Urge the Board and the Admin to Agree to the 18% Wage Increase Proposed by the UESF Bargaining Team and to Stop the Cuts to Special Education.
San Francisco schools are at a crossroads. Our students need stable communities of dedicated educators, working to ensure that all students receive the personalized instruction and quality education they deserve. But the skyrocketing cost of living in San Francisco has created a teacher and para-educator turnover crisis that is beginning to fundamentally disrupt our schools.
Please sign on to this letter to the Board of Education, Superintendent Vincent Matthews, and Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh, urging them to meet the affordability crisis for SF educators head on by agreeing to the 18% wage increase proposed by UESF during current contract talks and urging them to rescind their decision to make massive cuts to Special Education in the SFUSD.
The next round of negotiations is set for Tuesday, May 23rd. For more on negotiations, click here.
UESF Bargaining Team Makes Major Proposals
in Support of Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution
May 24, 2017
At the bargaining table yesterday, the UESF Bargaining Team introduced several major proposals that will strengthen and support the groundbreaking Safe and Supportive Schools resolution in the SFUSD. The package of proposals was developed based on substantial input from UESF’s allies in the Close the Gap Coalition, a community coalition that UESF is a part of that seeks to close the opportunity gap for low-income students of color.
….[more on our main negotiations web page.]
Next UESF/SFUSD negotiations: May 23, 2017.
May 22, 2017
After our incredible 750-strong rally at the Board of Education on May 9th and a substantial amount of intense media coverage, last week Mayor Ed Lee committed $44 million to build housing for UESF members at 1360 43rd Avenue, the site of the old principals center. The announcement and the financial commitment is a significant step forward in goal to build housing for educators, moving the process out of the conceptual and towards actually breaking ground.
While welcome news, its important to remember that the construction of educator housing is only one of the key strategies UESF is pursuing to ensure a place in San Francisco for teachers and paras. We must also continue the work of organizing to raise educator wages to meet the growing cost of living, and continue working towards bringing more revenue into our schools either through statewide or local revenue measures. Finally, UESF has been at the table working to ensure a real affordable housing agenda is implemented in San Francisco. UESF Political Director Ken Tray was instrumental in helping city leaders reach consensus on an inclusionary housing policy just last week. Read more here.
On May 9th over 750 UESF members and supporters rallied in support of our campaign for Stable, Safe, and Supportive schools before the Board of Education meeting at 555 Franklin. The boisterous rally and speak out, which included another famous appearance by the Brass Liberation Orchestra, was an opportunity for teachers and para-educators to show the district that we are committed to our students and our schools, but that without a commitment from the district on a significant salary increase, we simply cannot afford to live here.
Equally important, the day was an opportunity for us to push back on the district’s proposed cuts to special education. 118 paraprofessionals and 24 RSP teachers from 61 schools are getting consolidated, and the impact of such cuts will have terrible consequences not only for our students with IEPs, but for general education students at those schools as well.
The rally followed a heart-wrenching story published on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, detailing the struggles of an SFUSD high school teacher who lost her apartment and has been without a home for months because of the affordability crisis. In the story, reporter Heather Knight also included some of the incredible statistics that show how unaffordable San Francisco really is for educators.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the rally yesterday, to stand with your fellow educators, parents, and students for our schools. Your dedication and resolve were on full display to the Board, the new superintendent, the administration, and several City blocks surrounding 555 Franklin! Special thanks to our UESF organizers, who have spent the past several weeks out in the schools helping to turn folks out to the rally!
Look for more photos up on the UESF Facebook photo album!
Hundreds of UESF members joined thousands of fellow San Franciscans on Monday in the May Day march and rally in support of labor and immigrant rights. The highlights of the day were the entire school communities marching together, with large delegations of educators, parents and students from Buena Vista Horace Mann, Chavez Elementary, Fairmount Elementary, and Longfellow Elementary marching together as one.
The day was an incredible opportunity for San Franciscans from across the political spectrum to take a stand for our communities in the face of threats from the Trump administration. It was capped off by UESF’s program in Civic Center at 4:00 p.m., when educators and school supporters gathered to sign a pledge to defend our schools and our students. UESF was happy to welcome CTA President Eric Heins, SFUSD school board commissioner Mark Sanchez, and SFUSD Student Advisory Council delegate Chanun Ong to join us on stage for the program.
Check out this photo album posted on UESF’s Facebook page. Feel free to post and share your photos as well!
Finally, a shout out to Buena Vista Horace Mann teacher, and UESF Executive Board member, Frank Lara, who was one of the central forces in planning and executing the successful May Day action. His energy and enthusiasm, and his commitment to his school and community, was on full display throughout the day.
Perhaps the sign of the day from our demonstration!
Thanks to the hundreds of educators, parents, community allies, and school supporters who came
out for our march and rally on April 11th to defend public education and to keep educators in San Francisco where we belong!
The planned cuts to public education and the promotion of school vouchers and charter schools by the Trump administration would do irreparable harm to our schools and our students, and we came out in force to say that we will resist!
We also sent a strong message to SFUSD that we are fiercely dedicated to our students and our City and that we will hold them accountable to keep teachers and paras in San Francisco and to ensure all of our students have stable, safe, and supportive schools!
Thanks to Bay Resistance, Chinese Progressive Association, and Jobs with Justice for your support!
Check out and share our Facebook photo album of the event, also take a look at the media coverage from our event:
San Francisco Examiner slideshow
NBC 11 Bay Area
KCBS – Only .4% of Teachers Can Afford a Home in SF
March 24, 2017
Wednesday night over 150 UESF members and supporters showed up for a powerful hearing at City Hall called by Mission District Supervisor Hillary Ronen.
At the hearing dozens of UESF members from across the City offered incredible testimony about the impact the affordability crisis has had on them personally, and how the massive turnover and inability to fill positions in the schools impacts our students. The riveting testimony captivated those in attendance, often bringing the crowd to tears.
Thanks to all who took the time to come to the hearing last night. And special thanks to those educators who bravely stepped up the podium to tell your stories. Your commitment to our students is an inspiration to all of us, and without a doubt you were heard by those in power in the City and in the District.
But now is the time for more than just hearing! Now is the time for action! We need a strong commitment from the District at the bargaining table, and the political will by both the District and the City to not only finally build educator housing after years of delay but to work to bring more resources into schools. Otherwise, the affordability crisis will only continue to push more and more educators out of the City and our schools and our students will suffer.
Read this powerful write up of the hearing by Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Watch this Video!
Check out this incredible testimony offered by Vidya Karra from SF Public Montessori, one of the dozens of powerful stories bravely shared by educators at the hearing! (More videos posted soon!)
May 4th, 2017
John O’Connell High School Cafeteria
2355 Folsom St, SF 94110
June 1st, 2017
Leola M. Havard Early Education School Auditorium
1520 Oakdale Ave, SF 94124
Note: Drop in any time from 4:00-7:30. Counseling sessions typically last approximately 30 minutes.
With funding provided by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) through the 2015 Prop. A housing bond, housing counseling will be available directly to UESF members the first Thursday of every month this school year. The counseling will be coordinated by Homeownership SF, a local nonprofit, in conjunction with the Eviction Defense Collaborative.
Services include eviction defense, home purchasing assistance with HUD approved counselors, and rental counseling. The clinics will be staffed by expert counselors and eviction advocates. Educators who attend are strongly encouraged to bring relevant materials to the counseling sessions, including: legal notices, landlord communications, current leases, household monthly budget, recent pay stubs for all household members.
No RSVP is necessary; to access services just drop in. For more information go to www.homeownershipsf.org/educators.