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May 29, 2012

In this issue: BFT Fights For Temporary Teachers, Event to Honor Retiring Employees on June 5th, Political Organizer Positions Available, Teachers of Color Network Co-Facilitator Positions Available, and more…

May 23rd Action - BFT Members Turn Out in Force

Over 160 BFT teachers filled the school board chamber Thursday, May 23rd to voice their concern with BUSD’s practice of hiring 2nd and 3rd year temporary teachers. We communicated a strong message of solidarity and capacity to organize! Thank you all who turned out to fight for rights for your union brothers and sisters. It is participation like this that keeps our union strong and the teachers’ voice heard.

BFT Political Organizing Positions Available

Are you interested in helping your union participate fully in the politics of our state? Do you want to make sure education gets fully funded? Do you want to see a long-term progressive tax movement in California? BFT is looking for political organizers to help move this agenda forward. There are both stipended and release time positions available, and the deadline to apply is Friday, June 1, 2012. If interested, please see the BFT web site for more information.

BFT Teachers of Color Network Co-Facilitators Needed

The BFT Teachers of Color Network is a BFT committee of members who are interested in taking action to improve the recruitment, hiring, support and retention of teachers of color in BUSD. In order to support this committee, TWO paid Co-Facilitator positions are available for 2012-2013. If interested, please see the BFT web site for more information. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Are You Thinking About Retiring or Resigning From BUSD?

Are you planning to resign or retire from BUSD as of June 2012? If so, please notify the BUSD Human Resources office as soon as possible. Notification to BUSD will assist greatly in the rehiring of temporary teachers who were released in March. If you wish to resign, the last day to unilaterally notify the Human Resources office is June 30, 2012.

Event to Honor All Retiring Employees on Tuesday, June 5th

Berkeley Unified Schools invites you to honor our district certificated and classified retirees. Join us in recognizing our colleagues’ years of service on June 5th, 4:00-6:00pm at the King Middle School Dining Commons. Congratulations and thank you for your years of service!

Occupy Education Meetings This Summer: Great Way to Stay Involved!

Occupy Education will have monthly Saturday meetings over the summer with specific themes for each meeting. On June 2nd the theme will be "The attack on public sectors workers and labor's response". On July 14th the theme will be education, and on August 11th there will be a discussion of forming a statewide student union. All meetings occur at noon at the UAW office at 2070 Allston Way in Berkeley (near BHS). We encourage BFT members to attend.

SubFinder To Be Replaced With Aesop

BUSD is in the process of replacing SubFinder with a more efficient and useful substitute calling system called Aesop. Please look for an e-mail or letter from the district with information about implementation dates, as well as instruction for signing in with your new PIN.

Exciting Summer Job Opportunity

A Teacher Coordinator position is available through the non-profit Cultural Homestay International (CHI). The position involves overseeing 15 high school students from China from July 11-24th, supervising all of the group's activities during the week, teaching them three hours of conversational English in the mornings, and engaging them in three hours of cultural activities in the afternoon. CHI will fully train you for the position. If interested, contact Daniela Tanner at CHI at 408-663-1244.

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. The form that is required is available on the BFT web site.

AFT Convention

The 82nd convention of the American Federation of Teachers will take place in Detroit, July 27-30, 2012. Nominations are open for delegates who wish to attend at their own expense. If you are interested in attending, please contact the BFT office by June 12th at

Summer Paycheck Deductions

Just a reminder that the employee (and employer) contribution to STRS is NOT deducted from July and August paychecks. Thus, July and August paychecks are larger than normal.

Some BFT Accomplishments in 2011-20121- Thank Your Site Rep

With the help of BFT members, site reps, and officers and support staff, BFT ensures a strong teacher voice in BUSD. This year, we preserved our current contract and our members’ jobs by preventing furlough days, layoffs, or class size increases. We defended our current contract by prevailing in most grievances. Thanks to members of the Budget Advisory Committee we were able to understand the BUSD budget, allowing us to fight back hard against “doomsday” proposals for next year. We ran a great contract campaign through rallies and showed our unity by wearing t-shirts and newly created hoodies. We served hundreds of individual members and helped solve problems. We moved our political campaign forward by hiring a PAC organizer, increasing COPE participation, and participating in statewide political issues. We took the lead on education issues and advocated strenuously for professional voice in regards to RtI, PBS, TWI, Transitional Kindergarten, and the EL Master Plan. We put time and resources into our goal to support the retention of teachers of color. We supported our temporary and probationary teachers forcefully. Together we are strong! Thank you all for your hard work and have a fantastic, relaxing summer!

Calendar of Coming Events

June 5th - Event to Honor BUSD Retirees; 4:00 p.m. at King Middle School
June 15th - Last Day of School
August 27th - 2012-2013 School Year Begins/Staff Professional Development