Attention Union members: Are you working to help your union find ways for its members to join in reclaiming the promise of a more just society for all? Or do you have a child who is a senior in high school with plans to attend college? We can help! As part of the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program, the AFT offers $8,000 scholarships to four high-achieving high school seniors who are the dependents of AFT members. And 10 grants of $1,000 each are available to AFT members from all divisions who seek to implement ideas for their union about the role union members can play in collectively reclaiming the promise.
Robert G. Porter was a dedicated union activist from the time he joined his first AFT local in East St. Louis, Ill., until his death in 1991. For nearly four decades, the late AFT secretary-treasurer gave his all to championing the rights of working people, promoting civil rights, and ensuring that the union was a vehicle for helping members achieve justice. Since its inception in 1993, the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program has awarded more than $500,000 to AFT members and their dependents to further their education and to help grow our union’s capacity to achieve our goals. Your application is now available online.
This year’s winners will be announced by June 30 and will be recognized at the AFT convention, July 11-14, in Los Angeles. The deadline for submitting the 2014 application to the AFT is March 31.
We look forward to another exciting year for the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program.
Please address your questions to email@example.com. (Telephone requests for applications will not be accepted).
This graphic (from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO on Facebook) is correct:
We count on our members to get active and make a difference!
The next Site Rep’s meeting (which are always open to all members) is this Monday January 13, the first day of classes following winter break. The meetings run 4:30-6:30 pm, at the union office at 734 E. Lake Ave. See the schedule of union meetings for subsequent meeting dates.
A joint communication from PVFT and PVUSD, December 18, 2013:
The Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT) and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) are very pleased to announce that they have signed a Tentative Agreement for the 2012-2015 Successor Agreement. The agreement is highlighted by a 7% increase on all certificated employee salary schedules and a class size reduction plan for grades K-3 at 24 students, to be fully implemented by the 2016-17 school year.
The tentative agreement will go through a ratification process with PVFT members. Following ratification the agreement will be submitted to the PVUSD Governing Board for approval.
Francisco Rodriguez, President, PVFT
Jack Carroll, Executive Director, PVFT, Lead Negotiator
Sharon Roddick, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, PVUSD, Lead Negotiator
From Maria Burnett, 12/19/2013:
SISC Blue Shield Coverage Change
We have received confirmation that both CSEA and PVFT memberships have voted in favor of changing our medical coverage from Anthem Blue Cross to SISC Blue Shield. The plan move will take place no later than 5/1/14.
Important Facts to Remember:
- Until the new effective date for SISC, we will still be on our current plan with Anthem Blue Cross. You will still need to be sure you are accessing the list of Coastal Health providers when scheduling doctor visits during this time.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) will NOT be available until our move to SISC is in place. Utilizing PAMF prior to that date will cost you additional out of pocket expenses.
- EVERY employee that qualifies for health benefits will be REQUIRED to complete a SISC Blue Shield Enrollment form and provide all necessary documents in order to be enrolled in one of the new Blue Shield Plans.
- Winter Break would be a good time to get your documents in order to help expedite the enrollment process. Family members cannot be enrolled on your medical coverage plan without the required documents.
- To add a Spouse: County issued Marriage Certificate and copy of your 2012 Federal Income Tax form (Page 1-lines 1 through 6).
- To add a Domestic Partner: Domestic Partner Affidavit and a copy of each party’s 2012 Federal Income Tax form (Page 1-lines 1 through 6). Classified employees will also need to submit a valid Domestic Partner State Registry form.
- To add Children: County issued Birth Certificate for each child who qualifies to be enrolled.
You will be required to sign up for one of the three plans upon enrollment. If you plan to enroll in one of the two HMO plans you will be required to choose a Primary Care Physician. You must provide the IPA and PCP numbers for your doctor in order to complete the enrollment form.
To look up providers with Blue Shield use: www.blueshieldca.com. The three networks to consider are Blue Shield of California PPO network, Access+HMO or Access+HMO Savenet.
Upon return from Winter Break, we will have more information on the enrollment process and a schedule with enrollment sites and times.
We had a small but mighty group at the last minute Closed Session Special Board Meeting. Thank you to Karen Richmond, Jennifer Khan, Rita Ramirez, Diana Muñoz, Mike Grant, Barbara Grant, Yasmin Longoria and PVFT President Francisco Rodriguez for making it out (photo below). Everyone spoke very articulately to the board and cabinet (and Lou, the district’s attorney/negotiations spokesperson) during the public comment before the session. As for the content of the meeting, we’ll have to speculate. Because it was a closed session meeting (with no action items) they literally thanked us for coming and closed the door behind us after we left. They only had two items on the agenda, and one was “PVFT Negotiations Update”. Hopefully we gave them something to talk about!
See below for links to recent Negotiatons Updates.
Thank you to all who made it out to Wednesday’s picket and board meeting, and to all of those who were there with us in spirit, cheering us on from afar. We had an impressive turn out. Lots of parents, students and PVFT members lined the entrance to the district office waving signs, and marched, chanting, to the board room. After the CBO’s budget update, and a failed attempt by Board President, Willy Yahiro to curb speakers time to two minutes, speakers took to the podium for at least an hour. Speaker after speaker gave their perspective on the disappointment with the district’s handling of negotiations and apparent lack of support for what teachers and students need. Speakers got creative with spoken word pieces; Antonio Vivo, teacher at Aptos High, presented colleague Reggie Robert’s case study of a teacher and coach who has to bus tables at night to make ends meet for his family; and even the Watsonville Mayor, Lowell Hurst and former Mayor and City Council Member Eduardo Montesinos, spoke on behalf of better conditions for teachers and for their own family members who attend our schools.
It was a powerful and inspirational night. And even given the possibility that this strong showing of support for better conditions did nothing to move the board trustees and cabinet, it did plenty to galvanize the parents, students and our members to speak up for what matters in our community: a quality public education. And as Aimee Mizuno, intervention teacher at Mintie White asked, very poignantly in her speech to the board, “When all is said and done, what side of history do you want to be on?”.
Facebook and other social media users can view the video at Youtube, and then “Like” and share with your social network: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwgW_8zVimM.
On Friday, August 16, over 100 certificated employees gathered at the corner of Main Street and Green Valley and marched to PVHS where the annual District Wide Breakfast is held. The march and rally displayed unwaivering support for improved salaries for ALL employees, including Early Childhood Education Teachers and Adult Education Teachers, increased preparation time and lower class and caseload sizes.
The little progress we’ve made with our negotiations is disappointing. Although we have reached agreement on some contract articles, the most important topics, wages, preparation time, and class-size have not been resolved. In fact, the district has delayed and postponed discussions on any topic that involves money. All through these negotiations we have been met with one excuse after another about why the district would not discuss any financial topics. First they told us, after the Governor’s January budget proposal, that his statement was only a suggestion and they refused to attach any credence to it. When facts supporting the Governor’s suggestions started to surface in February, March and April, they told us they had to wait until the Governor’s May Revised budget was released before they could talk money with us. Continue reading