Welcome, New FCPS Employees

I’d like to welcome you to a new school year!

As the new president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, it is my honor to work towards meeting our union goals.  As an introduction, I am a twelve-year educator with Fairfax County.  I taught at Keene Mill Elementary for six years, first as a special education teacher and then a third grade teacher.  I spent three years at Lorton Station Elementary, teaching fifth and sixth grade.  Upon beginning my doctoral work at George Mason University, I moved to Lake Braddock Secondary School, where I taught special education and mathematics.  In addition to my school year work, I have also had the privilege of working as an Extended School Year teacher for ten summer sessions, a Young Scholars teacher, a Summer Enrichment teacher, and a curriculum writer.  Education is my calling, and I look forward to the progress we will make together for staff and students.

The job of an educator became more challenging since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’ve heard the words, ‘pivot,’ ‘concurrent,’ and ‘pause’ more times than ever before.  Through it all though, we have persevered.  That is to be commended.  Whether you spent this summer working for a summer program, working another job, relaxing on a beach, or catching up on tasks at home– I hope you found time this summer to rest.  You’ve earned it!

Please remember the hard-fought victories we’ve won in the past year:
  • We finally won the step increase and 4% MSA we’ve deserved after two years of step freezes;

  • We won an additional step to honor the experience and longevity of ALL members of the Fairfax school community.

  • Significantly increased pay for substitute teachers;

  • The 2022-2023 calendar was adjusted to reflect the recognition of 4 additional religious days. Now new material can be taught on ‘observance’ days;

  • Mobilized at the statewide level to help curb an anti-worker and anti-public education legislative agenda during the 2022 General Assembly session;

  • Rallied together with FEA to form the Alliance of Fairfax Education Unions to push the School Board to enact a robust collective bargaining resolution for all;

  • Added special education chairs at the elementary level to better support teachers and students;

  • …and the small victories we all have each day.
     

We know that these wins will fuel us in the fights ahead.  With a new superintendent and assistant superintendent of human resources, this is an excellent time to let our voices be heard. The victories we won this year are important, but we have a rare opportunity to win collective bargaining this year - allowing you and your colleagues to have a say in your contract for the first time since 1977.  Union membership is more important than ever.

YOU ARE THE UNION!

We are a member-driven union.  As a member of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT), AFT Local 2401, you have an important role in the direction of our union and its future.  How can you be involved?

  • Join a committee!  We have committees for Pay and Benefits, Planning Time, Special Education, Support Staff, Educator Shortages, and more!  See a topic that needs a committee?  Reach out to our organizers at organizers@fcft.org or to myself at dpwalrod@fcft.org.

  • Be a building representative.  Our worksite teams rely on member outreach!

  • Join our Organizing Committee to help plan and prepare for rallies, events, and organizing drives.

  • Join us for our social events!  In August, we’re hosting a virtual wellness happy hour with yoga and art activities, a pool party, and more.  Come help or come relax!  Bring a friend!  

  • As the year goes on, look out for happy hours and meetings of the newly-formed Union Crafters, a social gathering of members who knit, crochet, embroider, and more! The first meeting is scheduled for September 17.

With your support, we can make this a terrific school year.  We can create a better Fairfax for all students and educators!

In solidarity,

David Walrod
FCFT President

FCFT's  2021-2022 

YEAR IN REVIEW

Download FCFT's 2021-2022 Year In Review PDF to learn about our highlights and wins over the past year.

FCFT is our union of FCPS employees who have, over the past 49 years, come together to address all of our individual needs and problems collectively. Whether you’re a bus driver, a custodian, food service worker, IA, counselor, specialist, teacher or other staff, you can have a say over your work–you can be empowered–if you stand with one another. And that is FCFT. We are the union for all non-administrative FCPS employees, and we stand together to make sure every last one of us has the resources, training, and support we need for our work and our students to thrive. 

What does it mean to be an FCFT Member?

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Lyndsie G., School Based Technology Specialist: “After virtual learning I understood that being part of a union means strength through having a unified voice... Working through FCFT has given me a platform for advocacy and confidence in being an advocate.”

Nonye O., IB Coordination Teacher: “The union has provided me with professional development to understand what I’m expected to do and how to act as a professional, which has been very impactful for me as an educator.”

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Larry L., Physical Education Teacher, “Bottom line, being with FCFT gives me the opportunity to make a difference.” 

As an FCFT member, you’ll be supported by union staff trained in FCPS policies and regulations and adept at bringing people together to organize for change. Union staff can guide you when you face issues on the job. But being in a union isn’t just about support and protection, it’s also about working for change. As a member-driven union, FCFT members are involved in activism and organizing to make FCPS better. 

It’s a vital time to join FCFT. We organized to protect students, families, and staff by making sure the county’s reopening plan is safe and science-based. Now, in Virginia, we have the chance to win collective bargaining and secure the rights of tens of thousands of FCPS employees to negotiate collectively with their employer. This is a huge opportunity to bring employee voice, fairness, and justice to our district.

If you believe in advancing the mission of public education, then stand with your fellow educators, specialists and educational support professionals and become a member of FCFT. We are part of the larger American labor movement, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million members and the AFL-CIO, and we are working to bring collective bargaining rights to all non-administrative FCPS employees because we’ve seen it: we’re all stronger when we stand, speak, and bargain as one.

 

Join us by filling out an application here


 

or by emailing organizers@fcft.org.

And browse our website for more information!

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Join a committee!  We have committees for Pay and Benefits, Planning Time, Special Education, Support Staff, Educator Shortages, and more

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Become a Building Rep

Be a building representative.  Our worksite teams rely on member outreach

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See a topic that needs a committee?  Reach out to our organizers at organizers@fcft.org