September 2015 Advocate: Strategic Campaign Initiative organizers on the move


Strategic Campaign Initiative organizers on the move

By Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President & Strategic Campaign Initiative Lead Organizer

Our unKatharineMichelleCheering-webion received a second year of funding from the CFT’s Strategic Campaign Initiative (SCI) project, providing Katharine Harer and Michelle Kern (in photo at left) with the precious commodities of time and resources to carry out member and community outreach for our local. Last year we met with over 50 faculty members, designed award-winning new members’ materials and sexy swag to share with our teachers, and signed up many new members to COPE (Committee on Political Education).  COPE gives us a legal way to help fund the election campaigns of candidates for our Board of Trustees.  (See the article on our recent Board endorsements.)

Part-Time Medical Stipend Campaign

Additionally, in the first year of our SCI grant, we were prime movers and shakers of the Part-Time Medical Stipend Campaign – strategizing with our Executive Committee (EC,) making flyers, writing up calls to action and organizing a successful presentation to the Board of Trustees to support the work of our negotiating team. The result is a temporary improvement in the healthcare stipend (from $600/semester to $1000/semester for three semesters) and a commitment by the union and the District to do the right thing for our district’s over 700 PT faculty by fall 2017.

This year we will continue to reach out to newer part-time and full-time hires through individual visits just as we did last year.  We will come bearing tote bags full of gifts and COPE sign-up forms!  Look for emails from us so that we can arrange our visits with you.  We are also continuing to work on the part-time healthcare issue, educating our part-time colleagues about the stipend that is currently available and helping them to apply.  The more part-timers who sign up to use the stipend, the better our argument to the District that part-time faculty need help paying for their healthcare.

Public education conference collaboration with K-12 teachers to be held March 19, 2016

We have also been collaborating with the Jefferson Elementary and Jefferson High School unions in Daly City to organize the first-ever public education conference:  Schools Our Children Deserve set for Saturday March 19th, 2016 at Skyline College.  This gathering is designed for families in North County — parents and students – as well as for community members, teachers and staff from pre-K through community college.  The morning will start on a strong note with keynote speaker, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, followed by two rounds of breakout sessions covering issues and information relevant to the elementary, secondary and community college experiences.  Go to to register and learn more about Schools Our Children Deserve. Registration is FREE until February 1st!


Community Connections Survey

And there’s more:  your indefatigable SCI organizers will be sending all faculty a quick and easy Community Connections Survey to find out more about your involvement in the larger community.  This will aid us in our efforts to create stronger ties with community groups that are working to make our county a better place.  Issues around education, housing, food security and immigration, to name just a few areas, impact our students daily.  Our union wants to be more connected.  Please help us by filling out the survey when you see it in late September/early October.

We look forward to meeting as many of our members as possible.  See you soon!