Betty Forrester

UTLA/AFT Vice President

Betty Forrester taught for 33 years in South and Central Area schools, from pre-K through ninth grades. Before being elected to UTLA office, she spent 25 years at South Gate Middle School, focusing on literacy intervention. She is a parent of a daughter taught by UTLA members in LAUSD public schools.

Her UTLA activism includes serving as:

  • UTLA/AFT Vice President and AFT 1021 President (current)
  • UTLA/AFT Local 1021 Vice President
  • UTLA South Area chair 
  • Chapter chair, co-chair, and vice chair at South Gate Middle School 
  • UTLA House of Representatives member
  • South Area secretary and Steering Committee member 
  • UTLA Board of Director member for South Area
  • UTLA Secretary (2008-11)


On the state and national level, she has served as:

  • CFT Vice President (2009-current)
  • AFT Public Policy Committee member (2011-current)
  • County Federation of Labor Executive Vice President (2011-current)
  • CTA State Council and NEA Representative Assembly delegate (current) 
  • CFT and AFT Convention delegate (2000-current)
  • Fast for Families (for immigration reform 2013)

Forrester was among the 37 UTLA activists arrested for civil disobedience at LAUSD on May 7, 2009, in protest of the layoffs and class-size increases.

As a UTLA officer she represented the union on the all-LAUSD-union Health Benefits Committee to maintain current benefits through 2015. She chaired the UTLA negotiations committees that brought members two job restoration agreements, an agreement to stop outside operators from taking over schools under “public school choice,” and an agreement to keep individual members’ AGT scores out of the evaluation process. She oversees the joint affiliates’ charter organizing project and established the UTLA Center for Effective School Improvement (CESI) through a three-year AFT Innovation Grant.

Betty Forrester