What are we fighting for?

Below is a review of EDU positions as of May 2014:

All educators still need the 21% raise that UESF put forward in April. SFUSD has used its increase to CalSTRS pension contributions to justify not offering us a larger raise. SFUSD has only offered us an 8.5% raise over 3 years. That is a major reason UESF and SFUSD are in “mediation.” We should not accept the “pension cost” rationale: the SFUSD position is NOT acceptable: Many of us cannot afford to live in San Francisco or remain SFUSD employees.

Hours/wages for a Classified (Paraprofessionals & Security)

UESF put forward a good proposal of an 8 hour workday for ALL classified. SFUSD rejected it completely. UESF then reduced its position to an 8-hour workday for T-10s (security aides) and only a 6-hour minimum for all other classified. All our classified members deserve a full-time work at our schools of up to 8 hours/day. Classified members will need to see significant increase in their wage steps, which currently reach the maximum step increases after only 5 years— if the poorest paid UESF classified members are to overcome poverty wages.

Local Control Funding Formula funds should support our students

SFUSD received an increase of millions of dollars for 2014-15.These funds are meant to support English language learners, students who live in poverty and those in foster care. Shouldn’t these funds be going to reduce class-size and to provide a rich curriculum instead of buying technology for test-taking? Moreover, shouldn’t a portion of these funds be earmarked to support immigrant students who have just arrived from Central America?

Preparation Time for Elementary Teachers

UESF is asking for 45 minutes of prep time for elementary teachers per day but is prepared to accept that the prep time come at the end of the instructional day. This is NOT “prep time” inside the instructional day, as is the usual practice in middle and high schools.

Class Size:

The UESF bargaining team has made class size proposals for ONLY grades 4/5, giving teachers “more resources and release time” if class sizes exceed contractual “goals.” This current practice at K–3 does NOT actually lower class size. CLASS SIZE limits need to means clear numerical limits at all grade levels set into our contract, not “compensation,” that leave workloads intact and that we cannot grieve over.

Meetings in the Work Day and Non-Instructional Time:

SFUSD is trying to extend our day with more after-school meetings. We must hold the line on this by rejecting attempts to weaken contract Article 7.2.7. where site UBCs have the power to hold site management to a reasonable meeting and Professional Development schedule.

You can make a difference at this final assembly meeting!

EDU is mobilizing to get members to the UESF assembly this Wednesday to vote for a resolution to hold a strike vote before the end of the school year. In order for this to pass, we need at least 40 people at the meeting. You can make a difference by calling teachers and paraprofessionals you know and asking them to attend on Wednesday:
IDA B Wells HS
4:15 pm
Hope to see you and many others ….

Here are two EDU authored resolutions up for consideration:

Resolution for First Strike Vote Authorization Vote

Whereas SFUSD has shown clear disrespect and disregard for the needs of San Francisco by suggesting a paltry wage increase of 2% in 2014, 3% in 2015 and 3% in 2016; and

Whereas SFUSD has shown absolutely no willingness to meet the needs of paraprofessionals by giving them step increases in their wages and the needs of our students and schools by giving paras additional hours of work; and

Whereas SFUSD is not responding to the needs of educators with families by providing additional financial support for members with dependents; and

Whereas SFUSD is not acting in good faith when all parties agree that due to LCFF and to sacrifices made from previous years by educators, there will be up to 13$ millions dollars this year and an estimated additional $35 million next year returning to school budgets; and

Whereas SFUSD is completely ignoring the needs of our schools and our members by ignoring the demands of the UESF bargaining team; and

Whereas UESF members across the district are outraged at the arrogance of SFUSD and are determined to send a strong message of support for our demands; and

Whereas SFUSD believes they can ‘run out the clock’ on negotiations and get UESF members to settle for less by using the summer to undermine a united response from UESF and seek to get us to accept any deal we can get in August; and

Whereas UESF must prepare the first of two strike vote authorization membership meetings while the anger among members is great and the will to act is strong;

Therefore, be it resolved, that UESF will hold the first of two strike vote authorization meetings on either Wed. May 28 or Thurs. May 29 at a location to be decided at the Assembly meeting.

