CFT mourns loss of Nelson Mandela

mandela2The members and staff of the California Federation Teachers share with the world community the profound loss of Nelson Mandela. His lifelong commitment to social, economic and political equality for all South Africans ignited a worldwide movement that continues to inspire all those who seek justice. Mr. Mandela also embodied the best in a revolutionary leader who understood that the ability to transform individuals and a society rests in the power of people to act collectively. We are privileged to have shared in his struggles and victories.

"Mandela’s Death Stirs Sense of Loss Around the World," New York Times, December 5, 2013


Former CFT President Raoul Teilhet dies

Black and white photo of Teilhet on a bullhorn

Teilhet at Diablo Valley rally before collective bargaining.

Read a full obituary, view video, and hear his oral history.

It is with deep sorrow that the California Federation of Teachers announces the passing of former CFT president Raoul Teilhet.

Raoul Teilhet, a Pasadena high school history teacher who believed collective bargaining offered the path to dignity and respect for public school employees before laws existed allowing it, and served as president of the California Federation of Teachers in successful pursuit of that goal, died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease on June 5 in Los Angeles. He was 79.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said, “Raoul Teilhet was a creative leader. I had the pleasure of spending many long evenings with him solving education problems and discussing how we could make California and its schools better for everyone. I’ll miss him.”


CFT brings voice to 10th Annual Trinational Coalition in Mexico City

CFT at Trinational Coalition

Peter Brown is representing CFT at the 10th Annual Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education now underway in Mexico City. Brown, sitting at the end of table with a laptop computer, teaches at Laney College and is a member of the Peralta Federation of Teachers.

The Trinational Coalition passed a resolution to hold a seminar on technology and education to analyze the impact of technology on educational processes from the perspective of workers and communities. As a result, this year's conference theme this year was "New Information and Communication Technologies and Education: Hegemony and Resistance."

The seminar held May 29-31 explores three major topics:“Political Economy of Technology and Education,” “Social Media and Education,” and “Pedagogy of Online Learning from a Teacher and Student Perspective.”

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Democratic Education in the Americas network (a hemisphere-wide network) and the Trinational Coalition to bring together educators and students throughout the Americas. CFT has supported and participated in the coalition since 2008.

Pechthalt honored at UCLA

CFT president Joshua Pechthalt was honored Thursday, May 23, 2013, by the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, at the Center's annual banquet, for his work to help pass Proposition 30 in November 2012. Here are Pechthalt's remarks upon receiving the award.

pechthalt speaking articleThank you very much for this wonderful award and to be recognized with Senator Deleon, Assembly member Mitchell and brother Hansen.

At a time when public education has been under attack and education unions in particular have become scapegoats for an education crisis borne of lack of decent jobs, poverty and the elimination of social services in poor and working class communities, I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the California Federation of Teachers, our leadership, members and staff, including our secretary treasurer Jeff Freitas, for making a difference in the lives of children and young people.


Berkeley local unions fight for fair contract, cooking and gardening program

Berkeley teachers holding "Fair contract now" signs

The faculty and classified AFT local unions in the Berkeley Unified School District rallied on May 8 before a district board meeting. With state funding to the district on the rise, educators say the district can provide more for its employees, especially since it is holding $7.9 million in its ending fund balance. The workers are also trying to save the successful cooking and gardening program threatened by cuts to the federal program, Network for Healthy Californians. Read more...

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CFT supports community college funding solution

ab1199February 28, 2013—CFT president Joshua Pechthalt speaks at a rally in front of San Francisco City Hall with Assemblymember Paul Fong who introduced AB 1199, which will provide community colleges under accreditation sanction breathing room. To learn the background of this legislation and what's been happening at CCSF, read David Bacon's story. Fred Glass photo