Thursday, May 3, 2012

We're running for election!!

Check our our CANDIDATES page at:

(published in April)
SFUSD has a $50 million surplus yet is demanding over $30 million cuts.
The district bankrolled their unrestricted and restricted funds from the last round of contract cuts three years ago. Now they are asking for more. Here are some of SFUSD’s proposals:

Layoffs: 495 certificated and classified total, while other Bay Area districts are proposing significantly fewer layoffs
Union Busting: blatant disregard of seniority while imposing layoffs
Additional Furloughs: SFUSD is proposing 5 per year; other districts in CA are giving furloughs back Class size increases: K -3 and Special Education
Para Hours “Smoothed Out”*: each para will work 5.5 hours regardless of current schedule or student needs
Pre-K hours slashed: Pre-k school year will be cut by 27 days, equaling a $4300 (10%) pay cut for EED/CDC educators
Elimination of Preps: High School AP and Department Head preps cut
Sub cuts: elimination of CORE Subs and Sabbaticals

 SFUSD is bullying us!  EDU believes the best response is to fight back. That means everyone in UESF organizing at our sites and UESF preparing for a strike. UESF’s “Enough is Enough!” campaign is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not enough. The campaign calls for multiple actions, culminating in a May 10th membership meeting. However, the May 10th meeting agenda is intentionally vague; they hint at initiating the strike vote process, but remain noncommittal and ambiguous. This is not leadership. UESF needs to call the strike vote meeting on May 10th, tell the members what it is and why we need to take this step, and organize all UESF members to attend and vote on May 10th. All the actions on the pledge card will have maximum impact if they culminate in the threat of a possible strike.

 Therefore: ** EDU urges all sites to circulate the UESF “Enough is Enough!” pledge cards. We urge all members to attend the May 10th meeting. This is the only way we can send a clear message to SFUSD that we are ready to take decisive action and we are prepared (if necessary) to strike.* ** EDU recommends your site pick at least one other action to organize around and attend before May 10th. It could be weekly leafleting or attendance on the April 24h demonstration, or it could be to work to rule. It’s important your site discuss and do something together.* Our schools, our students and our union cannot afford to wait and see what is going to happen. SFUSD is taking decisive action to attack our union and cut our schools and we must take decisive action to fight back now! Contact EDU EDU would love to hear from you! We want you to join the struggle. Get in touch for more information or to arrange for EDU members to visit your work site, UBC or divisional meeting to talk about our campaign.

Contact us for more information or to join our meetings:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

EDU : Our Actions Speak For Us

Since its formation in 2009, EDU has brought a critical voice to the UESF Executive Board and Assembly. We are active in defending our coworkers at our school sites and in working with families to get our students the resources they deserve. EDU members are principled unionists who have been active in UESF for many years; we are also active in the San Francisco Labor Council, helping to lead the work on Tax the Rich measures.

o EDU holds elected positions on the UESF Executive Board; we advocate for transparency and hold union leadership accountable to members.

o EDU activists were the key organizers of the Mission feeder march on March 4th, 2010, which brought out thousands of families, students and educators in defense of public education.

o During the contract fight of 2010, EDU activists raised the demand: NO CUTS/NO CONCESSIONS.

o In the fall of 2010, EDU pushed UESF to organize publicly against the anti-teacher film: Waiting for Superman.

o In early 2011 we jointly organized “Visions of Reform,” a panel co-hosted with Teachers for Social Justice.

o In the winter of 2011, EDU worked in the UESF Elementary Committee to get UESF to oppose MAP testing (now CLA) in all divisions.

o In the spring of 2011, EDU brought a resolution to the UESF Assembly to request a bus for members to go to the May 9-13th week of action in Sacramento.

o On May 9th EDU joined students, labor and community activists in Sacramento; under the banner of TAX THE RICH/ FUND OUR SCHOOLS, six EDU members were among the seventy
arrested who spent the night in jail.

o In August, 2011, EDU took the initiative of getting UESF to oppose PALS testing in grades K and 1.

o EDU members have been involved with Occupy San Francisco since the beginning.

o As contract negotiations approached this fall, EDU activists continued to call for NO CUTS/NO FURLOUGHS/NO LAY-OFFS.

o Since January, we have urged UESF to mobilize members in support of our bargaining team and have called for transparency in report backs from the bargaining table.

