On Tuesday, February 9th over 30 teachers, parents, and students from across the SFUSD gathered at the Board of Education to speak out in support of Chinese bilingual/biliteracy teachers and the students they serve. The teachers who testified before the Board spoke of their dedication to bilingual education in the SFUSD. They asked only for the support, training, and pay that will allow them to do their very best for their students. Their specific concern was the amount of extra work and lack of support and training for the additional assessments and report cards required because they must do both in two languages.
The speak out at the Board of Education follows an organizing drive by the teachers, who gathered over 150 signatures from bilingual teachers asking for UESF leadership to address their concerns. In response to the petition, UESF Senior Staff Rep Eric Hall has filed a grievance requesting extra pay for the extra work. The initial grievance is scheduled for a hearing later today, when UESF Executive Vice-President Susan Solomon will represent the teachers. As the extra work involved in these assessments and report cards is true for other bilingual and biliteracy teachers as well (including Spanish), they are also covered by the grievance.
Check out our our Facebook photo album of the speak out. If you’d like to watch an archive of the presentation, click here (click on ‘J. Requests to Speak Regarding General Matters’ beneath the video). If you are a bilingual/bilteracy teacher and would like more information, contact Susan Solomon at ssolomon [at] uesf [dot] org.
Las Americas teacher Kristen Panti speaks out at the press conference on February 2nd announcing the legislation. Like many educators, Kristen lives in fear of eviction.
At a press conference on February 2nd Supervisor David Campos announced that he has introduced legislation to the Board of Supervisors that would prevent all mid-school-year ‘no fault’ evictions of San Francisco educators, except for Ellis Act evictions. The legislation, crafted with Campos Chief of Staff Hillary Ronen and Dean Preston of Tenants Together, extends the protections that are already afforded to families of school-aged children in San Francisco.
“Evictions continue to ravage our communities in San Francisco,” said Campos at the press conference. “As we work towards long term solutions to build more housing, we must also stop the displacement of families and educators, who are critical to the fabric of our city.”
Thanks to Supervisor Campos for introducing the legislation and for continuing to be a champion for public education and educators. Special thanks also to Revere K-8 teacher Allison Leshefsky and Las Americas teacher Kristen Panti for sharing their personal stories in a front page Chronicle story covering the legislation, that helped generate significant television and radio coverage (including ABC 7).
Thanks to everyone who made our February 10th UBC training such a success! If you missed the training but are still interested in helping to organize a UBC at your school site to ensure your professional voice is heard, please contact UESF President Lita Blanc at ablanc [at] uesf [dot] org.
UESF is looking for a new Area Representative for the spring semester. Area Representatives work with the UESF Communications Director and with UESF Staff Representatives to help school site leaders organize and to support effective Union Building Committees. Area Reps will also help address issues the membership brought up during the fall listening tour.
The part-time position (20 hours per month) pays $40 per hour and is perfect for recent retirees who served as Building Reps or on Union Building Committees, or current members who are ready to take the next step in their activism.
Contact Communications Director Matthew Hardy at 956-8373 or mhardy [at] uesf [dot] org for more information. No formal resume is required, however, applicants will be asked to list their relevant union, volunteer, and organizing experience and to interview for the position. For a complete job description click here.
Mario Woods was posthumously awarded a diploma on January 20th at the Five Keys charter school graduation ceremony. Watch this powerful video of the poem recited by his teacher, and UESF member, Tyson Amir-Mustafa at the ceremony. #BlackLivesMatter
After Mario Woods was killed at the hands of police on December 2nd, dozens of UESF members attended protests, community meetings, and the police commission meeting in the days that followed, voicing their concern as educators about the dangers our students of color face in San Francisco.
On December 16th, the UESF Assembly passed a resolution that calls for a full investigation into the death of Mario Woods and the filing of criminal charges if appropriate. The resolution also calls for City officials to require that the police department institute a thorough retraining of police officers in non-lethal tactics to disarm suspect.
The resolution also included a request to promote the Go Fund Me page supporting the Woods family’s funeral expenses, which can be found here.
Sadie Guthrie, a special education teacher at Lawton Alternative School in San Francisco, shines in this video about how she uses a mobile coffee cart to teach her students real world skills and an entire school about compassion. Definitely worth a watch!
Harvey Milk third grade teacher, and Building Rep, Aaron Hall
By Aaron Hall (Originally published in the San Francisco Examiner on November 29, 2016)
As the teacher of third graders and a father of a three-year-old in the Bay Area, it amazes me how easily such young minds can grasp the notions of basic fairness while in the adult world fairness drops by the wayside when corporate special interests seek an advantage. Nowhere is this more clear than with those who have brought us the Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The American economy is out of balance. In San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the country, growing inequality is threatening the stability of our communities and our schools. With parents working two and three jobs and under extreme pressure just to make ends meet, our schools become even more important in the lives of their children. But this growing inequality also impacts our educators, many of whom are being forced to choose between the students we serve and our very own children, leading to high turnover that further destabilizes our schools. Continue reading →