi.net so that we can connect you with other teachers seeking job shares.

BFT Offers Internal Mediation Service
BFT offers members having a conflict a free, confidential internal mediation service. This service is available as long as the conflict has not been brought to an administrator. For more information call BFT at 549-2307.

Calendar of Coming Events 
March 1st - Deadline for Leave of Absence Request
March 1st - Deadline for Sabbatical Request
March 4th - Statewide Day of Action to Defend Public Education
March 5th - “March for California’s Future” Begins in Los Angeles
March 20th - César E. Chávez Commemoration Period Begins
March 26th - César Chávez School Day of Service and Learning