News Releases

San Francisco Archdiocesan teachers ratify new contract agreement with the Archdiocese of San Francisco

For immediate release: August 20, 2015

Contact: Gina Jaeger, 415-378-1201, or Lisa Dole, 415-299-2084

San Francisco, CA—Yesterday a majority of members of the San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2240, voted to ratify a new contract agreement between the faculty union and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The close vote, 90-80, reflected divisions among faculty and the broader community after the Archdiocese administration proposed new language that would have declared teachers to be “ministers,” language that, if implemented, would have placed the teachers outside the protections of the National Labor Relations Act.

Negotiations commenced last October 2014, and continued for an unusually long period. Discussions with the administration continued until July.

The tentative agreement includes a salary increase of seven and a half percent over three years, maintenance of health care, and new contract language safeguarding employee rights related to personal conduct. The language makes clear that questions regarding teacher conduct on and off the job are subject to the collective bargaining grievance procedure, and are not the sole province of administrative fiat. The language was vetted through California Federation of Teachers attorneys, ensuring compliance with protective labor laws.

“The negotiations have been an arduous process, testing the resolve of our executive board and membership,” said union president Gina Jaeger. “But union democracy provided a firm foundation for our discussions. I am very proud of our union for standing tall in support of dignity and fairness. Now it is time to heal after a tumultuous year.”

Jaeger added that now that the long negotiations have finished, teachers will able to return their focus to education, “in particular providing our students with a supportive and accepting community where they can thrive.”

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AFT Local 2240 represents faculty in four high schools under San Francisco Archdiocesan jurisdiction, including Archbishop Riordan, Sacred Heart Preparatory, both in San Francisco; Marin Catholic in Kentfield; and Junipero Serra in San Mateo. CFT represents 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system. More info: www.cft.org.

Accrediting Commission Again Denies Due Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, August 6, 2015

Contact: Cherri Senders, 818-422-2787, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Commission Fails to Consider Evidence Presented by City College of San Francisco

Sacramento – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) again failed to provide due process when it announced yesterday, Aug. 5, that it had summarily rejected City College of San Francisco’s request for reconsideration of ACCJC’s flawed 2013 sanction disacrrediting the college.

“This latest action by the ACCJC clearly demonstrates it is unqualified to serve as an accreditor of California's public community colleges,” said California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt.

California Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled earlier this year that the ACCJC had violated both state law and federal regulations and needed to provide CCSF with the due process it was denied. The judge ordered the commission to reconsider its earlier misguided decision.

ACCJC’s action comes despite the evidence compiled by hundreds of City College employees and students responding to the trial judge’s finding that ACCJC had failed to give City College notice of 11 new "deficiencies" not found by the ACCJC-appointed team, which visited City College in Spring 2013. The team had recommended a lesser sanction.

“City College did its part and answered ACCJC's notice with extensive evidence and arguments. Yet, in its reply, the ACCJC does not make any effort to reconcile the response of the College to the initial explanation by the Commission,” said President Pechthalt.  In spite of this action by the ACCJC, City College remains open and accredited pending a decision in January of 2017 after further evaluation.

City College of San Francisco faculty union AFT 2121 President Tim Killikelly also criticized the ACCJC’s decision saying: “Yesterday’s predictably unfair decision again violates the college’s due process and highlights the need for serious accreditation reform in California. Something needs to be done about the ACCJC.”

A bill from Assembleymember Phil Ting (AB 1397) will impose new standards for accountability and transparency in accreditation. The bill passed the Assembly and is advancing in the State Senate with bipartisan support.

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The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org.

State Community College BOG Votes to Extend City College Special Trustee Appointment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, July 20, 2015

Contact: Cherri Senders, 818-422-2787, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CFT continues to call for the return of school’s democratically-elected Board of Trustees, shift focus to accrediting commission

On Monday, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors voted to extend the appointment of a Special Trustee to oversee City College of San Francisco.

“The continued appointment of the Special Trustee to oversee City College of San Francisco flies in the face of a democratic process,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “The people of San Francisco elected the Board of Trustees to govern City College, and anything that takes that power away from the people and their elected representatives is an insult. We are extremely disappointed with the Community College Board of Governors’ decision to reappoint a Special Trustee for City College. The people of San Francisco should decide who governs the college, not an appointed body.”

The initial reasoning for a Special Trustee for City College came out of a 2013 diaccreditation decision from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Since then, a Superior Court judge has ruled that the ACCJC broke the law in that flawed process. There is no justification to continue with a Special Trustee for City College.