EDU meets monthly at either the Ingleside or Glen Park public library.

Next Meeting:Wednesday May 9, Glen Park public library, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

accessible by BART, 44, 23, 52 MUNI

EDU is also running a slate of candidates for the Executive Board and for UESF officer positions.

Lita Blanc for President

Andrew Libson for Vice-President

Lisa Gutierrez Guzmán for Secretary

Darlene Anaya for Vice-President of Substitutes

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Last chance to vote for EDU convention delegates

Support EDU candidates for the CFT and AFT conventions and the NEA Rep Assembly

(see candidates names below)

We are committed to mobilizing together with families, students, and labor to fight budget cuts and the nationwide attack on public education and working people.

We pledge to organize now to demand that SFUSD use its $58 million in reserve to prevent layoffs and rescind furlough days.

In the CFT we pledge to oppose the governor’s plan to pay for education through a sales tax increase that hurts working families. We support the Millionaires Tax and will continue to fight to make corporations pay taxes to fully fund public services.

In the NEA and AFT we will fight any attempts to allow teacher pay and evaluation to be linked to student test scores. We stand for authentic assessment for students and evaluations designed to improve practice, not to punish. We support demands to defund U.S. wars and occupation; money for schools, not for war.

You should have already received your ballot by mail. Ballots are due in the UESF office by Monday March 12, 5 p.m. Please take a moment to vote EDU!

Vote for CFT delegates:
Andrew Libson
Darlene Anaya
Jessica Hobbs
Lisa Gutierrez Guzmán
Lisa Lee
Lita Blanc
Magdelena de Guzman
Marilyn Cornwell
Matt Bello
Rose Curreri
Tom Edminster

Vote for AFT delegates:
Andrew Libson
David Russitano
Kay Hones
Lisa Gutierrez Guzmán
Lita Blanc
Magdalena de Guzman
Matt Bello
Nina Lawit
Tom Edminster

Vote for NEA delegates:
Andrew Libson
Darlene Anaya
David Russitano
Lisa Gutierrez Guzmán
Lita Blanc
Magdalena De Guzman
Matt Bello

contact us for more information or to join our meetings:
on the web:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Our power comes from informing and organizing our members and the
community. To effectively struggle against SFUSD's "pro-cuts" in
bargaining, it is important to inform and involve all UESF members.
Over 2000 UESF members filled out the bargaining surveys. Shouldn't
UESF members be able see the survey results?--or at least an outline
of their reflected concerns and priorities??

To get a fair contract, UESF has to take the initiative to make sure
the Millionaires' tax gets on the ballot and start preparing our
members for workplace actions, including “work to rule” and possibly a
strike. This will take focused organizing at our sites - and at the
district and state level.

We will need to have an informed and empowered membership that can
convincingly take this fight to the street. We are part of and serve
the 99% and this is no time for business as usual. Our livelihoods and
the education of the young people of San Franciso are at stake.
Together with communities we serve, we can protect the right to a
quality public education.

Support EDU Executive Officers in the upcoming UESF election:
Lita Blanc for President

Andy Libson for Vice President

Lisa Gutierrez Guzman for Secretary

Darlene Anya for Vice President of Substitutes

Upcoming Events:

Fundraiser Jan 20th 6-9pm @ 88 Park St. SF CA

School Board Meeting Jan 24th 6-8pm @ 555 Franklin

Next Meeting February 9th 430pm @ Ingleside Library

March 1st Local Day of Action @ TBA

March 5th-8th Week of action in Sacramento

Friday, February 24, 2012

Notes for UESF February Assembly

Notes for UESF Assembly (Feb. 15)

Attendance: 55 – 65


Contract discussion on Health and Safety

*Division Reports:*

Elementary School

High School

Paraprofessional Issues

Retired Division

COPE and community outreach


Support Mar, Campos and Avalos for Supervisor

Support Re-election of Tom Ammiano

Legal Support for enforcing Special Education Provision

Resolution on March 1st and March 5th

*President’s Report – Report on Negotiations with District*

*Vice-President – CTA State Council*

* *

*The Red Flyer –*

The assembly was framed by a flier passed out in the parking lot by
members of PLC in the parking lot. One side was PLC's slate for the
CFT. The other side was a vicious attack on EDU for organizing people
with posters saying “No Layoffs!”, “No Furloughs!”, and “No cuts!” to
the Board of Ed. Meeting last month. This action was labeled
undemocratic and divisive .PLC went on the attack calling us
“Educators for Disunity and Defeat” and asking “Do EDU candidates plan
to continue to undermine winning a fair contract for 6000 UESF members
in their attempt to win office?”

