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BFT Action - January 2nd, 2018

In this issue: Calendar Survey, STRS Retirement Membership Meeting, Backpack Full of Cash, Leave of Absence Info and more...
BFT Action--January 2018
BFT Sponsoring Backpack Full of Cash March 1st

BFT is sponsoring a screening of the new documentary Backpack Full of Cash on March 1st, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Longfellow Middle School. The address is 1500 Derby St. Pizza will be served at 5:30 pm. Tickets are sliding scale $5 - $10 and is a benefit for the Berkeley Public Schools Fund. Please join us in learning about how privatization of threatening our public schools and the work being done to resist it. See the trailer here.

STRS Workshop, January 11th!

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. 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).

BFT's Teacher of Color Network speaking at the January 24th School Board
All BFT members, teachers of color and white allies, are asked to attend one hour of the January 24th School Board meeting at 7:30. BFT's Teacher of Color Network will be speaking about the importance of moving up the hiring timeline to make sure BUSD can recruit teachers of color. Public and Union Comment should last about 1 hour.

It is important for the Board to see how important this is to our members and through advocacy, we will see results. The School Board meeting at at 1231 Addison at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, January 24th.

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  

This bonus was fought for by BFT and is written into our contract.

BFT 18/19 Calendar Survey is Live!
BFT is surveying our entire membership to find out the interest in a proposed 18-19 calendar that has the full week of Thanksgiving off with school starting for students on a Monday. You can see the proposed calendar here. The survey will be open through January 10th, 2018 and we will release the survey results after the survey closes.

Take the survey here. It takes less than one minute to complete.

Informational Meeting on 1/23 for K-5 Teachers: Teaching Elementary PE or Science in 2018-2019
BFT is cosponsoring an informational meeting at 4 pm in Room 125 at 2020 Bonar for K-5 teachers interested in teaching elementary science or PE in 2018-2019. A GELAP permit will allow a K-5 teacher to add a PE or Science authorization. It takes 2-3 years to get the permit but teachers would be able to teach PE or Science classes during this time period. Come to the meeting and see if this is right for you. Refreshments will be provided!

The BFT Executive Board is honored to once again support the Berkeley Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast on Monday, January 15th, 2018. 

2018 CFT Convention in Orange County, March 23rd-March 25th
This year's CFT convention will be held at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa. Participating as a BFT delegate is a great way to learn more about our statewide union and upcoming policy and political fights that will impact us here in Berkeley. 

The BFT Executive Board decided to send four delegates to the convention--any members chosen as delegate will have their transportation, accommodations, and food reimbursed by BFT. Nomination forms will be in your mailboxes soon--to nominate yourself just scan the form to by Friday, January 12th. 

Are You Considering a Sabbatical or Leave of Absence for 2018-2019?
Eligible teachers who plan to apply for a sabbatical leave or request a full-time unpaid leave of absence for the 2018-2019 school year must notify Human Resources of their intentions by March 1st. Under Article 12.1.2 of the BFT/BUSD Contract, Leave of Absence requests submitted by March 1st are automatically granted. We strongly recommend reading the Sabbatical FAQ and Leave of Absence FAQ for more information. The Sabbatical application and  Leave of Absence Request Form are also available on our website. 

If you are currently on full or part-time leave you need to notify BUSD of your plans for 2018-2019 by February 1st, 2018.


Want To Enroll Your Child In A Berkeley School?

Article 21.3 of the BUSD/BFT contract gives you this right, even if you do not live in Berkeley and are part-time. See the "Enrolling Your Child in a BUSD School" FAQ for more important details. 

College Scholarships Available - Deadline to Apply is January 10th
The AFT and CFT offer several college scholarship opportunities for children of union members (both high school and seniors and continuing college students).  The CFT Raoul Teilhet scholarship applications for high school seniors and college students are due January 10, 2018 and can be found here.
New BUSD Employee Assistance Program Provider

As of January 1st, BUSD is switching to a new EAP provider, Claremont EAP.   You and your family members are entitled to up to 8 sessions per member per incident per year.  The EAP can help you resolve a broad range of personal problems through assessment of issues and referral to Participating Practitioners including:
• Marriage/Family Issues    
• Stress Management
• Emotional Problems   
• Alcohol/Drug Dependency
• Financial & Legal Problems    
• Childcare & Eldercare Assistance

This service is free and confidential.

Calendar of Coming Events
1/10/18 18-19 Proposed Calendar Survey Deadline
1/11/18 STRS Workshop for Veteran Teachers--4:00PM, Berkeley Adult School
1/15/18 No School--Martin Luther King Jr. Day
1/29/18 Semester Break - No School for Secondary Teachers
Berkeley Federation of Teachers, CFT/AFT, AFL-CIO

Our mailing address is:
1432 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 549-2307 
fax (510 549-2308