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May 4, 2012

In this issue: Support Rehire of Temp Teachers on May 23rd, Membership Meeting To Endorse School Board Candidates, Corporate Payroll Deception Act, and more…

Action Planned For May 23rd School Board Meeting

BFT is asking ALL members to attend a mobilization in support of our amazing temporary teachers.  Please gather at 7:15 p.m. at the steps of the BUSD administration building at 2134 MLK Jr. Way on Wednesday, May 23rd, and wear your BFT t-shirt or hoodie.  We are asking folks to stay until 8:30 p.m.  Our purpose will be to call upon the School Board to rehire our current temporary teachers on probationary contracts so that we do not have a class of teachers that is perpetually temporary.  BUSD needs to invest in keeping talented teachers and make a commitment to these folks that is long-term.  All teachers deserve the path to permanent status that is afforded in the Ed Code!

BFT Membership Meeting, Thurs May 17th To Decide School Board Endorsements

If you’d like to participate in the decision about which 2012 School Board candidates BFT will endorse, please join us at 1720 Oregon Street at 4:00pm on Thursday, May 17th. We will discuss information we gathered from candidates at the interviews from May 3rd and make a decision about endorsements. Your input is welcome and valued. 

The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 (aka The Millionaire’s Tax II)

In March, the California Federation of Teachers and its Restoring California coalition allies reached agreement with Governor Jerry Brown and top legislative leaders to set aside their dueling ballot measure efforts and come together in support of one state revenue measure for November, 2012, the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012."   This new ballot measure would begin to restore fair tax rates on the wealthy, bringing back some of the funding for our classrooms and services we have lost over the past several years. On balance, the ballot measure, if passed, will be the single largest progressive tax ever passed in California history. We encourage all members to learn more at and to talk to family members about this important measure.

Corporate Payroll Deception Act

Wealthy Republicans are once again attempting to severely restrict union members in both the public and private sector from having a voice in our political process with the Stop Special Interest Money Now Act ballot initiative. The initiative protects unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns, resulting in big corporations and their lobbyists having even greater influence over our political system, while limiting labor’s collective voice. We need your help to inform our members and the community about this deceptive ballot initiative! Go to for more information.        

BFT Site Rep Nominations Now Open - Deadline is May 23rd

Nominations are now open for BFT Site Reps for next year.  ALL BFT members are encouraged to consider nominating themselves for this critical Union leadership role.  You can nominate yourself, or a colleague, by using the form you will soon receive in your box, or by emailing BFT at  Nominations are due May 23, 2012.  Elections, where needed, will happen the week of May 28th.

Don’t Forget to Request Course Approval for Summer Courses

If you plan to take summer courses to move over on the salary schedule and increase your compensation you must submit a BUSD course approval request no later then two weeks after the start of the course.  The credits you earn will not count towards salary advancement unless you get prior approval.

Consider Attending CFT Union Summer School August 13-17: BFT Will Pay All Costs

This exciting, weeklong union leadership program teaches powerful skills to build a strong union. This program is for individuals who want to take their union skills to the next level. The week will be filled with rigorous workshops, motivated and skilled trainers, and applied learning. It will take place in Los Angeles at UCLA, August 13th-17th. Please contact BFT if you are interested. BFT will pay for all costs. 

California Federation of Teachers Convention Attended by BFT members

Thank you to BFT members who represented our local at the CFT convention in San Jose April 13th-15th.  Friday morning, the award-winning Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble kicked off the convention. That afternoon, hundreds of union members, with the organization of the South Bay Labor Council, marched in downtown San Jose to support taxing the rich to pay for schools and services. BFT members learned a lot at workshops and general sessions.

BFT Member Liliana Aguas Honored

Liliana Aguas, 2nd grade TWI teacher at LeConte Elementary has received Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA) from the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. This is a national award and a great honor. Congratulations Liliana!

BFT Awards Several Social Justice Learning Grants

Did you know that Cragmont Elementary has a 10 foot United Farm Workers’ flag with facts about Cesar Chavez written on it? Did you know 1st grade students made this flag and materials were purchased through BFT’s Social Justice Learning Grant? We encourage members to apply for any type of social justice service learning grant, including celebrating Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd. For an application, click on “Social Justice Learning Grants” on the BFT website.

Remembering Barbara Singleton

BFT mourns the loss of Barbara Singleton. She was a long-time BFT member and site rep and served on many BFT committees. Barbara was friendly, energetic, and insightful about issues related to students of color. Although Barbara was retired, she was still active in the classroom as a BUSD substitute teacher.

Calendar of Coming Events 

May 8th Teacher Appreciation Day
May 17th BFT General Membership Meeting at 4pm at Oregon Street
May 21st Malcolm X’s Birthday Holiday
May 21st Staff Development Make-up Day
May 23rd School Board Meeting Action to Support Temporary Teachers, 7:15pm