State Vocational Federation of Teachers

Calling for Uniform School Quarantine Policies

Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition leaders are urging Governor Ned Lamont create a clear, uniform policy regarding how school districts should handle quarantines and leaves in our public schools. Labor leaders in a January 8 letter said that too many districts are not following procedures established by health experts for responding to COVID-19 exposures. Those local school officials are jeopardizing the health and safety of their communities and the success of their students.
 
Click here for the coalition’s letter to the governor.
 

"No Going Back to Normal" in 2021

When I accepted a Connecticut People’s World Committee "Amistad Award" last month, I began my remarks by recognizing our members. They are the ones who are out there fighting the good fights and making — as Congressman John Lewis would have said — "good trouble." I credited our educators and school support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education professionals and public employees who have done amazing things over this past year.
 

Education Community: Shift to All Remote Learning Unless Stronger Protections Are in Place

With the surging COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) infection rate — the highest since May — consistent statewide safety protocols must be established and strictly enforced, along with uniform transparency in reporting and responding to cases, for schools. If that's not possible, Connecticut must shift to full-time remote learning until after the holidays. Those are some of the required statewide steps outlined in the Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition's "Safe and Successful Schools Now," report released today.
 

Educators Take to the Streets in Coordinated "Safety First" Car Caravan Rallies

From Stamford to Stonington, Hamden to Hartford, and more than two dozen towns in between, teachers, education personnel, students, parents and advocates today joined school "Safety First" car caravans. The purpose was to demand safety and health precautions — and much-needed funding — in Connecticut public school building reopening plans. 
 
Click here for video coverage of several actions.
 

Reminding Politicians Union Members Already "Saved the State Billions"

The news media last week thrust state employees' contractual benefits into the spotlight following Governor Ned Lamont's public remarks at his daily COVD-19 (novel coronavirus) briefing. His comments further renewed attempts by Republican legislators to push for unlawfully breaking collective bargaining agreements. Elected officials have clearly forgotten the significant labor savings already shoring up the state budget — and must adopt better policy choices than more concessions from union households.
 

Anxiety and Trauma Top Challenges Facing Students, Survey Finds

HARTFORD - Connecticut is ranked among the best states in the country for K-12 education; however, findings from a new 2020 CEA/AFT CT/WFSB survey should raise alarms. Teachers increasingly find themselves in unsafe work environments, encountering more children impacted by trauma or anxiety, and dealing with a persistent shortage of school counselors, social workers and other supports necessary for their students.
 
Click here for an executive summary of the results.
 

Safeguarding Public Structures and Taxpayer Dollars

The Office of the State Comptroller (OCS) in late December issued the first annual analysis of public employee union members' 2017 agreement to protect jobs and preserve services. Among the key findings; the pact has already netted nearly two billion for Connecticut's treasury. State employees three years ago exercised their collective bargaining rights to lay the groundwork for a projected long-term savings of over $24 billion.
 
Click here for the OSC's SEBAC 2017 agreement report.
 

Swearing-In Leaders Committed to a Union that's "Still Growing"

Leaders elected by delegates to AFT Connecticut's annual convention were last week officially sworn in to the offices they will hold through June of 2021. While most are continuing in positions they previously held, there were notable exceptions — including changes in secretary-treasurer as well as two jurisdictional and five at-large vice presidents (VP). All have track records within their local affiliates that demonstrate the strength of the "U and I in Union."
 

Keeping the Commitment to "Win-Win" Solutions

Republican lawmakers earlier this month hatched a last-ditch attempt to block passage of a biennial budget package by misrepresenting so-called "labor savings." They have since continued pushing a false narrative that public sector union leaders were negotiating "concessions" with the administration of Governor Ned Lamont. In reality,  nothing could be further from the truth; ongoing discussions have since January focused on "win-win" solutions, not more givebacks.
 

Boosting Our Strength, Overcoming Opponents' Tactics

Schemes to undercut America’s labor movement — epitomized last year by a U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision — have stalled, according to the latest federal labor data. Union membership rates last year remained steady, despite an escalating assault targeting the public sector workforce. AFT national, state and local leaders helped stem the tide by empowering new groups of workers and signing-up former "fair share" fee-payers as full members.
 
Click here for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2018 unionization data release.
 
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