Dear Peralta Community,
Welcome to the second Tuesday of the month and another e-Communiqué from the Peralta Federation of Teachers. Email PFT Communications Director Matthew Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org with events, items, etc., you’d like to see in this space.
*The Peralta Board of Trustees returns to 333 E. Eighth St. tonight, Tues., April 13, at 7 p.m. Among the key agenda items: the major bargaining units’ contract extensions, a ceremony honoring newly tenured faculty, and hiring decisions on an interim chancellor, an interim CFO, and an acting vice chancellor of HR. Three firms will pitch their services for leading the district chancellor search. Faculty are urged to speak out in favor of the contract extension; those who can’t make the meeting should email Abel Guillén, board president, at email@example.com to express support.
*Preliminary contract discussions between PFT and the district got underway two weeks ago. Financial uncertainty at the district office and fast-growing healthcare costs form the basis of most of the conversation. PFT is committed to maintaining faculty benefits and seeing that all members of the Peralta professional community—from top-level administrators on down—contribute fairly to the solution to PCCD’s current crisis. We’ll discuss the contract extension at the next general membership meeting, Tues., April 27, at Laney.
*PFT is concerned about the chancellor’s March 31 letter announcing an employee benefits audit. The union doesn’t object in principle to an audit, but the district’s setting of a May 7 deadline is at odds with assurances from the district benefits office that all audit-related documents would be cleared with employee unions prior to distribution. PFT does not believe anyone can be cut off from benefits without negotiation and is working with counsel to determine what action to pursue.
*PFT turned out in force for the April 10 leg of the CFT-sponsored March for California’s Future, a month-long trek through the Central Valley to help register voters and raise awareness of the state budget crisis. More than a half dozen Peraltans joined scores of marchers from around the state to cover nearly ten miles between Manteca and Stockton, waving banners, handing out leaflets, and dancing behind a DJ-equipped flatbed. (Check out photos of PFTers on the march at http://bit.ly/cLZM1V.) The 250-mile march wraps up Wed., April 21, in Sacramento, where AFT President Randi Weingarten and AFL-CIO Richard Trumka will address the marchers, many of whom plan to attend the afternoon’s meeting of the legislature’s Higher Education Committee. Contact the PFT office at 510.763.8820 to get involved in the Sacramento festivities.
*Part-time faculty should check their home mailboxes by April 23 for ballots for the upcoming election on AB 381/SDI, the new State Disability Insurance law that allows part-timers to receive SDI benefits. The election will determine whether PFT should negotiate a 1.1% SDI deduction from all part-time paychecks. Part-timers are urged to update their contact info with the PFT office at 510.763.8820. For more information about SDI, contact PFT part-time rep Cynthia Mahabir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debby Weintraub, President
PFT, AFT Local 1603
For more about the PFT—contract information, contacts, downloadable forms, updates, etc.—visit pft1603.org or write PFT1603info@gmail.com.