Welcome back to the spring semester! As we embark on our journey into 2021, I wish you and your families a Happy New Year and hope that you enjoy it in good health. This month, Guild members will be joining with colleagues virtually at all our campuses to honor Black History Month and to welcome the Lunar New Year.
The Guild has been engaged in efforts to develop acceptable standards for returning to campus. Our mantra continues to be: Testing, Tracing, Appropriate PPE, Ventilation and Vaccinations – prerequisites for in-person teaching. Although guidelines keep changing daily, we are monitoring the County Department of Health Services’ website to know when it’s our turn to get vaccinations so that we can move forward with discussions with the District about returning to classrooms -- but only when it’s safe to do so.
In 2020 we met the challenge of pivoting to remote learning, protecting faculty by negotiating a series of MOU’s with the District. We concluded our collective bargaining efforts with a new contract containing many improvements. We celebrated a successful political campaign to elect all four of our endorsed candidates for the LACCD Board of Trustees.
Our success at the bargaining table and the ballot box wouldn’t have happened without you – our members. As we prepare for future challenges, we’re counting on you to reach out to your faculty colleagues to increase our membership and ensure our strength to continue winning advances for all.
Be sure to save the dates -- March 26-27 -- for the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) virtual convention. We encourage you to be a delegate because only delegates can vote, although all members can attend. Nomination forms to be a delegate have been sent via email and U.S. mail. If you have moved recently or have a new personal email address, contact Reyna Gonzalez at email@example.com to update your contact information.
You may notice that we’re still calling our newsletter Real News. Despite that fact that the inspiration for its title was our former U.S. president’s paranoia about the honesty of the news media, we are keeping it. As we are tragically aware, our country is still dealing with those who spread fake news and those who believe it. The horrifying insurrection that took place on January 6 in Washington, D.C. showed that this year would not be predictable. Nevertheless, the peaceful inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris serves as a symbol of our hopes for a better 2021!
AFT 1521 President