Much of the assembly was colored by this bombshell. Much of the assembly
was colored by this opening and many of us were busy figuring out how
should we respond and if so where was appropriate in the meeting and what
should we say?

Michelle I. kicked off the election process and talked about the elections
committee. Cynthia L. asked about where can complaints about tone and
content of campaign literature can be addressed.

I will also say that many of the anger and frustration which came out in
March 1st discussion was largely in response to the PLC attack. Finally,
EDU waited to the Good of the Order to basically say that “we are running.”
That we will not be bringing the election into the gutter and that we urged
the PLC to carry itself in a more professional and principled for the sake
of having an election that invites member participation. There is no doubt
about it. The election has started!!!

*Elementary School Committee Report* – Piloting of addition of ELD
standards for report cards. A handful of schools will be piloting ELD
standards on the report cards next year. Participation by individual
teachers is supposed to be voluntary and will be compensated by some modest
extended hours pay.

*High School Report* – It seems High Schools are being hit with lots of
expectations around School Loop, CLA testing and assorted responsibilities.
But no real information on how UESF is planning on responding.

*COPE *– UESF will be working to do signature gathering for the
Millionaires Tax which is very positive. EDU had considered putting
forward a resolution to all for this but UESF is planning to be proactive
on this despite lack of CTA support. This is good and EDU should
participate in Millionaire Tax signature gathering. There was also talk
about fighting “Paycheck deception” which is an attempt by the right-wing
to make it harder for unions to collect dues from its members.

*Reso’s on Support of Mar, Campos, Avalos and Ammiono* - These candidates
have been supporters of progressive causes and education (compared to
others), but the only thing that struck me as odd was that there was no
Assembly vote for our endorsement. Jeremiah J. made a point to ask that
candidates who were presented to Assembly should have a scorecard that we
can all see based on their stance on the issues. Dennis said he would
refer this to the COPE committee which I think meant “not a chance”

*March 1 and 5th* – Lita B. was asked to present on a reso. Which called
for UESF to aggressively build for March 1st and get a bus for March
5thgoing to Sacramento.
Before she could get to the front Dennis called the reso “Moot” because
UESF already endorsed March 1st and was going to join AFT2121 on their
buses for Sacramento. Lita B. made sure to point out that UESF in fact was
not being as aggressive as we needed to be to vigorously build March 1st by
the small number of flyers at the meeting. Comparison were made to March 4
th and how UESF showed more vigor around it. Ken T. said they only knew
about for a few days, but Matt B. pointed out that was not true and they
had know for about a week and half.

Questions emerged about “why the tension?” and this is where Noah W. spoke
to how it was reprehensible that good union activists are being attacked
for building fight back. Maggie D. made a spirited defense of EDU and
others asked when would we get the flyers if not at the Assembly?

*Bargaining Report* – Dennis reported that the district has 55$ in
reserve for the unrestricted general fund and and additional 23$
million in reserve for restricted funds but would still be calling
for about 300 layoffs. SFUSD seemed to want to add another furlough
day for a total of 5 per year / step freezes / AP prep lost / getting
rid of sabbaticals and a host of other concessions were asked from
UESF by SFUSD. UESF is saying currently “we will not be participating
in cuts”. That seems good but there is as yet no information on how
we will be waging this fight to stop the district’s attack. In
addition, Dennis reported that UESF strategy was to raise issues that
had no ‘price tag’ to them.

These issues were:

1. elimination of a language around the consent decree which is no
longer enforced.

2. establishing educator priority in having their own children
assigned to schools

3. adequate supplies for teaching( note: this is actually a big monetary

4. elimination of standardized testing, not used for anything but
curriculum taught (????)

