Federation of Technical College Teachers

"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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Spotlight: Connecticut State Employees, Part II

Last month's union member spotlight featured three public employees concerned about the devastating impacts of a proposed austerity state budget then under consideration by lawmakers. A package that makes deep cuts to vital public services has since been passed by the legislature signed into law by the governor. This month we sat down with three of their colleagues to learn more about the challenges facing a state workforce under increased pressure and operating with reduced resources.
 
Click here for our previous post spotlighting Connecticut state employees.
 

Our Union Members are "Everyday Heroes"

AFT is made up of amazing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher education faculty and staff, nurses and healthcare professionals, state employees, early childhood educators and retirees. Our national union every two years recognizes some of these "Everyday Heroes" and three members of local unions in AFT Connecticut have been selected as semifinalists for their 2016 awards.
 
Click here to cast your vote for Connecticut's nominees.
 
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