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MHFT Newsletter -- March 1, 2017

Negotiations Update

While we were unable to reach a settlement, a considerable amount of work was done at the February 15 mediation session.  The mediator made a proposal for compensation that he believes is fair to MHFT and the District. He directed both sides to present this to their leadership (our Executive Council and the School Board). If both parties agree to the mediator’s proposal, he believes that we can reach a settlement soon.

MHFT held a special meeting of the Executive Council in order to get guidance from our leadership. The Negotiations Team would like to thank our Building Representatives for their candor in representing our members. Please remember that, for mediation to be successful, we must make sure that confidentiality is maintained.

The District will discuss the mediator’s proposal with the School Board at the March 7 board meeting, after which both sides will report back to the mediator, and next steps in the process will be determined.

We understand that this process has been frustrating and long, but the Negs Team has worked hard as a united and strong team to represent each of you.

Community Organizing
Not My President Rally - February 20

More than 100 people showed up in a downpour on Presidents’ Day to protest the opening of the new I.C.E. office in Morgan Hill. MHFT members were joined by community groups from throughout the Bay Area and AFT members from Pajaro Valley and Santa Cruz to make sure that immigration officials know we will protect our families.

Speakers included community members from Morgan Hill and Gilroy, as well as Morgan Hill City Council Members Rich Constantine and Rene Spring.

Power of Words - February 28

A small group of community members and students were able to experience the Power of Words presentation by Silicon Valley Faces. We learned how words affect us and how we can use them to destroy or uplift others.

Town Hall with U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren

Saturday, March 4
10 - 11:30 am
Morgan Hill City Council Chambers

Congresswoman Lofgren wants to hear from her constituents about the Affordable Care Act and immigration. We also want her to know that we support public education in Morgan Hill, and oppose its privatization through the continued expansion of charter schools and vouchers.

CFT Convention

Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2
"Organize. Resist."

Nominations are open now through March 7 for delegates to the CFT Convention. Election of delegates will be at your sites March 13 - 15. MHFT has 12 delegate slots.

Workshops will deal with specific issues like "Restorative Justice" and "Organizing and Political Activism."

On March 31, Cesar Chavez’s birthday, there will be a march from the convention to the I.C.E. Office in Sacramento.

MHFT President Gemma Ables will run for a CFT Vice President position as part of a slate with the current CFT Leadership.

MHFT Scholarships

Every year, MHFT awards modest scholarships to graduating seniors who are going on to attend college in the fall. Recipients must be children or dependents of current or retired MHFT members; it is not necessary that they attend high school within our district. Applications are available at, and are due April 13.

MHUSD Teacher of the Year Nominations Open

MHUSD’s Teacher of the Year is nominated by his or her colleagues, and selected by MHFT Executive Council. We are always proud to honor one of our own outstanding teachers as a representative of the professionalism and dedication that is brought into so many of our classrooms every day.
Please look around you, and consider nominating a deserving colleague. Selection criteria and nomination forms are available at Each site is asked to submit a single nominee each year. Building Reps will coordinate this process. Completed applications are due April 13.

Contract Reminders

Shared Contracts Due March 1
Evaluation Deadlines  
April 1 Administrative Evaluation:
1 formal observation completed
  Peer Based Evaluation:
Peer observations are completed
  Project Based Evaluation:
Projects & supporting documentation given to evaluator
May 1 Administrative Evaluation:
Evaluator gives unit member copy of completed Standards Checklist with Narrative Summary
  Peer & Project Based Evaluations:
Members give evaluator copy of completed Standards Checklist with Narrative Summary
May 15 Evaluators must meet to discuss all documents with member

Day of Action January 19

Thank you to everyone who turned out for this event. There was lots of good community information, and it is important for us to have a positive presence in the community that is broader than just our classrooms.

Speakers included elected officials, Superintendent Betando, community members, and leaders of local business organizations.

The message at this event was that Morgan Hill is an inclusive community that welcomes diverse groups. Participants were encouraged to become active and to contact elected officials.

CFT Leadership Conference February 1 - 2

MHFT was represented by Gemma Abels, Andrea Kusanovich, Lori Shoemaker, Nancy Altman, Andrea Pecsok, Teresa Colbert, and Jen Myers.

  1. Visited with local legislators from the Bay Area to discuss local issues and upcoming bills that affect education.
  2. CFT is sponsoring several bills that will affect our members already:
    1. Districts would be unablle to charge for New Teacher Induction Program
    2. Ban on for-profit charters
    3. Making at least some part of maternity leave a paid leave (not paid sick leave)
  3. It was announced that San Francisco City College won their fight against their accrediting agency & that San Francisco is now the first city to provide free community college to all residents.

EC/TK-K to 12 Division Council

  1. Local chapter presidents met to discuss contracts.
  2. CFT announced plans to work with other community groups on a May 1st action.
    1. Labor has several May Day actions that are longstanding.
    2. We will work with both CFT and other local groups to plan something.
    3. We need to focus some part of this on the anti-public education and anti-union policies.