When asked what members could do to support the bargaining team,
Dennis replied " Wear your T shirts and attend the March 9 UESF

There are also rumors that SFUSD will be limiting layoffs in the SIG
zones which would be very divisive if true. EDUers pressed UESF to get
this information out to members in a clear manner which highlighted the
attack and our need to respond. To date, it is not clear if UESF
leadership is listening. They seem fixating on limiting what UESF puts out
for fear that SFUSD will know. How that could matter is beyond me but
seems to be the mantra for keeping our members uninformed and uninterested
in bargaining. It is still not clear what UESF’s plan and time-line for
waging a contract campaign is.

*Vice President Report - *

CTA State Council – Linda P. reported on the work UESF did in the LULA
Caucus to push CTA to back the Millionaires’ Tax (or dual endorse Brown’s
and Millionaires’) but they were unsuccessful even though allied with
Oakland and sections of UTLA. I think UESF has done good work in the LULA
caucus and is waging the good fight inside CTA took make it less lame and
exclusively electoral and so tied to the Democrats.

* *

*Analysis –*

Election has started. Woo Hoo!! But I will cite what Karen Z. wrote in
response to how we should respond to PLC attacks on EDU.

*ah, the mudslinging... let me just say this is a great sign. PLC
considers you all a political force (although i have old ties to EDU, i've
not been involved so long that it feels wrong to say "us"). their response
is political, and they've framed it that way.

as someone whose been involved in now 2 successful campaigns (John's
mayoral bid was a success as we hit almost all our political goals), the
mudslinging is a great sign. the absolute best response you can provide is
to not respond. if you fire off something, no matter how principled or
righteous, you will look like you've stooped to their low. when john was
attacked by his political "challenger" in the D11 sup campaign, it was the
nail in the coffin for his rival. His campaign responded with nothing but
highroad messages and sticking 100% to the message which was this is a
person with vision, with integrity and with knowledge. you don't want to
show that anything will ruffle your feather or take you off your course of
serving educators, providing a voice for change and challenging the status
quo so that our students and our communities and ourselves have a better

congrats! -kz*

Our message needs to be clear. We need to oppose any cuts, any shared
sacrifice and any more furloughs or loss of staff. We need to be prepared
to mobilize our membership for actions like March 1st and March 5th and
then putting pressure on the District by preparing our members for starting
the strike vote process and let SFUSD know we will not be just sitting back
while they call all the shots. To do this, UESF will need to really
educate our members about what is at stake and the resources that SFUSD
already has.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Assembly Notes for 1/17/12

Notes on Assembly (1/17/12)

Attendance: 75 – 80


Report on Survey

SFUSD Proposal on Bargaining

UESF Proposal on Bargaining


March 1st and 5th + Millionaires Tax

No Cuts, No Furloughs Resolution

Presidents Report

Vice-President Report

Despite the fact that this Assembly was billed as a ‘truncated’ meeting due
to UESF emphasizing that we needed to be done in time to get to the Diane
Ravitch event, the Assembly was fairly well attended.

UESF Reported the result of the survey as written below:

The information on the bargaining survey was very general. Reported as


*Automatic cost of living increases were the clear top issues for both
certificated and classified members. For paras, being included in paid
professional development days rank high. For certificated members
establishing firm class size limits stood out.*

* *

*Working conditions*

*Classified members ranked clear guidelines for handling student discipline
high. For certificated, the big issue for working conditions revolved
around evaluations. First, ensuring that standardize test results remain
off limits and also using clear standards as a basis for evaluations.*

* *

*While both units want an end to furlough days, a solid majority agreed
that avoiding layoffs should be give the highest priority. *

* *

*The written comments generally reflected these answers. A number of
comments however were directed at the survey itself, calling it confusing
and not ‘user friendly’. In response to the concerns, UESF is considering
updating and upgrading “Scantron equipment” to allow for the use of a
different kind of form, among other possible solutions.*


Lita B. asked about why the bargaining results were not being made
available. ( as had several EB members at the EB meeting). Dennis
reiterated that they didn't want to have the info floating out there in the
public but said that if " if you have a real need to see the results' they
could probably arrange something at the UESF office. So, I think a few
EDUer's should ask to see them . Anyone interested in going down with me
some afternoon?

The Resolutions calling for endorsing the March 1st Day of Action in
defense of Public Education and Social Services, the March 5th Occupation
of Sacramento and the Millionaires Tax went through easily. I had
submitted an early resolution to be considered and Susan S. and Ken T. had
submitted a very similar resolution that mirrored a SF Labor Council
resolution. It was our job at the meeting to spot the differences and add
them to Susan and Ken’s Resolution from the floor we were able to amend the
resolution to include and endorsement of the Millionaires’ Tax (and to urge
CTA to support it at the upcoming State Council) and make a donation of
$250 to Occupy Education NorCal. This all was done without opposition or
any reason to debate which was good.