“The approval of the Special Trustee is completely unnecessary for City College of San Francisco,” said AFT 2121 President Tim Killikelly. “It's been over two years now and local control needs to be returned to the democratically elected board. The board of governors needs to shift its focus to the real problem at hand – the ACCJC – and find real solutions to the continuing accreditation nightmare for all the community colleges in California.”

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The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org.

Another Misguided Billionaire-Backed Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, July 17, 2015

Contact: Cherri Senders, 818-422-2787, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teacher evaluation lawsuit Doe v Antioch is the latest in a series of special interest attacks on public education

CFT Statement:

The Doe v Antioch lawsuit filed yesterday is just another in a long line of cynical attacks on public education. This lawsuit, which addresses a tenant of teacher evaluation, attempts to dictate from the courtroom a top down reform agenda that has been discredited by research and the experience of educators across the country. The 13 districts named in this lawsuit have negotiated teacher evaluation systems that work for them. The facts of this case will be made clear in the coming months, but what’s immediately clear is that this is another desperate attempt by a Silicon Valley billionaire trying to destroy public education.

The California Stull Act has been around since the early 1970s. Our state’s K-12 public education system was considered the finest in the nation with the Stull Act in place, shaping how teachers were evaluated. So what has changed? In spite of the improved financial situation due to Prop 30, our schools and classes are still overcrowded, the enrichment classes that used to be a staple of education have been pushed out and the hyper fixation on testing drives a distorted education agenda. Finally, we have a so-called advocacy group that is funded by billionaires and a law firm that does the bidding of corporate America and the 1% pushing a destructive education agenda. Their deep pockets and arrogance threaten every child and educator working hard to make education meaningful in our state.

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The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org.

Community College Accreditation Reform One Step Closer to Reality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Contact: Cherri Senders, 818-422-2787, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fred Glass, 510-579-3343, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CFT-Sponsored Bills Pass Senate Education Committee

SACRAMENTO – On Wednesday, California’s community college system – numbering more than 2 million students – got one step closer to a more consistent, transparent process when it comes to accrediting the system’s 112 schools.

The state’s Senate Education Committee passed a pair of bills authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). AB 1397, known as the California Community Colleges Fair Accreditation Act of 2015, will require more transparency and consistent standards in the application of statewide community college accreditation. AB 1385 will give community colleges the right to vote on assessments for legal fees accrued by the current accrediting body. The bills now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“These bills provide the necessary transparency and due process to ensure that colleges are evaluated fairly,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “The students of California need these bills because they help shift money away from needless bureaucratic paperwork and into creating more course offerings so young people have greater access to much needed higher education.”

Inspired by the often unnecessary, expensive, and sometimes illegal actions by the Accrediting Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), AB 1397 imposes new standards that include avoiding conflicts of interest, establishing a right to appeal sanctions, and ensuring public access.

With bipartisan support, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed AB 1397 (61-18) and AB 1385 (62-18) in June.

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The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org.

Supreme Court to Hear Friedrichs v. CTA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Contact: Fred Glass, 510-579-3343, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Another potential blow to middle class in age of growing inequality

CFT Statement:
The Supreme Court decided today to hear an anti-union lawsuit, Friedrichs v. CTA. Although the California Teachers Association (CTA) was named as the defendant, a ruling in the case will equally impact the California Federation of Teachers, which likewise represents teachers and other school employees in the state. The decision could also affect all public sector unions in the United States.

The plaintiffs in Friedrichs v. CTA were recruited by the anti-union Center for Individual Rights to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which upheld the constitutionality of agency shop clauses in collective bargaining agreements in the public sector. An agency shop allows members of the collective bargaining unit to opt out of membership in the union and to instead pay “agency fees” to support only the collective bargaining activities of the union.

Unions have a legal duty to represent all workers in their bargaining units. The Abood ruling established that agency fees compensate unions for that work and prevent “free riding” of workers who opt out of the union.

This case is the latest attempt by well-funded employer interests to undercut the ability of unions to represent workers, in this case, in the public sector. This assault, underway for decades, but now picking up steam, has resulted in a sharp decline in median wages for working people and the decline of the middle class alongside the increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the top one per cent. It includes attacks in the courts like Friedrichs, so-called “right to work” legislation in Wisconsin and Michigan, and enormously increased political spending by union opponents.

“Without a strong labor movement to protect working people, the United States will continue to see the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while the vast majority of workers fall further and further behind,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. “The road to greater economic inequality and the New Gilded Age is paved with destructive lawsuits like Friedrichs. I hope the court, in agreeing to hear the case, will end by upholding the principles of the Abood decision, which is in the interests of unions, working people, and broadly supports the middle class standard of living in America.”

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 education employees, from Head Start through the University of California. It is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. More information: 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.