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BFT Action - November 5th, 2017

In this issue: Updated Childrearing Leave FAQ, STRS Retirement Membership Meeting, Network for Public Education Report Back and more...
BFT Action--November 2017
Membership Meeting to Endorse AD-15 Candidate
BFT will be hosting a general membership meeting at 4:00 pm on November 16th at the 1720 Oregon Street Conference Room in order to endorse a candidate for California's 15th State Assembly district to replace Tony Thurmond. All members are encouraged to attend.
Large BFT Turnout to Superintendent's Budget Advisory Committee
BUSD is proposing $1.8 million in budget cuts for the 18 - 19 school year. BFT members attended the October 24th SBAC meeting from multiple sites including Malcolm X, Berkeley High, the Adult School and BIS to advocate for positions at their sites. You can access a list of proposed cuts here.

Come give public comment at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, November 14th or Tuesday, December 5th in Room 125 at 2020 Bonar and let the committee know the impact these cuts will have at your site.  

100% BFT Membership
The following sites and groups have 100% BFT Membership:

Berkeley Arts Magnet, BEARS, Berkeley High School, Berkeley Technology Academy, Child Development, Cragmont, Emerson, Independent Study, Jefferson, John Muir, King, LeConte, Malcolm X, Music, Oxford, Rosa Parks, School Psyches, Thousand Oaks, Washington and  Willard

Joining BFT strengthens our Union, making BFT more able to fight for teachers and students.

Network for Public Education Conference 

15 BFT members attended the 2017 national conference for the Network for Public Education. Each member attended numerous workshops and panel discussions in order to increase our capacity to fight back against the Trump/DeVos privatization agenda.

Topics included student privacy, California education policy, attracting teachers of color to the profession, Ethnic Studies implementation, how to resist charter schools, case studies in successful resistance and much more. BFT President Cathy Campbell and BFT Vice President Matt Meyer hosted a workshop on our own Quality Education Agenda.  

Veteran Teachers Mark Your Calendars!
STRS Workshop, January 11th!

The meeting will take place January 11th at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia).

This workshop is designed for educators approaching retirement. This is not a sales pitch or a gimmick. STRS counselors will explain the basics of STRS retirement, the three decisions to make when retiring, and what you should be doing to prepare for retirement.

Speaking Out Against SBA Testing

Many BFT members gave public comment at the October 4th School Board special school board meeting on SBA testing. 11 members spoke about the dangers of using these test scores to drive policy and resource decisions in our district. You can watch their speeches here.

Transcripts for Salary Advancement Due TUESDAY, November 15th
If you have completed new units and plan to advance on the salary schedule, official transcripts are due to Human Resources by November 15th—start planning now! The BFT FAQ on Course Approval has a lot of useful information on the subject.

Remember that you must submit sealed, official transcripts to HR. Ask your Site Rep if you have any questions.


Take the CFT Straw Poll on the California Governor’s Race

All CFT members are encouraged take part in the CFT straw poll for the 2018 California governor’s race. Let them know who your favorite candidate is and what issues are important to you in the upcoming election. Results of the survey, which takes just a few minutes, will help in CFT’s endorsement process.

Take the survey here and please ask you fellow BFT colleagues to do so as well. The poll is open until November 18th.

BFT Recent Accomplishments

  • 15 BFT members attended the Network for Public Education's National Conference in Oakland.

  • 11 BFT members spoke at the BUSD School Board's Special Meeting on assessments.

  • Behaviorists (no PPS) with a BCBA credential will now get a stipend.

  • Berkeley High teachers will get compensated for the extra work associated with larger average class sizes.

  • Successful Teacher of Color Network event on October 6th.

  • Mobilization of Berkeley High counselors to Budget Advisory Committee meetings.

  • Progress with BUSD on increasing the Sub Pool.

  • Advocated to renew contract with Xerox early resulting in new copy machines this winter.

Childrearing Leave FAQ Updated
The BFT Childrearing Leave FAQ has been updated to include additional questions and provide clarity around the new Parental Leave option.
If You Have a Problem at Your Site
If you have questions about your rights under the contract or issues that come up at your site, please check out our FAQs. If you still have questions, contact your Site Rep first for support. Your Site Rep will contact us if they need further information. 
Facing History and Ourselves Free Webinars
Facing History and Ourselves is hosting free webinars throughout November and December.  This organization focuses on lessons that can be used to fight bigotry and hatred and promote democracy through historical analysis. Each webinar is 60 minutes long.

REMINDER: Please Do NOT “Rate” Subs in Aesop

When you are absent and your class has a substitute teacher, you may get an email from Aesop asking for feedback on your sub.  Please DO NOT use this function to express concerns.  Please see your administrator with any concerns. Remember the BFT Requestable Sub List is available on our website.

Is Your Sick Leave Balance Correct?
All full-time BFT members receive 11 Sick Days each year; part-time teachers receive a pro-rated balance. Additionally, if you worked in another district before coming to BUSD your Sick Leave balance should have transferred with you. It is CRITICAL that you check your 10/31 sick leave.  Add up the Sick Leave days you’ve received each year in BUSD plus any days that transferred with you, subtract a rough count of days you’ve used and check that against the balance on your October 31st pay stub. If it seems like there is a discrepancy, please email Sharon Vernae at with a cc to your Site Rep.
Do You Plan to Retire Next Year? $1000 Bonus Available for Early Notification
Teachers who formally notify BUSD in writing prior to February 7, 2018 that they plan to retire at the end of the current school year will receive a $1000 bonus. To notify BUSD, teachers should use the Retirement form available on the BFT website and scan it into an email to Evelyn Bradley at
Calendar of Coming Events
11/3/17 Elementary Parent Conference Day and All-Day PD for Secondary Staff
11/10/17 Veteran's Day Holiday
11/16/17 General Membership Meeting to Endorse AD-15
11/22/17-11/24/17 Thanksgiving Break
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

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