6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

(Reposted from AFL-CIO, www.aflcio.org/Blog/Economy/6-Reasons-Why-Unions-Are-Essential-to-Creating-Broadly-Based-Prosperity, and from the Roosevelt Institute, rooseveltinstitute.org/policy-and-ideas/big-ideas/report-future-work-america-policies-empower-american-workers-and-secure-p)

At the end of March, the Roosevelt Institute launched a new project, the Future of Work, which takes a look at the changing landscape in the area of workers’ rights and representation in the political and economic system that affects their lives. Author Richard Kirsch does a great job of explaining the economy and discussing potential policy solutions in a report titled The Future of Work in America: Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All.

Kirsch said:

The Future of Work is bringing together thought and action leaders from multiple fields to re-imagine a 21st century social contract that expands workers’ rights and increases the number of living wage jobs. The Future of Work is focusing on three areas: Promoting new and innovative strategies for worker organizing and representation; raising the floor of labor market standards and strengthening enforcement of labor laws and standards; and assuring access to good jobs for women and workers of color.

This report, Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All (594 KB PDF), is an introduction to the first area: policies to invigorate worker organizing. The report is in four parts:

  • A history of how organized workers fueled America’s broadly shared prosperity;
  • A history of how the weakening of American labor led to the shrinking of America’s middle class;
  • A primer on American labor law;
  • Policy ideas to reform and transform worker organizing.

New CBP Brief: Who Pays Taxes in California?

A new brief from the California Budget Project —released in advance of Tax Day— reports that California’s lowest-income households on average pay a greater share of their income in state and local taxes than other households.

Using data provided by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Who Pays Taxes in California? (81 KB PDF) shows that nonelderly households in the state’s bottom fifth in terms of income, who earn $13,000 a year on average, pay 10.6 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes. This is a larger share than all other segments of households — including the very wealthy. The top 1 percent of Californians, with an average annual income of $1.6 million, pay just 8.8 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes — or nearly two full percentage points less than the state’s poorest families.

Who Pays Taxes in California? examines how different components of California’s tax system —such as property taxes, sales taxes, and the personal income tax— affect lower- and higher-income Californians. The brief also suggests options for making California’s tax system fairer and promoting economic security for low-income families.

Here’s a telling graphic from the report:

Who pays taxes in California?

“Sunshine Proposal” Negotitions Opener

PVFT Chief Negotiator Jack Carroll will be presenting to the PVUSD School Board our “opener” proposal for contract negotiations. It is official public information, in the “Board Packet” already posted at www.pvusd.net/agenda_packets (The Board packet is a 41.7 MB PDF).

Here is our opening proposal (4.9 MB PDF); this is only the 23 pages of the Board packet that is our proposal, as opposed to the entire Board packet. Our proposal contains the following:

  • Cover page (p 1)
  • Article IV: Work Load and Hours (pp 2-6)
  • Article VI: Class Size (pp 7-9)
  • Article VII: Wages and Related Matters (pp 10-16)
  • Article XIV: Reassignment and Transfer (pp 17-22)
  • PVFT’s Ending Fund Balance Projection (p 23)

CFT Convention 2014

Your team of PVFT delegates are hard at work at the 2014 CFT Convention, here at the Manhattan Beach Marriott (a union hotel, of course!). The annual statewide convention “is open to all CFT members, with elected delegates representing their local unions having the right to vote. Voting delegates must be elected following the legal requirements in the AFT and CFT Constitutions and the federal Landrum-Griffin Act. The Convention is the Federation’s highest policymaking body; delegates shape union policy and positions on issues affecting members.” Learn more at cft.org/governance/convention.html.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking to the CFT Convention, 3-21-14At Friday’s opening session, recently-elected LA Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke passionately about “one team:” City government and educators/schools/districts, working together to improve the lives of students — and their families, communities, schools and teachers.

