“We carry the world’s most precious cargo!”

May 19, 2013


Every day during the school year, approximately 22.5 million children hop aboard 400,000 yellow school buses to start their day of learning. Ask any bus driver their No. 1-priority and the answer is always the same.

waitingforbus“It’s all about safety. Student safety comes first,” said Rebecca Scheel, a bus driver with Gilroy Unified School District. “We carry the world’s most precious cargo!”

Being safe is part of the job for bus drivers. As the most trained people on the road, school bus drivers maneuver 30-foot buses through a variety of traffic and weather conditions every day. And their commitment to safety doesn’t end there. Bus drivers (read more) are also another set of eyes to watch for student safety. Valarie Flanagan, a bus driver with the Garden Grove Unified School District, once saved a lost 4-year-old boy who had wandered onto a busy Westminster street.

“It’s not just the children that are on my bus,” the Garden Grove Chapter 121 member said. “If there’s a child outside the bus that doesn’t have anything to do with me, I’m still going to be looking out for their safety.”

The above is selected material from CSEA

During CSEW, I plan to continue with more profiles and stories about the work that we do.

Re-Elect Michael Bilbrey for CalPers Board

May 19, 2013




2013 Board Member-At-Large Election

From CalPERS:

An election is being held to fill the two Member-At-Large representatives (Position A and Position B) for the CalPERS Board of Administration. The term of the incumbents, Joseph (JJ) Jelincic (Position A) and Michael Bilbrey (Position B), will expire on January 15, 2014. The new term of office will begin on January 16, 2014 and run through January 15, 2018.


It takes 250 signed and validated CalPERS member signatures to return a name to the ballot. On Tuesday, May 14, Michael submitted 10,833 signatures. He is overwhelmed with gratitude toward those who have signed his petitions and those who have worked so hard to collect them.


You are eligible to vote in this election if you are a CalPERS member active as of July 1, 2013 or a retired member (excluding survivors and beneficiaries) whose effective date of retirement is on or before July 1, 2013. A ballot package will be mailed to your home address on August 30, 2013 and you can vote for a candidate through September 27, 2013.

About Michael:

Michael Bilbrey has been a CalPERS member for more than 21 years and works as a Bookstore Operations Coordinator at Citrus Community College in Glendora, California. Michael also serves as the 1st Vice President of the California School Employees Association (CSEA), which represents more than 220,000 classified employees in California’s public schools & community colleges.

Since being elected to the CalPERS Board in 2011, he has served on the following committees, broadening his knowledge, and expertise: Performance, Compensation & Talent Management, Chair; Board Governance; Investment; Pension & Health Benefits; Risk & Audit

Michael is Co-Chair of Labor United for Universal Healthcare, a coalition of more than 40 unions and labor-allied organizations and works diligently on Health and Welfare issues for CSEA members and their families. He is also a member of the UCLA Labor Center Advisory Committee.

At CSEA, Michael is chair of the CSEA Investment Committee, where he oversees a multi-million dollar investment portfolio for the union’s special fund and pension fund.  Chairing these committees has provided Michael the experience and skill to move seamlessly onto the CalPERS Board of Administration and deal with issues related to investment, corporate governance, asset management, health care benefits and cost containment. Michael also served on the CSEA Budget Committee, as Chair of the Health Care Task Force, and as the State Administrator for Los Angeles Unified School District CSEA Chapter 500.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Please support Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS Board of Administration!

For more information, e-mail: bilbrey4calpers@aol.com,
or call (818) 502-3869.

Classified employees keep students safe every day

May 17, 2013


Special Services

Security, technology and everything in between

From campus security  to computer programming, classified employees provide many specialized services to school districts and colleges statewide.

School resource officers and other security personnel (read more) give students and staff peace of mind so they can focus on what really matters.

As schools increasingly depend on new technology, classified employees (read more)are instrumental in keeping our schools running smoothly. They perform data-entry work and even write custom software programs to meet the specialized needs of our schools.

Classified employees contribute to public education in a wide range of other (read more)capacities. Depending on the specific needs of the district, classified employees do everything from migrant services and financial aid to warehousing, shipping and receiving.

These extraordinary workers are getting the essential work of our schools done.

The above is selected material from CSEA

In the following days, I plan to present more profiles and some stories about how we work and have lives. The following is presented through our affiliation with AFL-CIO.


Machinists Honored for Boston Bombing Response

Kenneth Quinnell

Three members of Machinists (IAMLocal 264 in Boston were honored for their bravery and quick thinking in response to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. John Foley, Dave Litif and Mike Rown, who were volunteering at the finish line of the marathon, immediately moved to tear down barricades around the blast site to help people leave the area and began treating the wounded.


‘The city was under siege and our union members were right there,’ said Local 264 President Jim Mastandrea. ‘They didn’t hesitate to get right in there. They knew that people needed help and they responded. I am so proud of these members. They were fearless in their reaction to the situation.’

The three Machinists were recognized with special medals made by fellow Local 264 member Chris Fernald to commemorate their actions.

 ‘District 15 is honored to claim these guys as members of the Machinists Union,’ said District 15 DBR Jim Conigliaro. ‘Their actions truly epitomize the meaning of self-sacrificing for others.’

Essential Work, Extraordinary Workers

May 15, 2013


Classified school employees are the extraordinary workers who do the essential work in our schools and community colleges every day.


Let’s Celebrate You and All You Do!

May 15, 2013

For Our Classified School Employee Week


Click The CSEW Tab


For Prizes and Details

Check your school/ work site mailbox for your flyer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

at the ESC 4999 Casa Loma Ave

we are astonished at what is chosen…

May 14, 2013

Since CSEA’s founding in 1927, members have strived to make their communities aware of classified employees’ contributions to public education.


From the time students board a school bus to the time they head home at the end of the day, every aspect of their educational experience is impacted by a classified school employee.

Classified school employees play crucial roles in education. From transporting and feeding students  to teaching them vital skills and ensuring that schools are operating smoothly, classified employees are integral to public education.

Whatever the reason that CSEA members became classified employees, they realize they can enrich the lives of students, not only by performing their duties exceptionally well,  but also by serving as friends, mentors, role models and guardians.

Classified school employees interact with students on a daily basis for years, so forming a trustworthy bond is inevitable. In most cases, classified school employees know the faces and names of the students. They inspire students, joke with them, cheer them up and give them advice.

“CSEA members never hesitate to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the students they serve not only receive the support they need to learn, but also to serve as positive role models and to ensure that students know they have someone they can confide in at school,” Association President Allan Clark said.

Celebrate Classified School Employee WeekPrint

California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions. This year, that week is May 19–25.

In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.

Andre Maurois