Share This

MHFT Newsletter -- March 29, 2016

Negotiations Survey

Please go to and fill out the negotiations survey, if you haven't already done so.

This information helps us to prepare our positions and interests for negotiations, and it is also good data to share with the District. It helps us to have a strong position if ALL OF OUR MEMBERS take the survey.

Contract Negotiations Update

The Negotiations Team takes seriously its responsibility to bargain for ALL of our members, and we continue to ask for your issues, concerns, and ideas.

Thank you to all of you who came to a recent site meeting; we believe it is important for us to maintain personal contact with our members in order to facilitate understanding, and we very much appreciate your taking time out of your busy day to meet with us.

We will begin negotiations with the district on March 31.

CFT State Convention Report

Gemma Abels (MHFT President), Lori Shoemaker (MHFT Treasurer), Andrea Kusanovich (MHFT VP ), Terri Eves-Knudsen (MHFT Staff Rep), and Nancy Altman (MHFT TOSA) attended the CFT Convention in San Francisco earlier this month. In addition to making important professional contacts and hearing from inspirational leaders, at the convention we contemplate current issues in education and receive information that helps us to provide the best services to our members.

Congratulations to the following people, who received awards at this year's convention for their exceptional contributions to our students, our profession, and our organization:

CFT Women in Education Award

MHFT President Gemma Abels & Past President Theresa Sage for the Charter School fight

MHFT Pride of the Union Awards

  • Emerging Leader: Jen Myers
  • Dedicated Unionist: Chris Mink

Contract Spotlight: Trust Agreements

Any site wishing to make an agreement outside of our contact must have 100% of staff sign off on the agreement and submit to Human Resources by May 2, 2016. Please contact the Federation Office if you need assistance.

Teacher of the Year Nominations

Due April 8

Every school is invited to nominate one teacher to be honored each year for his or her dedication to our students. We know that there are many, many outstanding teachers across the district, and we are always so proud to hear about those who are nominated as examples of that excellence. Nomination forms can be found on the MHFT website. Please remember that each site needs to agree on a single nominee.

MHFT Scholarship Applications

Due April 8

MHFT awards modest scholarships to graduating seniors who are going on to college and are dependents of MHFT members or retirees. It is not necessary for these students to be attending high school in our district. Application instructions are posted on the MHFT website, and are due in the MHFT office on April 8.

Annual Spring Social & MHFT General Meeting

May 5

Please save the date and plan to attend. It is important that we take some time to connect with each other, and to receive important updates about issues that impact all teachers.At this gathering, we will also announce our scholarship recipients, and celebrate our Teacher of the Year honoree from each school, along with the recipient of the district Teacher of the Year award.

Prop 30 Petitions

THANK YOU! to all the members who gathered signatures to help put the Proposition 30 Extension on the November ballot. The Prop 30 Extension will help ensure that schools remain fully funded.

Signatures will also be gathered at a booth at the Wildflower Run on April 3. If you would like to help out at the booth, please contact Gemma Abels at

COPE Update

Earlier this month, Gemma Abels, Lori Shoemaker, Andrea Kusanovich, Jen Myers, Joanne Markowska, and Jeanie Wallace attended the South Bay Labor Council's COPE Awards dinner in San Jose. Besides celebrating the work of labor activists who have given extraordinary talent, time, and energy to the cause of working families, we heard one message loud and clear: this is not the time for apathy! We all need to work to protect and improve conditions in our society.

In our district, this means that we need to be engaged with the community in selecting new school board members who are true supporters of public education, and who will help overcome the dysfunction of the current board.

If you would like to sign up for a monthly donation to our MHFT COPE account, please contact MHFT Treasurer Lori Shoemaker. And if you'd like to join the COPE Committee, please contact Andrea Kusanovich.

District Year-End Budget Deadlines

Please be mindful of the following deadlines, in order to ensure reimbursement for your expenditures:

(March 24) was the deadline to submit tech purchase order requisitions
April 1 all other (non-technology) purchase order requisitions; reimbursement requests for all travel & mileage as of 2/29
April 8 all personal reimbursement requests for expenses incurred as of 4/8
June 3 all petty cash must be turned in; June time sheets must be hand delivered to the D.O.
June 10 reimbursement requests for all travel & mileage expenses incurred after 2/29; all personal reimbursement requests for expenses incurred as of 6/10
June 30 end-of-month paychecks will be mailed
July 31 end-of-month paychecks will be mailed

Teachers at the Mic:
Building Strong Learning Environments

Thank you to Nordstrom for presenting to the Board at the beginning of the month.

Next up:
San Martin-Gwinn: April 5
PA Walsh: April 19

Please plan to attend when it is your school's turn. It is good for the Board members to see the faces of the district's teachers.

Upcoming Dates

March 28 Easter Holiday
March 31 Negotiations
April 3 Booth at Wildflower Run
April 5 School Board Meeting
April 6 School Boundaries Committee
April 7 Executive Council
April 8 Submissions for Teacher of the Year & MHFT Scholarship Applications
April 11-15 Spring Break
April 19 School Board Meeting
April 23 Innaugural MHFT Friends & Family Festival