AFT Local 2221

Promoting Professional Learning that Empowers Growth

The strength of our unions comes not from contracts or bylaws, but from the diversity and collective capacity of the nearly 30,000 women and men we represent. Our state federation's professional development (PD) program relies on both in order to offer a wide-ranging series of career advancement and labor leadership opportunities. Members of three divisions recently were asked to provide input and feedback for future course offerings as both new and previously presented workshops are scheduled in the coming weeks.
 

Responding to Attacks on "Our Rights and Freedoms"

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday issued its long-anticipated ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 lawsuit — one that favors billionaires out to destroy America's labor movement. The 5-4 decision overturned a four decades-old precedent and has long been the goal of a shadowy network of deep-pocketed political operatives. Here in Connecticut, union members gathered in Hartford to denounce this judicial attack on their freedom to negotiate a fair return on their work.
 

"U & I in Union:" Winning Labor Peace in the Workplace

The lion's share of analysis of current corporate-backed attempts to undermine collective bargaining rights have focused on their impact on employees' wages, health and retirement benefits. Yet, the ability to negotiate better working conditions often proves as valuable as regular raises or affordable medical coverage. In another example of the "union difference," we're sharing the story of how contract language for resolving conflicts provided recourse for a paraprofessional facing a hostile workplace.
 

Urging Business Leaders to "Take the High Road" to Achieve Growth

Leaders of Connecticut’s labor movement last week took a strong stand against attacks on working people in a wide-ranging presentation to the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth. Together, they advocated an approach that invests in public services and structures, makes Connecticut's tax structure fairer, and provides workers with the security and purchasing power needed for sustainable growth.
 
Click here for the labor panel's full slideshow presentation.
 

Demonstrating Solidarity in Professional Development

Among the many benefits enjoyed by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions is the opportunity to participate in career-relevant training, specialized education and advanced professional learning courses. Our state federation has in recent years increased the variety of topics, boosted the frequency of sessions, and expanded access to all of our diverse constituencies. To that end, leaders with distinct knowledge and unique skill sets have been tapped to serve as presenters for an increasing number of workshops.
 

Organizing to Defend Against a "Heartless Assault"

President Trump's decision last week to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program puts approximately 850,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children at risk. Many are public school educators, support staff, college instructors and faculty — as well as their students — right here in Connecticut. Our national union has teamed up with advocates to both fight back on their behalf and provide answers to their many questions about the impacts of this radical policy change.
 

Public Employees Converge on the Capitol to Defend Rights

With chants of "We Will Fight!," a crowd of nearly 1,500 on Friday took over Minuteman Park in Hartford to denounce lawmakers' proposals to silence the voices of working people. The rally was organized by members of unions representing Connecticut's public sector workforce as part of a series of actions throughout the day at the State Capitol complex. They came to resist 77 individual bills that, if passed into law, would roll-back collective bargaining rights and undermine state and municipal public service employees' pay and benefits.
 

Spotlight: Supporting Students' Educational Opportunities

Paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs) represent approximately 40 percent of the staff in our nation's public schools and play a vital role in reclaiming the promise of a great education. We're spotlighting union members who are "the engines keeping public schools running" at the same time that they are recognized nationally for the positive impact they have on students' lives.
 

Spotlight: Classroom Paraprofessionals

Leaders from several AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions representing hard-working school paraeducators in districts across the state this weekend are joining with their colleagues from throughout the country. They gathered in Las Vegas for our national union's professional issues conference for paras and school-related personnel (PSRP), which this year coincides with national Paraprofessional Appreciation Day on April 2.
 

Legislation Recognizing Paraprofessionals' Vital Role Advances

Paraeducators in Connecticut are applauding yesterday's bipartisan vote in the General Assembly's Education Committee in support of House Bill 5305, An Act Concerning School Paraprofessional Training. The proposed legislation would require school districts to provide at least one day of paid training and to paraprofessionals prior to the start of the school year. 
 
Click here for the bill's language.
 
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