State Vocational Federation of Teachers

Demanding Responsible School Safety Solutions, Not More Guns

State Senator Michael McLachlan last week outraged educators when he embraced President Donald Trump’s proposal to militarize the nation's schools. At a forum hosted by the Northern Fairfield County Association of REALTORS in Danbury, the incumbent Deputy Minority Leader answered "yes" when asked if he supports requiring firearms for teachers. His position has angered union members in McLachlan's district, which includes Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman, and across Connecticut, who expect their elected officials to make better policy choices.
 

Joining the Call for a "Moral Revival" in Connecticut

Members of affiliated unions have for years engaged in grassroots community and faith-based efforts to tackle discrimination, poverty and inequality where they work and live. Several local social justice organizations allied with AFT Connecticut have begun coordinating state activities in the "Poor People's Campaign (PPC): A National Call for Moral Revival." State federation leaders last month took steps to be part of this movement, rooted in the unfinished work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

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.
 

"U & I in Union:" Putting Collective Action Theory into Practice

Sharing personal stories that demonstrate union members' collective strength can be an effective tool in mobilizing a strong defense of hard-won rights and fundamental freedoms. In the face of escalating attacks by special interests seeking to sow discord and division among working people, they take on added urgency. To that end, we're lifting up examples like this story of how the "union difference" prevented an economic disaster for a veteran public employee's family.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Fighting Forward in 2018

The planning process for any group can seem a bit like sausage-making. Without a roadmap, however, it is impossible to move forward when faced with escalating challenges on multiple fronts, from Hartford to Washington and in local communities across Connecticut. That's precisely why state federation leaders last summer embarked on a comprehensive effort to develop a strategic plan to build a more active and engaged "union of professionals" in 2018.
 

Educators to Lawmakers: "Our Students Can't Wait"

Legislators today convened in Hartford to restore funds cut in last fall's compromise budget package for a program serving low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities. Their fix, however, relies on "savings" from decreased state contributions to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS); an occupational tax imposed on Connecticut educators. At the same time, the budget's failure to fully fund public schools, coupled with additional cuts proposed by the governor to mitigate ongoing shortfalls, threaten to shortchange students' futures.
 

New Year's Day - Or Groundhog Day?

During this time of giving and reflection, a new opportunity has emerged to help move toward a more prosperous future for all. Most Connecticut politicians have for the past two years refused to ask millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share to protect and preserve our state's quality of life. But passage last week of massive, permanent federal tax cuts for the nation's rich and powerful offers hope in 2018 for reclaiming needed resources on behalf of working families.
 
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