Workers Rights

Comments on Proposals Impacting Public Employee Pension Funding and Benefits

AFT Connecticut leaders made the following remarks regarding Governor Ned Lamont’s 2019 legislative proposals released Tuesday impacting retirement security for public school teachers and state employees:
 

Winning in 2018, Overcoming in 2019

As we begin a new year, questions remain about the direction for Connecticut and the country. What is not in question is the direction of our union and our labor movement. That's because the "roadmap" state federation leaders adopted in 2017 and which inspired many local affiliates' strategic plans in 2018 are firmly rooted in common guiding principles. Collectively, they demonstrate that the "U & I in Union" assures that when we stand together, we are strong.
 

"U & I in Union:" Striking to Shield Good Jobs

Tectonic shifts within the field have in recent years left health professionals in Connecticut facing unpredictable conditions and precarious futures. That increasingly demands a strong defense against misguided management policies prioritizing operating margins over patient care. On the fifth anniversary of striking to protect services and jobs at their community hospital, we're spotlighting union members enjoying greater security since taking collective action.
 

"U & I in Union:" Organizing the Strength to "Survive"

Connecticut’s public education workforce in this present era of persistent austerity budget policies has become accustomed to a certain degree of employment instability. In response, the labor movement has in recent years increased our collective focus on protecting jobs that were once considered resilient to economic downturns. In this latest example of the "union difference," we’re sharing the story of school support personnel mobilizing to defend against a massive wave of layoffs in their district.
 

"U & I in Union:" Helping Members "Get Through a Tragedy"

The labor movement's founding principle of mutual assistance provides working people both a sense of obligation and source of consolation. That is particularly the case following episodes of workplace violence, when values like support, solidarity and resilience are needed most. We're bringing attention to a PreK-12 teacher who has stepped forward to comfort educators impacted by gun violence and amplified her voice to prevent future senseless tragedies.
 

Providing "Proven Strategies for Building Power"

Building on successful volunteer-based initiatives spanning the past three years, AFT Connecticut will this fall launch the next generation of its Member Organizer Institute (MOI) program. The effort, jointly funded by our national union, state federation and local affiliates, seeks to build greater participation by offering compensation to our most valuable resource — active members. The application period is now open, and leaders are seeking potential candidates for a paid cohort to begin training in late September.
 
Click here for a fact sheet on the MOI program.
 

"U & I in Union:" Protecting the Jobs of Our "Extended Family"

Little causes trepidation more than when, amid economic cutbacks, the human resources department calls for a meeting. That's when the value of both a strong collective bargaining agreement and co-workers with a commitment to solidarity becomes acutely clear. We're highlighting a higher education professional's personal experience in these precise circumstances to demonstrate that the “U and I in Union” is how members can effectively maintain job security.
 

Defending the "Future of Our Collective Bargaining Rights"

A Republican legislative leader last week launched a politically motivated media attack on gains made by state employee unions. At issue are contractual bonuses due later this month as part of a 2017 agreement to protect jobs, extend benefits and preserve services. In reality, the true targets are the collective bargaining rights that secured them — rights which face an uncertain future in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
 
Click here for reporting on the state Senator's remarks.
 

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:" 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.
 
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