Community Engagement

Honoring "Heroes" for Going the Extra Mile

Five Connecticut caregivers this past weekend were recognized at our national union’s biennial convention for volunteering to provide assistance following the devastation of two hurricanes. The registered nurses in April had joined a team of mainland health professionals for a relief mission to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Together they performed vision and hearing screenings for over 9,000 public school students in the territory, an accomplishment that earned them accolades as "AFT Heroes" for 2018.
 

Paraeducators in New London Schools Win Union Recognition; "Ready to Work Together"

New London — Paraprofessionals, teaching assistants and tutors who support the education of students in New London Public Schools (NLPS) are reacting to officials' support for their free choice to form a union. Board of Education (BOE) members last night voted unanimously to approve an agreement creating a new labor-management partnership with the district's 160 classroom and school support staff.
 

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.
 

Building the Movement to Reclaim Our Schools

Nearly 3,000 delegates to our national union's convention last month heard advocates share their conviction in the value of building community-level coalitions to achieve true educational justice in America. It's an approach long-embraced by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions — which will again be demonstrated in October during coordinated local actions to "reclaim our schools" across the state.
 
Click here for more on the October 6 "walk-ins."
 

Labor History Lesson: The Grape Boycott

Through building strong partnerships with the community and practicing non-violent civil disobedience, Cesar Chávez organized immigrant agricultural workers to win hard-fought dignity and respect from their employers. In a recent recent column for his local union's newsletter, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy takes us back to 1970 for the lessons of the Delano grape boycott:
 

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.
 

Building Sepsis Awareness

As part of an ongoing public awareness campaign, the Rory Staunton Foundation last month held its second annual forum on Sepsis in Washington, D.C. Our national union's leadership was there to share how we're teaming up with the organization to help prevent unnecessary deaths from the life-threatening medical condition.
 
Click here to learn more about the foundation's efforts.
 

Spotlight: PreK-12 School Teachers

Today is World Teachers' Day, a global initiative to show appreciation for hardworking educators and raise public awareness of the many challenges facing the profession. It's also an opportunity to spotlight a few of our many union members in Connecticut who epitomize the slogan of this year's effort: "empowering teachers, building sustainable societies."
 
Click here for press coverage of World Teachers' Day.
 

Toward Racial Equity

More than 30 diverse member leaders from local unions across the country last month gathered in June for the first meeting of AFT’s Racial Equity Task Force. They met in Baltimore, where less than two months earlier six police officers were arrested on charges related to the mysterious injuries that killed 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody.
 

New Leadership to Carry On "Solution Driven Unionism"

Rocky Hill - New officers chosen to serve AFT Connecticut through 2017 have taken office and recommitted the statewide labor organization's ongoing community engagement, worker organizing, collective bargaining and political activism efforts. Delegates representing affiliated local unions in May elected the federation's president, executive vice president, first vice president, secretary/treasurer and 22 vice presidents for two-year terms effective today.
 
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