State Vocational Federation of Teachers

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.
 

Spotlight: Educators Delivering "Tomorrow" for CTE Students

A high quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) is increasingly being deployed as a tool to resolve mounting fiscal and workforce challenges facing our state and country. Preparing students to be both college and career-ready for high-demand jobs is an effective response to a fragile economy and employment insecurity. During the month in which the annual recognition of CTE is observed nationally, we're spotlighting union members here in Connecticut who prepare their students to "own tomorrow."
 

Public Sector Compensation Myths Debunked

A respected non-partisan research organization has exposed a deceptive attack on Connecticut public employees designed to diminish the effectiveness of the vital services they deliver. An Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study released last week discredits oft-repeated claims by anti-union special interests that public-sector workers in Connecticut are “overcompensated."
 
Click here for the study.
 

Spotlight: Computer Science Educators Drive Innovation

Educators in the field of computer science understand that their students learn skills that are both vocational and foundational. Related jobs are in every industry and represent the top source of new wages in the U.S. The discipline also relies on core fundamentals like problem solving, logical thinking and creativity. As international Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) comes to a close, we're spotlighting union members who believe every student should learn how to understand the technology that drives innovation.
 

Urging Federal Officials "Level Up," Not Shift Away Education Resources

The signatures of more than 5,100 AFT members across the country concerned over implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last week were delivered to the federal education department. They accompanied a letter from our national union president regarding proposed "supplement-not-supplant" regulations that threaten to "wreak havoc on thousands of schools" and the students they serve.
 
Click here for the language of the petition.
 

Building the Movement to Reclaim Our Schools

Nearly 3,000 delegates to our national union's convention last month heard advocates share their conviction in the value of building community-level coalitions to achieve true educational justice in America. It's an approach long-embraced by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions — which will again be demonstrated in October during coordinated local actions to "reclaim our schools" across the state.
 
Click here for more on the October 6 "walk-ins."
 

New Federal Testing Proposals: Praise, Caution & Action

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) earlier this month proposed rules regarding student testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation's new law governing public education. Included in the July 7 announcement were plans for a pilot program that states will likely be able to apply for in the coming school year. The news drew both caution and praise from union leaders -- along with a renewed call to action ensuring that the law's promise as a "reset" of federal education policy continues.
 

Labor History Lesson: The Grape Boycott

Through building strong partnerships with the community and practicing non-violent civil disobedience, Cesar Chávez organized immigrant agricultural workers to win hard-fought dignity and respect from their employers. In a recent recent column for his local union's newsletter, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy takes us back to 1970 for the lessons of the Delano grape boycott:
 

Spotlight: Connecticut State Employees, Part II

Last month's union member spotlight featured three public employees concerned about the devastating impacts of a proposed austerity state budget then under consideration by lawmakers. A package that makes deep cuts to vital public services has since been passed by the legislature signed into law by the governor. This month we sat down with three of their colleagues to learn more about the challenges facing a state workforce under increased pressure and operating with reduced resources.
 
Click here for our previous post spotlighting Connecticut state employees.
 
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