Submitted by Mission HS UBC

Special Order of Business

Whereas, resulting from the negotiations in 2012 for UESF current contracts, Tentative Agreements were submitted to
UESF members for ratification before staff returned to work in August with a deadline to return ballots of the first day of instruction,
thus making it difficult for membership to fully question and discuss the TAs; and

Whereas UESF members should understand any Tentative Agreement before they decide whether or not to ratify it; and

Whereas UESF members must have sufficient time to fully discuss a tentative agreement with each other, across
traditional boundaries of job classification, school division, grade level, etc., as well as among fellow school site staff
in order to fully assess such agreements; and

Whereas, in the course of such a time for review, UESF members need and deserve time to address their questions and
concerns with such a proposed tentative agreement to the UESF leadership and Bargaining Team;

Therefore be it resolved that Tentative Agreement-ratification timeline shall thus include sufficient time for circulation, discussion
and review of TAs by UESF members; and thus

Be it finally resolved that any deadline for UESF member ratification of any UESF-SFUSD Tentative Agreement shall NOT be before
Sept 15th.

submitted by Ellen Yoshitsugu, Tom Edminster & Lisa Gutierrez Guzman
for consideration at Wed 5/21 Assembly meeting

Help send a message to the district that we are ready to strike this fall.

SFUSD is hoping to run out the clock and is counting on the summer to disorganize us and prepare us to accept any deal this fall. We believe that the first of the two strike votes necessary for a strike should happen before we leave for summer. Educators need to send a message to administration that we will not accept their current offer.

District administration has shown little regard toward teacher and paraprofessional needs for an adequate wage increase to begin to meet the rapid cost of living increases in San Francisco. Let SFUSD know that we are ready to fight to remain in the city and serve our students and communities.

In order to win a union-wide strike vote, the resolution must pass the Assembly this Wednesday. That is why we are calling for UBC members from all sites to come to the Assembly this Wednesday, May 21st, and vote in favor of the resolution for having the first strike vote happen before the end of the school year. Please join EDU and all strike-ready educators at the next UESF Delegate Assembly!

UESF Delegate Assembly
Date & time: Wed. May 21; 4:30pm
Location: Ida B. Wells HS; 1099 Hayes St.

Respect for teachers!
A living wage for paraprofessionals!
Working conditions that let us do our job effectively!

What would be in a social justice contract?

The contract between UESF and SFUSD will expire at the end of the school
year. In the next year, educators will have an opportunity to argue for new
provisions and language that will become the standard for the district. We
need to think through the kind of social justice demands we want to put
forward. We should try to answer the question: What kind of schools do San
Francisco students and educators deserve?

Unfortunately, we also have a danger to face. The district may try to tie
evaluations to test scores or make way for more charter schools. They could
also try to break our solidarity by playing one group of educators against
another as they did in the last contract fight. We should be aware that
there is a national attack on public education and unions, which may be
brought home to San Francisco.

If we are going to be successful, we need to put forward an alternative
vision of the schools we want to see. We can’t do it alone. Your input and
ideas are extremely important. Come join the discussion as Educators for a
Democratic Union tries to articulate the vision for better schools and a
social justice contract.

Thursday September 12th at 4:30pm

Glen Park Library (2825 Diamond St)

Sponsored by EDU

“An Educational Hunger Games”

On Thursday night, EDU hosted a panel discussion with about 75 folks in attendance called “Does standardized testing improve our children’s education?”

We were excited for the last minute appearance of Jesse Hagopian, from Garfield High School in Seattle. He spoke at the beginning of the meeting about how they organized the boycott against the MAP test (this test sounds a lot like the CLA here in San Francisco). If you don’t know about it please check it out here.

He said the boycott idea came from a coworker who called him to meet up in his role as shop steward/Building Rep for his union at the school site. “She sat me down and said I’m not giving the MAP test.” “Okay, what can we do so you don’t get punished,” was his answer. The solution was to start organizing. They held small meetings at lunch in every department until they had critical mass. The next step was the whole staff. “We took it to an all-staff meeting and debated the pros and cons. I didn’t sugar coat it. If you decide not to give this test…, your livelihood will be on the line…. But a different teacher stood up and said, ‘this test is labeling me and my kids a failure and I’d rather be reprimanded for standing up for something I believe in than just letting this test run us over.'” After that, the staff voted near unanimously to boycott the test.

The panel was fantastic…..

Brian Jones (member of MORE in NYC, producer of The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman):
“Standardized tests as a tool of measurement are profoundly and extremely limited. You’re not measuring length or width with a ruler. You’re measuring a person and a person’s learning and assigning a number to it.”

“After ten years of high stakes testing we can see this isn’t bringing needed resources to improve education. It is instead, ‘an educational Hunger Games.'”

He explained how NYC schools are graded on a curve (something we’d never tolerate in the classroom) and the city announces ahead of time that 7% of the schools will get D’s and 3% of the schools will get an F.

