Welcome back to the Spring 2020 semester! We expect it to be a busy one for the Guild, with our internal election, negotiations, AFT National Convention, March 3rd primaries, and the November 2020 election.
As we enter a new year and a new decade, along with its many opportunities for growth and success, we anticipate the reality of having to face toxic new threats.
One of our most serious challenges is the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that would allow taxpayer funding to go toward religious schools and legalize vouchers across the U.S. The Court’s decision could have repercussions worse than those of the Janus case. UCLA Labor Center’s Reverend James Lawson used the term "spiritual wickedness" to describe attacks by the White House and those who would privatize public institutions in ways we haven’t seen before.
We can’t rely solely on our legislators to increase funding for higher education. Everyone needs to organize and mobilize around “Schools and Communities First,” just as we did for the Prop 30 and Prop 55 campaigns, Student Success, and Schools and Communities First.
We have joined with our statewide coalition led by CFT, and locally, we’re working with our District Academic Senate to hold the District accountable. We also need to be aware of forces that pretend to have our interests at heart but whose long-term goal is to destroy public education. These include organizations that have misinterpreted AB 705 and would deny students who did poorly in high school a second chance to improve their skills. We also need to be on the lookout for individuals who send us flyers in the mail attacking unions, hoping to diminish our ability to fight for improvements in our working conditions.
But there’s new energy in the Guild and we’re fighting back against these threats. We’re hopeful that the $3 million from the District and the $5 million that individual campuses have claimed to have spent on remediation will counter the effects of the Chancellor’s misguided implementation of AB 705.
We need your voice! We need your activism!
AFT 1521 President