Workplace Safety

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.
 

"U & I in Union:" Helping Members "Get Through a Tragedy"

The labor movement's founding principle of mutual assistance provides working people both a sense of obligation and source of consolation. That is particularly the case following episodes of workplace violence, when values like support, solidarity and resilience are needed most. We're bringing attention to a PreK-12 teacher who has stepped forward to comfort educators impacted by gun violence and amplified her voice to prevent future senseless tragedies.
 

"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."
 
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