“Race and class will always dictate the outcomes of standardized tests because tests are a cultural product that reflect the values and outlook of the dominant culture.”

“The tests are not being misapplied. The tests have been perfectly designed for their purpose, the privatization of public schools as we know them.”

He closed by saying that the obsession with data feeds the attacks on unions, feeds school closures to be replaced by charters, feeds the ideology of individual merit in our society. Tests teach kids early to “produce” and keep their “numbers up” and if they do not, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Lisa Schiff (Beyond Chron, member of Parents for Public Schools)

In San Francisco, we have open enrollment and parents are trying to choose the best schools for their children. While they may hear there are problems with the tests, test scores are there and parents don’t have a whole lot else on which to make their decision.

She said, “I actually don’t think my kids’ teachers know them that well, but how could they? They have 38 students in the class. It’s not the fault of the teacher. It’s not the fault of my kids. It’s the fault of this system.”

Talking about the tests can be a touchstone to start bridging the gap between the school culture and families.

Maria Lourdes Nocedal (member of EDU and a 4th grade teacher at Sheridan Elementary)

On a poster in the front of the room Maria Lourdes delineated each of the assessments she gives each year. She went through the 35 hours it takes three times a year to give an assessment she believes is very useful – the Fontas and Pinnell reading assessment. On top of that there are the assessments she writes for the subject matter she teaches, the district CLA, 3 times a year, the math Open Response component of the CLA, an additional open ended assessment that is graded by teachers. And finally the state tests – 5 hours total to prepare and give the writing assessment and 10 hours for the CST Language Arts and Math.

She shared letters from her students. “I don’t read the questions, even though you taught me to.” “I don’t think the test makes me smart because it’s about memorization.” Students reported feelings of being dumb, anxiety and fear about what the tests would mean for their future.

In closing, Maria Lourdes invited everyone to join EDU in a study group this summer. We’re reading Pencils Down. Our website will have info as we settle on dates, times and location.

Giulio Sorro (health and humanities teacher at June Jordan in SanFrancisco)


Giulio explained the history of June Jordan – a school intentionally created about ten years ago by families, nonprofits and teachers who wanted to bring a different model of education to a historically underserved community.

At June Jordan the focus is not on standardized tests, but on student portfolios. Students present and defend original research and literary analysis as a record of their annual learning. It is both an assessment tools and a right of passage for all students who come through their school.

He said without the “chain around your ankle of standardized testing,” their system allows teachers to be better. “We’re not in competition with each other and we’re not living in fear.” He explained that competition is an individualism that festers in both neighborhoods and students. Under the weight of standardizes tests “students become competitive with each other and schools become competitive with the next one, and what a good school is is just all about the data.”

“Social justice and standardized testing can not coexist. How do you measure a kid’s understanding of liberation with A. B. C. D.? You can’t do it.” He went on to say we cannot ignore that in San Francisco, African-American students do worse than black students in any other district in California. But this is an issue the district is silent on as it touts its high urban school district CST scores.

After Lowell high school June Jordan has the second highest percentage of kids going to college. Giulio closed by saying, “We have to re-spark that place of learning, because [high school students] been so done in [by testing]” that they have to find “that passion to open the mind.”

In our breakout groups folks spoke to the problem we have to deal with – parents, teachers and students have internalized and believe a school is good because of test scores. Many believe tests are a fact of life and are accepted to a certain degree.

Parents, teachers and former students spoke to the harmful effects of high stakes testing. Emotions were raw in response the helplessness and demoralization folks feel in the face of the testing onslaught.

At one school, teachers issued a letter with CLA test scores explaining the teacher critique of the test. But we still need to do some research to find out who in this city is making money off the endless testing and who is benefitting – because it is certainly not the students and not the teachers. One parent in attendance said, “I want the union to step up. Hell yeah to Seattle.”

We closed the meeting with a vote to meet again in the Fall and passed around a sign up sheet to get people on board for this summer’s study group. Please join us.

A great thanks to everyone on the panel and to everyone who attended and made this meeting possible. We hope to see many of you again at El Rio (Mission and Precita) on May 24th from 4 to 6 p.m. Come out and continue this important conversation.


EDU presents: Does Standardized Testing Improve Our Children’s Education?

Does Standardized Testing Improve Our Children’s Education?

Thursday May 2nd, 2013
From 6pm to 8pm
Mission High School
3750 18th st.

