Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU)

"U & I in Union:" Beating the Same Forces "Coming After Us"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail wrote that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The civil rights leader's statement on the value of solidarity remains true today, especially for immigrant communities. We're sharing an example of a higher education professional engaging union members in direct action to win justice for a student's family threatened with being torn apart by deportation.
 

Helping Members Beat Back Student Debt

Across the country last year, staff and leaders from our national union held scores of clinics to guide thousands of members toward relief from the weight of their student loans. AFT Connecticut at the same time organized training sessions to help affiliated locals offer the workshops themselves, exponentially increasing the number of those that can benefit. Soaring student debt may seem like old news, but for current and former students locked in its grip, it feels relentlessly fresh and relevant.
 
Click here for our previous report on the clinics' launch.
 

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.
 

Spotlight: Meeting Diverse Needs in Higher Ed

Most students in Connecticut's public community colleges are likely unaware that the majority of their professors may be non-tenure-track adjunct faculty. Despite their more precarious circumstances, these instructors are an integral part of the team that provides pathways to both gainful employment and future learning opportunities. During the week set aside to raise awareness of campus inequities, we're spotlighting a union member who began her higher education career as an adjunct and knows their worth firsthand.
 

Spotlight: Building the "Backbone" of the Community's Healthcare

Business leaders in Connecticut are increasingly reliant on the faculty in our state's public colleges to train and educate their future employees. Despite this growing need, many elected officials have reacted to mounting fiscal challenges by disinvesting in a proven source of effective and efficient workforce development. During the annual recognition of our nation's public service workers, we're spotlighting a union member who helps her students today prepare for good jobs tomorrow, despite mounting challenges.
 

Cutting Jobs "No Way to Achieve Prosperity"

The Malloy Administration today announced contingency plans for possible workforce layoffs, despite ongoing informal discussions with leaders of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC). The exploratory talks have since last fall focused on mutually beneficial solutions for closing current and future state budget shortfalls. The possibility of further job cuts adds urgency to collective efforts to demand better choices than failed policies that have already negatively impacted Connecticut's quality of life.
 

Public Employees Converge on the Capitol to Defend Rights

With chants of "We Will Fight!," a crowd of nearly 1,500 on Friday took over Minuteman Park in Hartford to denounce lawmakers' proposals to silence the voices of working people. The rally was organized by members of unions representing Connecticut's public sector workforce as part of a series of actions throughout the day at the State Capitol complex. They came to resist 77 individual bills that, if passed into law, would roll-back collective bargaining rights and undermine state and municipal public service employees' pay and benefits.
 

The Challenge of Precarious Labor in Higher Ed

The landscape of America's working world continues to shift, with the number of unstable — and, often, part-time — jobs, low pay and exploitative conditions increasing at a rapid rate. At a daylong Washington, D.C., conference earlier this month, union leaders, policy experts and academics examined the contingent labor force and how to ensure fair working conditions for all. Much of the discussion centered on the issues impacting higher education adjunct faculty and graduate student employees; two groups participating in a "day of action" next month here in Connecticut.
 

Spotlight: Computer Science Educators Drive Innovation

Educators in the field of computer science understand that their students learn skills that are both vocational and foundational. Related jobs are in every industry and represent the top source of new wages in the U.S. The discipline also relies on core fundamentals like problem solving, logical thinking and creativity. As international Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) comes to a close, we're spotlighting union members who believe every student should learn how to understand the technology that drives innovation.
 

Reigning-In Predatory For-Profit Colleges

Leading the charge to clean up exploitative policies and practices hurting students in higher education — and costing all taxpayers — is a new report released last week by our national union. Among highlights are the 2014 collapse of Corinthian Colleges as both an example and a call to action for increased oversight of the growing for-profit higher education "industry."
 
Click here for the full report.
 
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