EDU’s resolution calling for a rally at the Board of Education on Jan.
24thwas more contentious.
I was surprised to see it on the agenda given that the EB had voted it down.
Lita B. re-motivated the idea of UESF building a big presence at the Jan. 24
th Board of Ed.. PLC countered that the resolution was undermining the
bargaining team’s authority to call actions in response to the contract. EDU
members countered that having members at the Board of ED meeting would be a
good kick off to our contract campaign and would support our UESF’s call to
wear UESF blue shirts on Wed. Jan. 25tth. The discussion had just got
started when the chair said we were out of time and would need to vote on
continuing the debate. Assembly voted to close debate and Assembly voted
to not support rally on Jan. 24th (Reso lost 14 - 18).

President report talked about Jan. 25th shirt day for UESF in support of
first day of bargaining. Also, Dennis K. mentioned the sunshining UESF and
SFUSD bargaining proposals on Jan. 24th at Board of Education.

* *


Overall, this meeting was done so quickly (it ended at 5pm) and hour before
necessary for getting to the Diane Ravitch event, that I think it is clear
that UESF leadership wanted to rush this meeting to minimize the chance for
members to discuss what we were fighting for around our contract and HOW we
were fighting for it. It was positive that UESF was willing to so readily
support March 1st , 5th and the Millionaires’ Tax. The question it raises
is will UESF really get behind the actions or is this window dressing. Ken
T. indicated that the UESF leadership saw March 1st as important start of
organizing around our contract, and approaching Jobs With Justice on
working on a coordinated action. If this is true, that is positive and EDU
should jump on board of any good proposal for an action on March 1st.

The discussion around the Jan 24th Board or Education showed there was
interest beyond EDU to have a good membership turnout. I was surprised to
see it on the Agenda given it was voted down. My sense of why it was there
to show that EDU was acting to undermine the authority of the bargaining
team. I think this did not work and EDU members spoke to how this
resolution worked with the bargaining team not against it.

Susan S. while speaking against the 24th proposal said something about how
" it was wrong to run the union by resolution instead of by committee." So,
in some way, the leadership was saying that they preferred having
decisions made
by appointed committees rather than by the assembly, which remains the most
democratic structure of our union.

I think this points to another significant difference between EDU and the
current leadership. We actually want to have the members involved and
making decisions while they want to relegate the members to showing up once
in a while when asked to.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Isn't it time to talk about the contract?

Did you know our union contracts expire June 30, 2012? Educators for a Democratic Union (a caucus of UESF), believes it's past time for UESF classified and certificated members to engage in the discussion now!
• What's important to you in our next contract?
• Talk to your co-workers and come to our next general meeting

Some priorities EDU members have discussed for our upcoming contract are:
• No more furlough days; re-instate the four furlough days we lost
• No class size increases; firm up contract language and set hard limits on class size
• Significant wage increases for classified members whose pay and hours are well below a living wage.
• Increased District contribution to the health care costs of members with dependents
•UESF consultation with SFUSD prior to implementation of assessments/tests or introduction of new tools: PALS, MAP/CLA, School Loop, Data Director, etc.
• No evaluations based on standardized tests
• No merit pay

We will hear that these demands are unrealistic in these economic times and that we need to do what's best for the students. However, the money is there:
• California is the eighth largest economy in the world
• Over half of California corporations pay no taxes
• SF has more than $30 million of uncollected business taxes

We need to begin to strategize within UESF. EDU invites you to get involved now!

This fall teachers in Tacoma, Washington faced 1.9% pay cuts, class size increases and a teacher evaluation system that would bypass seniority. Tacoma educators rejected this and organized a 10-day strike that defied the will of the school district and state court injunctions. And they won: they stopped the pay cuts, maintained class size limits and won full paychecks despite the missed work.

Can San Francisco educators win the contract we deserve? We can...
...if we begin the patient work of building solidarity at our schools and in the community.
...if we educate and prepare for unified action at our sites, including work-to-rule and possibly a strike.