Guest speakers include:

Lisa Schiff is a parent of two children in SFUSD, is a member of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, the PTA, and a columnist for Beyond Chron. Click here for a recent article.

Brian Jones is a New York teacher, is a member of Movement of Rank and File Educators (M.O.R.E.), and co-narrator of an Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. Click here for a recent article.

Guilio Sorro is a San Francisco native and science teacher at June Jordan High school for Equality

Maria Lourdes Nocedal is a fourth grade teacher at Sheridan Elementary, on the executive board of UESF, an activist and member of EDU

Students, parents, friends and more!

All organizations are for identification purposes only!

EDU invites educators, students, parents and community members to participate in a town hall on standardized testing.
Please come out and join the discussion as we try to answer these questions (and more):

* What’s behind the push for more standardized tests?
* How are standardized tests affecting our schools and communities?
* What are the alternatives that actually help our schools and students and how do we fight for them?

Facebook event page: https ://www.facebook.com/events/445315065553048/

Vote for NEA and CTA state council – and fast!

Please take the time to vote for EDU candidates for the annual gathering of
the National Education Association (NEA) and to represent you for three
years on the CTA State Council! Your ballot should be mailed by Saturday,
March 23rd… at the latest! Your support helped strengthen EDU in our
local elections last spring. Your vote will help send social justice
educators to our state and national affiliates.
Thank you for your support.
Lita Blanc

*Green sheet*…* vote on scantron*

NEA CTA-3 year term
CTA- alternate

4. Andy Libson 29. Lita Blanc
12. Darlene Anaya 30. Andy Libson
16. David Russitano 36. David Russitano
17. Lisa Gutierrez Guzman 37. Lisa Gutierrez Guzman
18. Maria Lourdes Nocedal 38.. Maria Lourdes Nocedal
19. Rose Curreri 39. Rose Curreri

48. Rose Curreri

*Blue Sheet – NEA* ( Yes, you can vote for the same people again. An
individual who wins on both ballots will cede one spot to an alternate)

Darlene Anaya and Lisa Gutierrez Guzman

Larry Orloff Suddenly Removed From Election Committee

Larry Orloff has been on the UESF Election Committee since 2009. In the subsequent election cycle, President Kelly left his name off the list of prospective Election Committee members. The other Election Committee members rebelled and said they would refuse to be on the committee unless Larry were considered for reinstatement. And he was reinstated.

The Election Committee has consisted of six retired teachers who have developed a camaraderie had an enjoyable experience, and got their work done. This year (after many years of donated service) four of the people decided to resign from the committee. This left two members, including Brother Orloff.

When the position of Election Committee chair recently became available, it would have been natural for President Kelly to ask Brother Orloff to serve, as he is the last remaining member of the recent Election Committee core. However, President Kelly is seeking to appoint Liz Conley as the chairperson, despite the fact that she has no experience in running elections. At the same time Pres Kelly has sought to drop Brother Orloff entirely from the Election Committee. President Kelly didn’t even inform Larry Orloff that he was removing him. Instead, he had Sister Conley call him and inform him that Pres. Kelly was removing Orloff from the committee.

The reason that President Kelly is using for the attempted dismissal of Brother Orloff is that someone sent EDU envelopes and election flyers to Brother Orloff at the UESF office using SFUSD mail. This reasoning clearly seems like a ploy to get rid of Brother Orloff as he did not himself violate any UESF or election rules.

At the UESF Conference this past Saturday, March 2, 2013, President Kelly engaged in a conversation with Brother Orloff in which he agreed that being in a caucus was not a reason for dismissal.

UESF bylaws specifically state in Article 1V, Section 2: “At the March Assembly meeting, after nominations have been closed, the president shall appoint an Election Committee, subject to the approval of the Assembly”

We should act in the best interest of the Union and our members. This means keeping members who have served many donated hours on the EC, have been dedicated to their work and have no reason to be removed suddenly.

President Kelly appears to wish to remove Brother Orloff ahead of the appropriate review by the UESF Assembly @ its March meeting. We believe this is a partisan move and is not in the best interest of UESF.

Educators for a Democratic Union

Join EDU in the fight to save CCSF!

EDU has been getting involved in the struggle to save City College of San Francisco. Here is a leaflet that one of our members wrote and passed out n the CCSF campus to spread the word about the important struggle to save the largest college in the U.S.

by Larry Orloff (EDU caucus of UESF, taking 2 CCSF classes, retired High School Teacher*)
*for identification only

High School Seniors, Welcome to CCSF

If you decide to attend CCSF, you will be offered an excellent education. A few years ago, the New York Times ranked CCSF among the top 11 community colleges in the country. CCSF graduates outscore students from every other community college in California. It’s radiology department, for example, is rated first or second in the country. Its numerous class offerings (including free English learning), and its nine campuses spread around the city means it truly is a college for the community.

