Workplace Safety

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.
 

Labor History Lesson: No Mercy for Injured Workers

Laws to compensate working people hurt while on the job have existed since 1908 when first passed in Wisconsin, where today anti-worker politicians are aggressively rolling them back. AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy shared some little known labor history that illustrates the limits of an employer's mercy for injured workers in a recent "Vocational Instructor" column:
 

Tech Professionals at Danbury Hospital Recommit to Putting "Patients Before Profits"

Danbury - Surgical and radiologic technologists, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and respiratory therapists at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals yesterday voted to retain their union representation and resume contract negotiations with their employer. The decertification election was scheduled two weeks earlier following a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by a minority of employees within the group of approximately 260 caregivers.
 

"Say Something" to Prevent Another Tragedy

AFT Connecticut has joined our colleagues in the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators (CFSA) to support teaching students how to better recognize warning signs of violence. Last week our unions, along with additional education advocates, endorsed the "Say Something" program offered by Sandy Hook Promise, a national organization dedicated to safer, healthier schools and communities.
 
Click here to learn more about the initiative.
 

"Green Cleaning" for Safer Schools

The state's environmental protection and public health agencies have teamed-up to create a tool to help educators reduce their students' exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins in our schools. A new video campaign, "Wastebusters," was last month launched to debunk green cleaning "myths" and help teachers, school support staff, administrators, and parents avoid using hazardous cleaners, sanitizers or disinfectants.
 
Click here for the first "Wastebusters" video.
 
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