Hartford Federation of Teachers

Winning on a "Labor is Your Neighbor" Platform

The state's labor movement had much to celebrate once all the votes in the November 7 municipal General Election were tallied in local communities across Connecticut. Seventy-two candidates endorsed by our federation's executive committee won races for offices ranging from mayor to town council to board of education. Most significantly, 21 were themselves members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions, demonstrating the resonance of the "labor is your neighbor" message developed earlier this year.
 
Click here for the full list of endorsements and final results.
 

A National Audience Hears Local Educators' Stories

Educators, families and communities are in a "David versus Goliath" battle against powerful special interests seeking to dismantle public education and rip opportunity from children and families. That was the message delivered last month to more than 1,400 teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff at the biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America's Children) conference. Union members from Connecticut were there — and two local leaders shared their political engagement experience and discussed teacher-driven professionalism.
 

Achieving Educator Diversity with a 'Grow Your Own' Vision

Leaders in education, labor and civil rights this past spring packed the AFL-CIO's Washington, D.C. headquarters for a second annual teacher diversity and social justice summit. Our national union once again co-sponsored the event, which featured a series of presentations showcasing effective "home-grown" methods for addressing a growing educator shortage. Connecticut labor and community leaders were among the participants, and they've brought back strategies for identifying, preparing and retaining teachers of color from the communities where they work.
 

AFT President to Tour MLK Jr. Elementary School, Hold Media Briefing

Washington - American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will tour Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School on Thursday and hold a media availability after the visit. Joining her will be Hartford Federation of Teachers President Andrea Johnson, Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals Co-Presidents Shellye Davis and Jackie Aviles and Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell.
 

"From My Classroom to My Colleague:" Improving Teacher Retention

The challenge of retaining highly qualified teachers for public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods is having a detrimental impact on the "opportunity to learn" for children across the country. That's among the significant findings of a report on the so-called "diversity gap" between educators and their students by the Albert Shanker Institute. In Connecticut, union members, who on a daily basis see the effects of teacher turnover in distressed local communities, are discussing its implications and proposing possible solutions.
 
Click here for the report.
 

Educators, Caregivers, and Public Employees Back Hartford Working Families' Candidates

Rocky Hill - Citing their collective commitment to working families' issues, members of the nearly 30,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting Joshua Blanchfield, Wildaliz Bermudez and Dr. Larry Deutsch, MD, MPH to serve on Hartford's Court of Common Council. The labor federation's executive committee voted to add the Connecticut Working Families Party (WFP) candidates to its slate of endorsements for the November 3 municipal General Election. Earlier this month active and retired members of its affiliated local unions were informed and encouraged to vote for all three.
 

Empowering Students to Learn the Lessons of Labor History

Public education, workers' rights and senior advocates yesterday joined the governor for the ceremonial signing of legislation to assist local school districts with teaching the history of the labor movement. The bill, which both chambers of the General Assembly passed in May with bipartisan support, was the culmination of years of grassroots advocacy by AFT Connecticut, union activists and legislators.
 
Click here for press coverage of the bill's final passage.
 

AFT Organizes First Forum on Racial Justice

Public school and college support staff union leaders from around the country earlier this month gathered to engage in a formative discussion on how to close the opportunity gap for American men and boys of color. The town hall-style event in Orlando was attended by members of AFT's national Paraprofessionals & School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Program and Policy Council (PPC), which includes local leaders from Connecticut.
 

Back to School and Working Together for Progress

As AFT Connecticut's elected leaders, we would like to welcome back our member educators from a much-deserved break and offer our best wishes for a smooth and successful school year. And to our retired teachers, we would like to once again express our appreciation for service in the classroom and our hope for continued involvement in our union.
 
We intend to stay in touch and keep you informed of significant developments in public education policy, as we did throughout the last school year and over the summer.
 

Teachers, Public Service, Healthcare Professionals Back Coleman's Re-Election to State Senate

Rocky Hill - Citing his record of advocacy and service in the General Assembly, members of the 29,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting the re-election of State Senator Eric D. Coleman. The labor federation's local union affiliate representing Hartford Public Schools' teachers and support personnel is also formally backing the Second Senate District incumbent's candidacy in the August 12th Primary Election.
 
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