Published in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Vigilance is needed to sustain labor’s gains

On Labor Day, we do well to remember the historic gains fought for, sometimes at great sacrifice, by union activists. We also should remember that labor’s efforts on behalf of the common good continue today. Perhaps you’ve noticed California public schools have been faring better. No longer are you reading headlines about thousands of teachers receiving pink slips because of lack of funding.


The AFT’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton and What it Means for Our Union

I have received emails from a number of members critical of the AFT’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for President. At the AFT Executive Council meeting, I, along with another Vice President who represents higher education, spoke and voted in opposition to the endorsement. The endorsement, which was overwhelming, came after interviews with Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, two national phone-in town hall meetings, an online survey, and a poll of more than 1,000 AFT members from across the country. All declared candidates were invited, but these three were the only ones who agreed to be interviewed.


Scott Walker’s Anti-Education and Anti-Worker Agenda Must Be Exposed

Scott Walker just won’t quit.

The worker-hating, union-attacking governor of Wisconsin is now going after higher education and college professors.


Debate over funding child care is a trap

The following Op-Ed by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt originaly ran int eh Sacramento Bee on June 11. You can read it below, as well as here.

As an educator, a parent, and someone who wants to see the next generation given every tool possible to succeed, I support the proposed expansion of child care programs. The earlier we prepare children for the classroom, the stronger their foundation for learning will be.


State of the Union Speech by Joshua Pechthalt, President 

March 21, 2014

Good morning CFT members, guests and staff, I want to thank all of you for taking time to help make the CFT a strong, vibrant and progressive voice in the California labor movement. It is your activism and your commitment to our union that makes this organization such an important voice for social justice, for our members and for our students.

I want to acknowledge the leaders who work tirelessly on behalf of our locals and the statewide union: Jeff Freitas our Secretary Treasurer, Lacy Barnes our Senior Vice President, our council presidents Paula Phillips, Gary Ravani, Bob Samuels and Jim Mahler, the CFT Executive council and our outstanding staff.

It is my great honor to be your president and to represent you in this remarkable union.

This past year has been one of tremendous successes.


Poor students need more help – not more standardized tests

The following Op-Ed by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt originally ran in the Sacramento Bee on Feb. 25. You can read the Op-Ed below, as well as here

As a teacher of more than 20 years at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles, I saw the value of federal dollars sent to our local public schools through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In fact, millions of America’s poorest schoolchildren depend on the Title 1 funding that was established in the law as part of the landmark 1965 “War on Poverty” legislation.

In Los Angeles, Title 1 funding allowed us to buy paper, pens and pencils that, while taken for granted in many communities, were a luxury for children and parents living in poverty. It also allowed us to hire instructional aides and provide programs that gave thousands of students the help they needed to succeed in school and prepare for college.
Congress must now decide whether to reauthorize the act, and whether to continue with the high-stakes testing mandates adopted as part of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top.