Classified Articles

Overview

Classified Articles

News for classified employees and paraprofessionals working in public schools and community colleges, and support staff in private schools. 

Article Privatization

Spotlight on transportation services
Jobs returned when contracting out fails, drivers get more training

A recent video that went viral on social media showed a bus driver being attacked by angry parents in St. Louis. Bernard Benson knows how parents can lose their tempers. He has been driving school buses in the San Joaquin Valley for six years.

“A detour makes a driver late and parents get mad because of the delay. It happens all the time. It goes with the territory,” he said, adding, “Most of the time we’re looked at like the good guys because we get kids to and from school.”

Article CFT Convention CFT Elections

Classified members share spotlight with teachers at Centennial Convention

Delegates had a lot to celebrate as they convened for the CFT’s 100th Anniversary celebration in March.

The state’s largest local union, United Teachers Los Angeles, had held a wildly successful strike less than two months earlier. And the union’s block of classified employee members were set to begin the CFT’s second century with their highest union profile yet.

Article Pesticide Use Environment

Lawsuit draws attention to hazardous chemicals on campus

When Susan Trask was 40, she went back to school and earned a degree in ornamental horticulture at Long Beach City College. Trask has since worked as a groundskeeper at the college district, and this year she was elected president of AFT Local 6108, the Long Beach Council of Classified Employees.

Article Labor Solidarity Jane Hundertmark

We need you… to become a Unionist

Editor’s note: What follows is a condensed version of an inspired presentation from the CFT’s annual Classified Conference.

My name is Carl Williams and I am southern vice president of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, a CFT vice president, proud president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees, a father, a husband… and a Unionist. Now don’t get me wrong, I have not always been a Unionist… the transition from union member is not instantaneous. 

Article Janus v. AFSCME Janus

Supreme Court’s Janus decision barely ripples through classified locals

No one was surprised when the Janus decision from the U.S. Supreme Court came down over the summer. In the months since then, however, locals across California have defied predictions of a mass exodus of dues-paying members. In fact, after two years of recruiting new employees and convincing agency fee payers to join, union ranks are growing.

AFT Local 1931: Framed on Instagram! 

According to Danielle Short, classified vice president for San Diego’s AFT Guild, the local was looking for ways to make campus tabling more dynamic and encourage more conversation with members. 

A brainstorming session led to the idea of a giant photo frame. Campus printing services helped create the frame and printed it. “We used it for our tabling,” Short said. “And then we just ran with it for other events and outreach. It definitely breaks the ice — and it’s a lot of fun.” 

Article Rank & Files

Lavalais named San Francisco paraeducator of the year

The mayor of San Francisco recently recognized 10 public school educators for their dedication and professionalism. Honorees were selected based on their ability to promote innovative learning, accountability, and equity and access in the classroom and school site.

The 2018 awards included the mayor’s first-ever Paraeducator of the Year. Mary Lavalais attended City College and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and a graduate degree in marriage, family, and child counseling at San Francisco State University.

Article Gun Control

Common sense gun control: A school security guard lives with the loss of his son

A.J. Frazier is a familiar face around San Francisco’s Lowell High School. Frazier has helped guard the campus for the last 15 years, after patrolling Mission High for 15 years.

Few people knew about the pain the outgoing ex-Marine carried inside — until he shared it at a recent rally in Santa Ana’s Centennial Park responding to the deadly shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

Article Janus v. AFSCME

Workplace organizing: Facing new threat, members recommit to their unions

For years, the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to clip unions’ wings if the right case came before the bench.

Classified AFT locals across California have been preparing for the decision in Janus v. AFSCMEby asking agency fee payers to become full members, and recruiting at new employee orientations. The membership drives have meant an influx of new enthusiasm and a renewed sense of union pride.

Article Representational Elections

Compton campus police choose AFT as their union

Generations of Compton rappers have created an indelible portrait of their city’s mean streets. Life in this Los Angeles suburb isn’t easy.

Jermaine Ford and the 17 members of the Compton Unified School District police are a “thin blue line” sworn to keep the 36 schools and additional dozen district facilities safe. Their job hasn’t gotten any easier, either.

Article CFT 100

Council of Classified Employees: High-quality representation wins respect for support staff

Download a single-sheet illustrated history of the Council of Classified Employees

When the AFT in 1977 welcomed educational workers other than teachers into its ranks, paraprofessionals and classified employees became one of the fastest growing sectors of the national AFT. In the 1980s, several thousand California support staff voted for the AFT as their bargaining agent.

Article Environment Proposition 39

Campus electricians shine in clean energy awards
Proposition 39 investments reap environmental and fiscal benefits

We don’t spend much time changing bulbs anymore,” said Palomar College electrician Rick Beach. “There aren’t many left on campus to change.”

And fewer by the day. Beach and maintenance and operations staff members of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4522, recently led the installation of LED lighting across Palomar’s San Marcos and Escondido campuses.