Hartford Public Schools

Responding to Attacks on "Our Rights and Freedoms"

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday issued its long-anticipated ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 lawsuit — one that favors billionaires out to destroy America's labor movement. The 5-4 decision overturned a four decades-old precedent and has long been the goal of a shadowy network of deep-pocketed political operatives. Here in Connecticut, union members gathered in Hartford to denounce this judicial attack on their freedom to negotiate a fair return on their work.
 

"U & I in Union:" Winning Labor Peace in the Workplace

The lion's share of analysis of current corporate-backed attempts to undermine collective bargaining rights have focused on their impact on employees' wages, health and retirement benefits. Yet, the ability to negotiate better working conditions often proves as valuable as regular raises or affordable medical coverage. In another example of the "union difference," we're sharing the story of how contract language for resolving conflicts provided recourse for a paraprofessional facing a hostile workplace.
 

Urging Business Leaders to "Take the High Road" to Achieve Growth

Leaders of Connecticut’s labor movement last week took a strong stand against attacks on working people in a wide-ranging presentation to the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth. Together, they advocated an approach that invests in public services and structures, makes Connecticut's tax structure fairer, and provides workers with the security and purchasing power needed for sustainable growth.
 
Click here for the labor panel's full slideshow presentation.
 

Demonstrating Solidarity in Professional Development

Among the many benefits enjoyed by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions is the opportunity to participate in career-relevant training, specialized education and advanced professional learning courses. Our state federation has in recent years increased the variety of topics, boosted the frequency of sessions, and expanded access to all of our diverse constituencies. To that end, leaders with distinct knowledge and unique skill sets have been tapped to serve as presenters for an increasing number of workshops.
 

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.
 

Organizing to Defend Against a "Heartless Assault"

President Trump's decision last week to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program puts approximately 850,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children at risk. Many are public school educators, support staff, college instructors and faculty — as well as their students — right here in Connecticut. Our national union has teamed up with advocates to both fight back on their behalf and provide answers to their many questions about the impacts of this radical policy change.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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."
 
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