UESF Election Results: New President for UESF

Moscone Elementary Teacher Lita Blanc to Assume Leadership July 1

On May 19th, the Elections Committee of the United Educators of San Francisco certified that Moscone Elementary teacher Lita Blanc has been elected president of the union, narrowly defeating incumbent Dennis Kelly.

Lita Blanc has been a bilingual teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District for over 28 years, serving the students and families at Moscone Elementary. An educator and activist with nearly three decades of experience, Lita has served as Building Representative at her school, on the UESF organizing team, and as a member of the San Francisco Labor Council.

“I’m honored to be given this opportunity by the educators of San Francisco to serve as union president,” says Lita Blanc. “We look forward to working with all UESF members and the San Francisco community to protect public education and to get the resources that our students and our educators deserve.” Continue reading

Attention All Paras: Critical PARS Settlement Information

To full-time (20+hours/week) Paraprofessionals who were employed any time during June 21, 2003 and October 11, 2011.

This is an update and reminder about the class action settlement for paraprofessionals who were enrolled in the PARS Target Benefit Plan. 

On Monday, May 18, the settlement administrator mailed your claim forms.  Your completed claims forms must be postmarked by July 17, 2015.  If you do not submit a claim form in time you will not receive a settlement check.

If you have not received a claim form at your home address by Wednesday, May 27, you should call the Settlement Claim Administrator at 1-844-280-2680.

The Settlement Claims Administrator has also set up a website which contains all the information you need, and also allows you to submit questions by email through the website. The website address is:

www.paraprofessionalsettlement.com

If you have any questions about the process or how to fill out your claim forms, you should call the Settlement Claims Administrator at 1-844-280-2680.  Because the settlement is being administered professionally by a company approved by the court, questions should be directed to the claim administrator and not to UESF.

UESF is Hiring!

Please help spread the word! UESF is currently hiring for three positions. Applications are due by July 7, 2015.

Staff Organizer/Representative

Membership Secretary

General Office Secretary

Learn from hidden history in Fall CCSF class

California Labor History Class
CCSF Mission Campus
2015 Fall Semester – 6:30 pm Wednesdays
Register online

As we confront a San Francisco with growing economic inequalities, history offers lessons.

In “California Labor History,” a three unit San Francisco City College course offered at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings at Mission Campus, Room 154, 1125 Valencia Street, beginning August 19, you learn that the fight for a more equitable society stretches back through the 1934 San Francisco General Strike—the most important event most people have never heard of—to the Mission era.  You will also find this history explains quite a bit about what’s happening now.

Taught by CFT communications director Fred Glass, the class places UESF’s parent organizations, the NEA and AFT, in historical context, and contemporary union struggles and issues within the broader stream of labor history.  The class readings, films, guest speakers and discussions showcase efforts by California’s working people for dignity, economic security, and civil rights. 

Teachers and paras who have taken the course note that it provides a space tucked away from the rest of their often hectic lives to reflect on working in a unionized educational workplace.  Class discussions are lively, and the oral history assignment often turns up surprising things about students’ own unions and family histories. Continue reading

Congratulations to the 2015 UESF Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 UESF student scholarships! This year UESF is happy to report that scholarship offerings ranged from $500 to to $5,000 per student, recognizing the increase costs of a college education.

Abraham Hernandez
June Jordan HS
Norma Mitchell Hardy Grant

Alexia Julissa Santiago Sanchez
Balboa HS
Joan Marie Shelley Scholarship

Bally Lee
Washington HS
UESF Educational Grant

Christopher Emelife
Lincoln HS
Richard Darrington Memorial Scholarship

Hugo Wonderley De Souza
Mission HS
Kent Mitchell Scholarship

Ivette Corral
Lincoln HS
James E. Ballard Scholarship

2016 scholarships will be posted online in April 2016.

Apply Today for the Para to Teacher Program!


At an informational meeting on May 1st, 84 paraprofessionals were in attendance to learn about re-entry into college, credential program requirements, financial aid, and pathway support opportunities.

The SFUSD’s Paraprofessional Teacher Training Program (PTTP) is a collaboration between SFUSD, UESF, SF State, and CCSF that recruits and supports paraprofessionals to become credentialed, exemplary teachers in the District’s high need areas of Special Education, Secondary Mathematics, and BCLAD teachers.

Are you a para that is ready to take the next step in your career? Ready to join the over 172 paras who have already completed the program?

For more information, click here. Questions should be directed to program coordinator Aracely Soriano at SorianoA [at] sfusd [dot] edu. Applications are due July 31st.

Presenting the 2014-2015 Mayor’s Teacher of the Month Award Winners!

On Monday, May 4th, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, UESF President Dennis Kelly, and Superintendent Richard Carranza announced the five teacher winners of the Mayor’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year Award at a special ceremony before the San Francisco Giants game.

“A strong education can transform a child’s life by opening the door to limitless possibilities,” said Mayor Lee. “Over the course of their distinguished careers, these nine educators have inspired and empowered our City’s young people. Thank you to all San Francisco’s educators for your tireless commitment and dedication to our future innovators and leaders.”

Let’s all congratulate the five Mayor’s Teacher of the Year recipients for their incredible dedication to our students and our schools:

  • Vera Diane Williams, Pre-K, Theresa S. Mahler Early Education School
  • Lisa Tsukamoto, Kindergarten, Rosa Parks Elementary School
  • Maria Yip, 2nd Grade, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School
  • Karen Hadley, Physical Education, Claire Lilienthal K-8 Alternative School
  • Heidi Hubrich Seretan, 12th Grade+/Transition, AccessSFUSD: The Arc

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, SFUSD, the United Educators of San Francisco and the San Francisco Education Fund, the annual Mayor’s Teacher of the Year Award honors five San Francisco teachers who are passionate for and dedicated to the education of San Francisco’s young people. Continue reading

New booklets celebrate May, Labor History Month


There are a number of ways to bring the lessons of labor history to our students and to celebrate labor history month outside of school too, including this new education comic book by UESF’s own Bill Morgan on the history of farm labor struggle in California.

By Fred Glass

May is Labor History Month.  Signed into law as AB 2269 (Swanson) in 2012 by Governor Brown, its purpose is to encourage schools “to commemorate this month with appropriate educational exercises that make pupils aware of the role the labor movement has played in shaping California and the United States.”

What role?  Most of the middle class arrived in that economic neighborhood when working people got together, formed unions, and wrested a fair share of what they produced from their employers.  In other words, it was by acting like a working class that most of our families became middle class during the last century.

One example is the New Deal, created by a president conscious of the enormous upsurge in unionization and worker activism in the 1930s, consisting of laws such as the National Labor Relations Act, Social Security Act, Unemployment Insurance Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act.  While most people think of these as Roosevelt’s legacy, he didn’t do this alone.  It took a massive surge of unionization, with workers engaged in strikes, demonstrations, factory seizures, and political action, pushing up from below, before those in power heard their message and created the New Deal. Continue reading