News Releases

Petaluma strike protests unfair labor practices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Contact:          Sandra Larsen: 707-696-5118, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                        Suzanne Garcia: 530-864-2416, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Petaluma strike protests unfair labor practices

United showing by teachers highlights policies threatening quality education

Petaluma—Hundreds of teachers and other certificated employees in Petaluma City Schools, represented by the Petaluma Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1881, walked picket lines today protesting the administration's unfair labor practices and policies harmful to quality education. 

"The regressive bargaining of the administration earlier this week, in which they repudiated a class size limit that we had already agreed to, was the last straw," said Sandra Larsen, president of the PFT.  "Increasing class sizes is not the way to achieve a quality education in Petaluma schools.  And unfortunately this reversal is all too typical of the way the administration operates."

"I am participating in the strike to establish fair labor practices between the district and the union," said high school science teacher Lee Boyes, "so we can move forward next year with just and fair practices and a better environment for teaching and learning."

Picket lines were strong and no classes were held at most sites, while students were brought together in large groups, tended by hired substitutes.  Many parents walked the picket lines in support of the teachers and came to a noon rally with their children. 

Teachers were clear about why they were picketing.  "I'm sick and tired of this toxic environment created by 16 months of minimal negotiation progress, lack of respect, and all the unfair labor practices that feel intentional and mean spirited," said Elyse Vossburg, a speech therapist.

Members of Local 1881 were joined at a spirited rally in front of the district administration offices and a march to Walnut Park by parents, community supporters and members of other unions. 

The teachers returned to their school sites to close the day with picketing until 3:30.

The Petaluma Federation of Teachers has never had a walkout until today since its founding in 1969.  This strike was triggered by unfair labor practices committed by the administration. The PFT has filed ULP charges with the Public Employment Relations Board. 

Said elementary Spanish teacher Jennie Eubank, "We need to act now to put an end to the school district's continuing use of illegal bargaining practices, or we can expect this same negative experience throughout all our future negotiations."

For more information, go to pft1881.org, or contact Sandra Larsen or Suzanne Garcia at the numbers above. 

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AFT Local 1881 represents 460 teachers and other certificated employees in the Petaluma City Schools.  It is affiliated with the California Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and the North Bay Labor Council.

Statement from the California Federation of Teachers On Governor Brown’s 2017-2018 Budget Revision

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2017
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Statement from the California Federation of Teachers

On Governor Brown’s 2017-2018 Budget Revision

On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown presented his revised budget proposal for 2017-2018, and the CFT recognizes the concerns that Gov. Brown has with ongoing pressure coming out of Washington.

The budget increases funding for the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education, as well as funding for community colleges. Thursday’s announced revision also restores $500 million in preschool funding, something that had been put on “pause” in January. We applaud these advances.

We oppose the suspension of Prop 98, a mandate by the voters of California to make public education in California a priority, specifically K-14 education. Because the people of California passed Prop 55 to continue the millionaires’ tax, the state is able to modestly increase funding for Prop 98. Without it, the Governor would be recommending to cut billions from education instead of suspending it. The constitution states that we should build our education budget to be in the top 10 of states on educational funding. The tax extension helped us from slipping even further behind, but there is more the state and the governor can do to live up to that constitutional requirement.

We have made significant progress over the last few years in restoring funding for California’s public education system, but there is more to done. We are proud to have one of the most progressive tax systems in the country, but we also believe that more could be done to make our system less volatile and help us reach our aspirational goals. This starts with exploring additional revenue measures such as commercial property tax reform, an untapped source and a fair way to provide funding for services for all Californians.

Without additional, stable revenue coming from property tax reform, California’s neediest communities will be put in the constant and untenable position of having to decide between education, healthcare and other vital needs. We can and must do better than that.

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

On the Seating of Charter School Advocates to the LAUSD Board of Education

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017
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Statement from the California Federation of Teachers

On the Seating of Charter School Advocates to the LAUSD Board of Education

The California Federation of Teachers has joined an expansive group of public schools, districts and other education associations in filing a friend of the court brief in the case of County of Santa Clara v. Donald J. Trump, et al.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the enforcement of a recent Executive Order signed by Trump targeting “sanctuary jurisdictions.” The order signed in January grants the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to unilaterally deny federal funds that support critically-needed basic services to any jurisdiction they deem to be a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

“The Executive Order transforms schools from inclusive, safe spaces to places of fear and uncertainty, ultimately undermining our entire public education system,” the amicus brief states. “[It] is causing sweeping, profound, and irreparable harm to our children and their families, our public education system, and ultimately, the future of our country.”

The Executive Order signed by Trump could withhold billions of dollars in federal and federally contingent funding from jurisdictions and cause irreparable harm to communities.