Saturday’s keynote speeches were by AFT President Randi Weingarten, who’s always a firecracker speaker and offers an inspirational call-to-arms. Check out AFT videos on YouTube, or RW videos uploaded by others as well.

CA AG Kamala Harris at CFT Convention 3-22-2014Later in the day Saturday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris delivered an equally compelling speech, and made powerful connections between education – specifically elementary truancy (which leads to academic struggle, which often leads to dropping out) and issues of public safety, violent crimes, and rising social costs for the criminal justice system as well as healthcare, social services, lost opportunity and more.  Read her 2013 report on elementary truancy, online at oag.ca.gov/truancy or as a PDF (8 MB).

Reverend William J. Barber at the CFT Convention 3-23-14Sunday’s “sermon” from Reverend William J. Barber II was also incredibly moving and inspirational. He is a firey southern preacher, the current president of the North Carolina NAACP, and a leader in the growing movement in NC (and now spreading to other states) of large public rallies, marches, protests against social and economic injustices, called “Moral Monday” events. Check out Rev. Barber’s hundreds of videos at YouTube.

We’ll post more pictures and information as we can.


Back row, L-R: Don Brown, Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Marcy Mock, Sean Henry, Sarah Henne, Ryan Kuntz, Edith Ruiz, Lynne Siqueiros, Haydee Guerrero, Francisco Rodriguez (baby Esme), Jack Carroll, Leah Sugarman, Isaí Baltezar; Front row, L-R: Ted Altenberg, Connie Bishop, Kim Saldavia, Rico Reyes, Manuel Serrano

Income Inequality and Funding for Public Education: An Open Forum

Join us to discuss the connection between income inequality and funding for Public Education and what it means for our future.

Monday, March 24th 6-8pm Cabrillo College Horticulture Building 5005


Sylvia Allegretto, UC Berkeley Labor Economist and Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics Co-Chair, will provide an overview of recent trends in income inequality nationally and in California—drawing on decades of expertise as a labor economist.

Jonathan Kaplan, Senior Policy Analyst with the California Budget Project, will link the trend in increasing income inequality to the need for long-term investment in education funding through an analysis of taxation and the budgetary process—illuminating how taxation works, how funding is allocated by the state legislature, how public education has fared in recent years, and what kinds of changes would help create broad access to a quality, affordable education in our state.

Sandra Weese, Organizing Project Director of California Federation of Teachers, will tie the two presentations together and suggest avenues for action.

This forum is sponsored by the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers, Cabrillo College Federation of Teachers, and the Greater Santa Cruz Federation of Teachers. A light dinner will be served.

Click here for the flyer!

Robert G. Porter Scholars Program:
$8K HS senior scholarships!

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.

Applications are now available online.

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.

In unity,
Lorretta Johnson
AFT Secretary-Treasurer

Please address your questions to porterscholars@aft.org. (Telephone requests for applications will not be accepted).

Attend union meetings!


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.

Tentative Agreement Reached!

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.

Read the agreement (PDF).

Francisco Rodriguez, President, PVFT
Jack Carroll, Executive Director, PVFT, Lead Negotiator
Sharon Roddick, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, PVUSD, Lead Negotiator

Change in Benefits: Move to SISC Approved

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.

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.

PVFT Alerts & News

Contact PVFT

734 E Lake Ave
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 722-2331
Contact PVFT

Negotiations Updates!

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Mark your calendars!

PVUSD Spring Break:

  • April 12–21

PVFT Site Rep's/Members Meetings:

  • Monday April 7
  • Monday May 12

CFT Lobby Days:

PVFT End-of-the-Year Party:

  • Friday May 30

Last Day of School:

  • Friday June 6

CFT 2015 Union Summer School:

AFT 2015 National Convention:

’14–’15 School Year begins:

  • SBC Day Thu Aug 14
  • Teacher Work Day Fri Aug 15
  • first day of classes Mon Aug 18.

CFT 2015 Leadership Conference:

CFT 2015 Convention: