AFT Local 3837

Winning Long-Overdue Respect for State Employees

Union members late last month celebrated the announcement of an immediate end to the terms "essential" and "nonessential" in public references to the state workforce. The news followed the labor movement's coordinated efforts to resist language that had for years devalued thousands of working women and men across Connecticut. More than symbolism, the executive order replacing the antiquated terminology demonstrates the true strength of the 'U' and 'I' in 'union' at a critical time for all public employees.
 

Gearing Up to Defeat a "Let Them Eat Cake" Approach

Less than three months after its inaugural meeting, the legislative Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth last Friday released its draft recommendations (below) to the General Assembly. Considering the panel's domination by corporate executives, their proposals are unsurprisingly heavily tilted in favor of the ultra-rich. Still, their plan to silence the voices of Connecticut's working men and women are cause for genuine concern — and a call to action.
 

Fight for a Fair State Budget Moves Forward

Following intense pressure to reject a damaging state budget narrowly adopted by lawmakers two weeks earlier, the governor on Thursday vetoed the toxic fiscal package produced by Republican legislative leadership. The action came after unions joined advocates for demonstrations and speak-outs across the state demanding better choices than failed and painful austerity policies. Our members played a vital role, turning up their efforts following a telephone town hall last weekend where the focus was on planning our next steps.
 

Spotlight: Making a Proper Diagnosis Possible

The general public has in recent years begun to appreciate the important work of forensic scientists, thanks in large part to popular Hollywood-produced television series and feature films. In the real world, their effectiveness depends on a team of skilled lab technologists behind the scenes. As the week recognizing the contributions of forensic professionals comes to a close, we're spotlighting a public employee who delivers these vital services while also helping educate future physicians.
 

State Employees Vote to Secure Jobs, Extend Benefits & Protect Services

Union members gathered in Hartford earlier today to announce that a strong majority of their colleagues have ratified agreements to shield against layoffs and preserve their healthcare and retirement security. The news came at the conclusion of a three weeks-long period in which approximately 25,000 state employees voted by a 5 to 1 margin to accept negotiated cost savings. In addition to a master agreement covering pensions and health benefits, union members also ratified 33 individual five-year contracts, retroactive to July 1 of last year.
 
Click here for the master agreement approved in June by union leaders.
 

Advancing the Fight for Safe Hospitals and Health Facilities

As advocates build on progress in achieving safe staffing levels in Connecticut hospitals, community clinics and school-based health centers, a bill setting national standards has been introduced in Congress. Federal lawmakers last month raised legislation ahead of national Nurses Appreciation Week that promises to save lives and empower nurses to nurture their patients. Union members who have long fought for appropriate staffing ratios see the bill as progress that promises greater workplace safety and improved patient outcomes.
 
Click here to urge your members of Congress to support the proposal.
 

Working Hard to "Prevent an Economic Disaster"

News that layoff notices for as many as 1,100 state employees will be delivered this week is causing considerable anxiety and frustration for union members and the public they serve. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the job cuts in late April — despite ongoing efforts to urge better choices than slashing vital services or the workforce that delivers them. Since then his administration's budget officials have warned of worsening deficits, adding urgency to a deepening crisis.
 
Click here for our previous update on the layoffs announcement.
 

State Employees Defend a Voice for All Working People

Thousands of union members last week packed the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford to express their opposition to a dozen bills threatening a voice for all working people. The legislation — all sponsored by Republican lawmakers — drew condemnation from a diverse cross-section of the state's labor movement. Public employees in particular turned out in force to denounce the most egregious proposals jeopardizing their fundamental collective bargaining rights.
 
Click here for press reporting on the legislative hearing.
 

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

The Challenge of Precarious Labor in Higher Ed

The landscape of America's working world continues to shift, with the number of unstable — and, often, part-time — jobs, low pay and exploitative conditions increasing at a rapid rate. At a daylong Washington, D.C., conference earlier this month, union leaders, policy experts and academics examined the contingent labor force and how to ensure fair working conditions for all. Much of the discussion centered on the issues impacting higher education adjunct faculty and graduate student employees; two groups participating in a "day of action" next month here in Connecticut.
 
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