“President Trump’s unilateral Executive Order harms not just communities, but children,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “We are concerned for our students and the communities within which we work. The students of California should be focused on their education instead of fearing that they, their parents, or their loved ones may be the victim of an ICE raid. Schools should be safe havens for all students. This Executive Order undermines our ability to teach and for our students to learn.”

The full amicus brief can be read here.

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

“Build Schools, Not Walls,” say educators across the state

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2017

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CFT Statement on “Day of Action”

“Build Schools, Not Walls,” say educators across the state

 San Diego
San Diego

As educators join with immigrants to celebrate International Workers Day, the origins of the holiday resonate deeply with what’s going on in our country today.  A day to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of nineteenth century immigrant organizers on behalf of the eight-hour workday is an appropriate moment to step up and defend the endangered values that we cherish.

Greater Santa Cruz Federation
Santa Cruz
 San Francisco
San Francisco

The CFT is proud to be part of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) to oppose the privatization agenda of the Trump administration and fight for a quality public education system.  All working people, including immigrants, depend on good public schools to advance as participants in a democratic society and workers in a challenging economy.  This is why AROS issued the call to “Build Schools, Not Walls” during the Day of Action.

Today our members across the state organized walk-ins, teach-ins, and joined with our sisters and brothers in the immigrant community and labor movement to march, rally and demonstrate our commitment to maintaining the cornerstone of our democracy, public education.  Public education is a right, like the eight-hour day.  It is no coincidence that the Trump administration is attacking public education, immigrant and workplace rights, and progressive taxes at the same time.  Each of these rights and policies and institutions stand in the way of unfettered economic inequality.  

 UPMgroup
Marin

It took more than fifty years before the movement for an eight-hour workday was crowned with success.  Rich businessmen proclaimed that such an idea was preposterous, would spell the end of prosperity, and trample on property rights.  Working people said that everyone has the right to some time away from the job:  “Eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, eight hours for what we will.” 

 Orange County
Orange County

After passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, the economy didn't collapse.  In fact, the eight-hour day meant workers could help support a stronger economy with their increased purchasing power, and had time to participate in the political life of the nation.

When rights need defending, the bigger, louder and stronger that defense should be.  That’s why CFT stands today with our students, their families, the broader immigrant community and organized labor.  Our mobilizations and our movement are just beginning.

 Daly City
Daly City

The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

CFT Supports Case Contesting Trump Executive Order

For Immediate Release: March 27, 2017
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Union Joins Amicus Brief Challenging Policies That Could Harm Students

The California Federation of Teachers has joined an expansive group of public schools, districts and other education associations in filing a friend of the court brief in the case of County of Santa Clara v. Donald J. Trump, et al.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the enforcement of a recent Executive Order signed by Trump targeting “sanctuary jurisdictions.” The order signed in January grants the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to unilaterally deny federal funds that support critically-needed basic services to any jurisdiction they deem to be a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

“The Executive Order transforms schools from inclusive, safe spaces to places of fear and uncertainty, ultimately undermining our entire public education system,” the amicus brief states. “[It] is causing sweeping, profound, and irreparable harm to our children and their families, our public education system, and ultimately, the future of our country.”

The Executive Order signed by Trump could withhold billions of dollars in federal and federally contingent funding from jurisdictions and cause irreparable harm to communities.

“President Trump’s unilateral Executive Order harms not just communities, but children,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “We are concerned for our students and the communities within which we work. The students of California should be focused on their education instead of fearing that they, their parents, or their loved ones may be the victim of an ICE raid. Schools should be safe havens for all students. This Executive Order undermines our ability to teach and for our students to learn.”
The full amicus brief can be read here.

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

On Steve Zimmer’s Runoff in the LAUSD Board of Education Race

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2017
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STATEMENT FROM THE CALIFORNIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS:

“Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Steve Zimmer came only a few percentage points shy of winning his reelection bid outright on Tuesday. With a large plurality vote, Zimmer heads into the runoff with strong support from the community, parents, teachers, support staff, and pro-public school and community school advocates. This near-victory and across-the-board backing is a reaffirmation that voters in Steve Zimmer’s district have confidence in his leadership and the positive direction our schools are pursuing. It is also a rejection of the flood of money from pro-charter school interests and the negative ads they ran against Steve Zimmer.

Steve Zimmer and the unions backing him are not anti-charter despite the rhetoric from the charter school community. But parents, students and education workers deserve full transparency and accountability whether the school is a charter school or not. When wealthy charter school backers spend millions to unseat an effective and well-regarded school board member the entire education community suffers.”

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 25,000 community college faculty and several thousand community college classified employees in thirty colleges around the state, including at Compton College. In all the CFT represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

Media contact

If you are a reporter or have a media inquiry, please call CFT Communications Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 510-579-3343.