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October 10, 2012

In this issue: Column Movement and the 1% Bonus; Volunteers Needed for Push to Pass Prop. 30; Deadline for Open Enrollment for Benefits Is October 31st; and more...

Volunteer to Help Pass Proposition 30 - Save Your Benefits, Salary and Pension

In order to address the challenge of rising health care costs, we need new revenue for BUSD and school districts across the state. This means we must pass Prop. 30 and defeat Prop 32, and we cannot do this without YOU. Research has proven that volunteering is the most effective way to win a campaign. We need your help with phone banking, precinct walking and having meaningful 1:1 conversations with members. Phoning will take place at the BFT office at 1432 University Avenue every Monday in October from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Dinner and easy-to-use scripts are provided. If possible, please contact Britt Alamo at to let us know you are coming, or just drop by. If Mondays do not work for you, please email Britt Alamo to get a list of other volunteer options, or consult the list on our web site. We need every BFT member to spend a few hours this month to help us pass Proposition 30 and create badly-needed revenue for schools and for contract negotiations, which will resume in November.

Party for Proposition 30: Tuesday, October 16th

BFT members are encouraged to join Berkeley teachers, Peralta Federation of Teachers members, and the California Federation of Teachers for food, drinks, music and great company to support "Yes on Proposition 30." Meet your colleagues to become informed and to "get out the vote" at the Make Westing Bar, 1741 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, on Tuesday, October 16th from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Please Submit Transcripts As Soon As Possible to Reflect Column Moves in Bonus

BFT recommends that members turn in any transcripts related to column movement for 2012-2013 as soon as possible so that the column move is reflected in your 1% bonus. Transcripts are due no later than November 15th. We recommend that members submit sealed transcripts in person to Human Resources at 2020 Bonar Street. Be sure to get a receipt.

1% Bonus to Be Paid in October Checks

For salaried employees, 1% of your 2012-2013 salary will be paid as a lump sum bonus in your October paycheck. Hourly employees will see the bonus in March and August paychecks, based on actual earnings.

Open Enrollment for Flexible Spending, Parking, and/or Transit Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts allow an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for certain health and childcare related expenses. Parking and Transit Spending Accounts allow an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for parking or transit costs related to their commute to work. Open enrollment for FSAs is currently taking place until Oct. 31st. Employees who are currently enrolled will need to submit a new application even if they are not making any changes. Visit and click on “Teachers and Staff” for more information about benefits.

Open Enrollment for Health Benefits Ends October 31st

BUSD employees received health benefit packets in the mail and information can be found on BFT’s website. We encourage people not to wait until Wednesday, October 31st to turn in your paperwork, but to try to turn it in earlier, if possible.

Deadline for BFT/BUSD Sick Leave Bank Enrollment Is October 18th

The BFT/BUSD Sick Leave Bank was organized to generate a pool of sick leave days to be available to members toward long-term leave in the event of a prolonged illness or injury. Enrolling in the Sick Leave Bank is completely voluntary. Enrollment forms were distributed to your box recently. Forms are due to the BFT office no later than Thursday, October 18th.

CALSTRS Summarizes Pension Reform Act

With the passage of AB340, the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act, changes in pensions will be in effect beginning January 1, 2013. To find out how this may affect you, please visit

Did You Know That This Is the Longest Stretch of the Year Without a Holiday?

Late fall is often the time of the year when teachers feel the most stress and the least satisfaction and confidence. Don’t forget that BUSD employees have access to a FREE, confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) from ComPsych. ComPsych counselors can help with financial, legal, emotional or work issues. Call 1-800-272-7255 or go to (our company web ID is COM589).

Whooping Cough Booster Recommended

If you work with children, it is recommended that you get a Pertussis (whooping cough) booster. They are needed throughout life because protection from the Pertussis vaccine wears off over time. If you’re not sure of your immunization status, the best thing to do is to contact your healthcare provider and ask them if you need a Tdap booster. Booster shots are also available via a sliding scale at the Berkeley Public Health Clinic at 830 University, Mondays and Tuesdays from 9-11am and 1-4pm, and Thursdays 1-4pm with a $17 administrative fee.

Cal Teacher Appreciation Night

UC Berkeley is having a Teacher Appreciation Night on Friday, November 2nd. Teachers can receive a $23 ticket for Cal Bears vs. Washington Huskies game at 6:00 p.m. Teachers can order tickets online at Be sure to use the promo code: teachers2012.

Calendar of Coming Events

 October 16 Yes on Prop 30 Party at 4:30 p.m. in downtown Oakland
 October 18 Last Day of Sick Leave Bank Open Enrollment.
 October 31 Last Day of Benefits and FSA Open Enrollment
 November 4-9 K-5 Parent Teacher Conferences (shortened days)
 November 7-9  Middle School Parent Teacher Conferences
 November 10  K-5 Parent Teacher Conferences (no school for students)
 November 10 Secondary Staff Development Day
 November 11 Veterans Day Holiday
 November 21-23 Thanksgiving Holiday