West Haven Public Schools

Braving the Elements to Lock In "What Matters Most"

The ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis meant that the majority of local unions' collective bargaining efforts over the summer focused on negotiating narrow pandemic-related agreements. Despite the unprecedented challenges, leaders of half a dozen AFT Connecticut affiliates successfully concluded efforts to ratify full successor contracts. We're featuring one that stood out because members not only overcame the virus, but also faced down a hurricane.
 

Students, School Staff and Families at Risk Due to Lack of State Policy Following COVID-19 Outbreaks

Just days after the majority of Connecticut students physically returned to the classroom, more than a dozen school districts across the state reported positive COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) cases. From Newington to Naugatuck, Waterbury to Glastonbury, and East Hartford to West Haven, varying degrees of action have been taken at each impacted building. Some have shut down completely, others isolated cohorts of students and put classes in quarantine, some moved to all distance learning, and others did little or nothing.
 

Teachers, Nurses and Public Employees Back Fanelli and Walker for West Haven

West Haven — Members of the nearly 30,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting fellow union members Chrystal Fanelli and Susan Walker in West Haven's September 10 Democratic Primary Election. The labor federation's executive committee last month voted to add both active and retired educators to its slate of 2019 municipal endorsements. Members of local affiliated unions have since participated community canvassing and phone banking to help "get out the vote" for Fanelli, Walker and other endorsed candidates.
 

Boosting Our Strength, Overcoming Opponents' Tactics

Schemes to undercut America’s labor movement — epitomized last year by a U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision — have stalled, according to the latest federal labor data. Union membership rates last year remained steady, despite an escalating assault targeting the public sector workforce. AFT national, state and local leaders helped stem the tide by empowering new groups of workers and signing-up former "fair share" fee-payers as full members.
 
Click here for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2018 unionization data release.
 

"U & I in Union:" Electing Our Own Advocates

Our members' jobs, whether in public education, healthcare, higher education or state service, are heavily impacted by policy decisions made at the local, state and federal levels. That’s why electing those who will stand up for working people has long been a high priority for AFT Connecticut. We're sharing the story of one such success in backing a retired teacher and lifelong education advocate as yet another example of the "union difference" in our lives.
 

Spotlight: Teachers Reaching English Learners

Students who are new arrivals to our nation's schools face a myriad of unique challenges beyond acquiring language skills. They must adjust to a new environment while learning to listen, speak, read, write and think all while growing and developing socially and emotionally. On global World Refugee Day, we're spotlighting teachers here in Connecticut who work together to promote the overall well-being of all their students — regardless of where they came from.
 

Rejecting the Failure to Deliver Shared Prosperity

The governor and lawmakers from both parties this past week released three separate proposals for narrowing wider state budget gaps anticipated in the next two fiscal years. These political leaders once again failed to offer long-term solutions that would grow the economy or commonsense strategies to stop endless cycles of deficits. Instead, their latest proposals rely heavily on austerity policies that would unfairly balance the budget on the backs of working families.
 
Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the proposals.
 

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 

Spotlight: Educators Committed to Attendance "Every Day"

Educators, classroom support staff and school social workers know firsthand that for students, a day lost to absenteeism is a day lost to learning. Their concerns were reinforced by a landmark brief released earlier this month on national chronic absence data that reveals the true scope of the problem. As the month set aside to raise awareness of the issue wraps up, we're spotlighting union members devoted to helping students and families understand how achievement is connected to attendance.
 
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