About Us

Overview

About Us

What is the California Federation of Teachers?

  • The California Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals affiliated with the more than 1.7 million member American Federation of Teachers, and through it with the AFL-CIO.
  • The CFT comprises the state’s 145 local unions chartered by the AFT. Each local is affiliated with its regional AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and the California Labor Federation.
  • Through its local unions, the CFT represents more than 120,000 educational employees working at every level of public and private education from Head Start to the University of California.
  • In all segments of education, the CFT is committed to promoting high-quality education and to securing the conditions necessary to provide the best services to California’s students.

Why is there a CFT?

  • The CFT was founded in 1919 to provide a labor union alternative for classroom teachers. To gain employee rights taken for granted by other workers, CFT lawyers and courageous teachers tested the courts again and again, building a strong body of case law. One observer said, “The AFT in California is responsible for having won 90 percent of the cases dealing with teachers’ rights during the 1960s.”
  • To provide essential workplace rights, the CFT in 1953 introduced the first teachers’ collective bargaining bill in the California Legislature. It reintroduced similar bills for the following two decades, until passage of the Educational Employment Relations Act in 1975 finally brought collective bargaining rights to K–14 teachers and classified employees working in public education. Since then CFT has represented these employees in professional and employment-related matters.
  • Three years later, in 1978, CFT helped pass the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, bringing the benefits of collective bargaining to university employees. Today the CFT represents lecturers and librarians at the University of California. 

What has CFT achieved?

  • PRE-K AND K–12 TEACHERS The CFT leads the state’s movement for quality education based on high academic standards for both students and teachers. Through the collective bargaining contract, AFT unions became trailblazers in establishing successful peer assistance and review programs, and other professional development, still in place today. CFT works to secure universal preschool for all California children as well as lifelong learning for adults.
  • CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES AND PARAPROFESSIONALS The union works to ensure that classified employees are recognized for the valuable work they perform. CFT believes the work of qualified school and college support staff is essential to building strong campus communities and enhanced student learning.
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE FACULTY Representing a majority of faculty in California, the CFT supports a strong core of full-time faculty and seeks to reach the system goal of having 75 percent full-time and 25 percent part-time faculty. To better the working conditions of more than 30,000 part-time faculty, CFT has worked in coalition to win equity funding to boost salaries. The CFT continues to seek legislation that will end the exploitation of part-time instructors.
  • UC LIBRARIANS AND LECTURERS The CFT organizes academic workers at the University of California and has negotiated one of the best contracts in the nation for non-tenured faculty.
  • PRIVATE SCHOOL AND COLLEGE FACULTY AND STAFF The CFT organizes education workers at private schools and colleges, Head Start, and job training centers who need a union on their side to secure the most basic employee rights.
Overview

Union Leaders

Every other year, delegates to the CFT Convention elect the CFT President, Secretary Treasurer and 24 Vice Presidents. The officers and presidents of the CFT division councils comprise the CFT Executive Council.

Overview

Local Unions

The CFT comprises more than 145 local unions. AFT local unions can be found throughout the state, from Lassen County in the north to San Diego in the south. Many locals employ their own staff.  

Overview

Policy, Positions and Resolutions

Each year, delegates to the annual CFT Convention debate and decide issues facing the Federation. You will find resolutions and constitutional amendments passed by each Convention at the bottom of this page.

This CFT Policies and Positions aids Federation officers, leaders, and activists in determining CFT’s legislative positions and Convention resolutions, and helps inform the community at large of the Federation’s policies. This version was adopted by CFT Convention delegates on March 24, 2018.

CFT Convention 2019

CFT Convention 2018

CFT Convention 2017

Overview

Community Partners

The union has partnered with numerous progressive community organizations that share common goals and philosophies with the Federation. By combining forces, CFT and its community partners have achieved significant victories, including passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, the voter-approved ballot measure that provided more funding for public services. Similarly, these coalitions helped extend those taxes four years later when voters approved Proposition 55. 

Overview

A History of the CFT

These histories cover the history of CFT from 1919 to 1989 and resulted in the book, 70 Years: A History of the California Federation of Teachers. Following the CFT history segments are histories of local unions, as submitted by the locals in 1989.

Overview

Contact Us
Reach CFT at union offices statewide

The Federation’s officers and staff work at the administrative office in Burbank, the governmental relations office in Sacramento, the Bay Area office, and four field offices in Costa Mesa, Oxnard, Fresno and Petaluma.

Administrative Office

2550 North Hollywood Way, Suite 400 
Burbank, CA 91505
818-843-8226, 818-843-4662 fax