Workplace Safety

"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.
 

Fifth Anniversary of the Sandy Hook Tragedy

The Newtown community is this week honoring the 26 children and educators who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In a first official local commemoration since the tragedy, a photo display paying tribute to each of the victims has been installed at the town's municipal center. Leaders of our affiliated union representing the district's teachers yesterday gathered to observe the exhibit and remember their brave colleagues who five years ago today died protecting their students.
 
Click here for press coverage of the photo display.
 

Educators Respond to Growing Stress on the Job

A survey of nearly 5,000 public school educators released last month by our national union found rates of anxiety to be twice those of working people in other professions. Most respondents said they face disrespect by local, state and federal policymakers and elected officials. By contrast, educators in school districts that foster collaboration reported lower stress levels and higher retention rates. The results mirror those of a survey of AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members conducted earlier this summer.
 
Click here for a full report on the national survey's results.
 

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.
 

Demanding Answers from Judge Gorsuch

The Senate's Judiciary Committee on Monday will convene confirmation hearings in Washington, D.C. for President Trump's nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The impact of the eventual vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's bid cannot be overstated. That's why union members are joining with consumer, social justice and women's rights advocates to ensure federal lawmakers fulfill their constitutional "advice and consent" duties.
 
Click here to urge Connecticut's U.S. Senators demand Judge Gorsuch reveal where he stands on the issues.
 

Caregivers Win National Standard to Reduce Workplace Violence

The U.S. labor department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) earlier this month took a major step toward protecting the nation's healthcare and social assistance workforces. The agency's assistant secretary accepted a petition urging the development of a federal standard for reducing workplace violence submitted last summer by a coalition that includes our national union.
 

Spotlight: Connecticut State Employees

As the week set aside each year to recognize the nation's public service workforce comes to a close, we're highlighting several state employees concerned about Connecticut's future. Each plays a unique role in contributing to our state's quality of life, but they all share similar worries over proposed budget cuts to safety, health and education services.
 

Where the Front Line Meets the Bottom Line

Hundreds of nurses and health professionals last week gathered in Washington, D.C. to raise their voices on the issues affecting frontline caregivers and their patients. They came to the nation's capitol for AFT's annual Professional Issues Conference (PIC) and Labor Academy for hospital and healthcare workers. More than 30 members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions were among the attendees for this year's event, organized under the theme "Where the Front Line Meets the Bottom Line."
 

"More Must be Done" to Prevent Workplace Violence

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that violence is a daily and growing threat for America's 15 million healthcare workers. Union members from Connecticut last week joined other caregivers and elected leaders for the formal release of the congressional watchdog's comprehensive study. Among its findings are escalating rates and severity of workplace violence in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the nation.
 
Click here for press coverage of the report's release.

 

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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