However, there is something you should know about CCSF. As we’re sure you’ve heard, we are fighting a battle to keep the quality of education high at CCSF. Even the ACCJC which is threatening to withdraw our accreditation says that CCSF’s educational program is excellent.

We’re sure you heard about the battle between the 1% and the 99% that the Occupy movement made famous. What you may not have heard is that US corporations and the capitalists that run them have $2 trillion in cash that they want to invest.

The problem is that there haven’t been good places to invest that money so they gamble in the stock market and in derivatives (risky bets on the money markets). The US and the European economies were shaken when the derivatives based on the housing mortgages collapsed. The US government decided to rescue these rich investors and to make the rest of us pay for it. Considering that the government is controlled by the rich, this is no surprise.

But now these capitalists have found a profitable place to invest their money: the $650 billion education industry. They started with public education with charter schools which are privately owned but get their money from our taxes. And they push testing which is run by big privately owned businesses, again paid for with our tax money.

Now they want to get into colleges and college loans: the average college graduate owes $27,000 dollars to these private lenders with many who owe way more than that. And the US government passed a law which doesn’t let you cancel those debts with bankruptcy until they are paid off. Private colleges accept students who take out loans to pay them but who often don’t graduate.

And no matter what college you attend, these privatization forces will be at work. It is why tuitions have increased so dramatically in the last few years. It is why the Federal and State governments around the country have cut their support for public colleges and universities.

The newest target is community colleges like CCSF. The private accreditation agency, the ACCJC has put us on probation and is threatening to close us down. They claimed that we don’t have enough money to pay for the school, but the voters of SF passed Proposition A by 73% and the voters of California passed Proposition 30 so there is enough money. But now the Special Trustee who’s paid $1000 per day, says he is not going to spend the Prop A money on keeping classes and preventing layoffs. This is a violation of the will of the voters and must not be tolerated. Again this shows that these capitalists are running the system for their own benefit and not for ours.

Students, teachers, union members and the community is fighting back against these attacks and we want to invite you and your parents or guardians to join us. The best education you can get is learning how to fight against the cutbacks to our standard of living.

Come to the Community Meeting to Save CCSF

SAVE CCSF COALITION Wednesday, February 6, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
CCSF Mission Campus, Room 109, 1125 Valencia near 22nd Street

EDU update on the fight to save CCSF

Great turnout at Save CCSF meeting yesterday. This is very encouraging in
terms of a good turnout at the March 14th Rally.

It will be important for all of us to start talking up this rally among
staff, students and parents.



Over 300 community members vote to take action to save CCSF
The tide is turning in the fight to save City College of San Francisco
(CCSF). Over 300 students, faculty, staff, and community supporters
crammed into an auditorium on Wednesday night for a community meeting
called by the Save CCSF coalition to collectively discuss how to save the
school from the forces of privatization and austerity. The standing-room
only crowd was buzzing with energy and eagerness to take action. The
meeting made the following key decisions:
a) To organize a mass rally at SF City Hall at 4pm on Thursday March 14 to
demand that the city take action to save the college and reverse cuts to
its classes, workers, and programs. (It was also decided to support the
student action on February 21 at 12:30 pm, Ram Plaza, Ocean Campus, CCSF,
as well as the union rally at the board of trustees meeting on the evening
of February 28.)
b) To adopt the following list of demands:
1) Save CCSF as an affordable, accessible, and democratic community college.
2) Reverse cuts to classes, programs, and compensation. Use Prop. A funds
as promised.
3) Fully fund CCSF and all public education by increasing taxes on the rich
and corporations. Stop privatization.
4) Stop the misuse of accreditation to impose austerity. Make accreditation
transparent and democratic.
5) Keep CCSF diverse. Stop re-segregation.
6) Stop union busting. Rescind staff and faculty layoffs.
c) To meet as a coalition on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. The
next coalition meeting will be February 20th at 6pm the Student Union of
Ocean Campus. (Constituency groups and committees will meet on the 2nd and
4th Wednesdays.)
d) To get more participation in the following committees: outreach, media,
action, lobbying, research, staff outreach, and teach ins. Contact
info@saveccsf.org if you would like to join a committee.
For more information:
text “follow saveccsfnow” to 40404