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Backing a Governor to Confront the Special Interests

Delegates to AFT Connecticut’s annual business convention on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to formally endorse Ned Lamont's candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial election. The action follows months of preparations and preliminary mobilization that began last fall with the development of our state federation's strategic plan. The resolution sets in motion the critical volunteer recruitment phase in which union members will be tapped to fuel our grassroots "labor is your neighbor" program.
 

Joining the Call for a "Moral Revival" in Connecticut

Members of affiliated unions have for years engaged in grassroots community and faith-based efforts to tackle discrimination, poverty and inequality where they work and live. Several local social justice organizations allied with AFT Connecticut have begun coordinating state activities in the "Poor People's Campaign (PPC): A National Call for Moral Revival." State federation leaders last month took steps to be part of this movement, rooted in the unfinished work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

"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.
 

Fighting for the Free, Fair Choice to Organize in the Workplace

Following years of advocacy, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2014 adopted rules to streamline union elections for working people in the private sector. The reform now faces significant risk from the Trump Administration's appointees to the federal agency overseeing the nation's employment laws. In response, the labor movement in Connecticut is escalating efforts to assure a harassment-free process for workers seeking a stronger voice on the job.
 

Winning Long-Overdue Respect for State Employees

Union members late last month celebrated the announcement of an immediate end to the terms "essential" and "nonessential" in public references to the state workforce. The news followed the labor movement's coordinated efforts to resist language that had for years devalued thousands of working women and men across Connecticut. More than symbolism, the executive order replacing the antiquated terminology demonstrates the true strength of the 'U' and 'I' in 'union' at a critical time for all public employees.
 

"U & I in Union:" Putting Collective Action Theory into Practice

Sharing personal stories that demonstrate union members' collective strength can be an effective tool in mobilizing a strong defense of hard-won rights and fundamental freedoms. In the face of escalating attacks by special interests seeking to sow discord and division among working people, they take on added urgency. To that end, we're lifting up examples like this story of how the "union difference" prevented an economic disaster for a veteran public employee's family.
 

Helping Members Beat Back Student Debt

Across the country last year, staff and leaders from our national union held scores of clinics to guide thousands of members toward relief from the weight of their student loans. AFT Connecticut at the same time organized training sessions to help affiliated locals offer the workshops themselves, exponentially increasing the number of those that can benefit. Soaring student debt may seem like old news, but for current and former students locked in its grip, it feels relentlessly fresh and relevant.
 
Click here for our previous report on the clinics' launch.
 

Gearing Up to Defeat a "Let Them Eat Cake" Approach

Less than three months after its inaugural meeting, the legislative Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth last Friday released its draft recommendations (below) to the General Assembly. Considering the panel's domination by corporate executives, their proposals are unsurprisingly heavily tilted in favor of the ultra-rich. Still, their plan to silence the voices of Connecticut's working men and women are cause for genuine concern — and a call to action.
 

Mobilizing to "Protect Our Freedom to Negotiate"

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a corporate-funded lawsuit aimed directly at public employees across the country. That afternoon in Connecticut, union members gathered at simultaneous demonstrations to show the case's backers that working people aren’t backing down. All this took place as our state federation's leaders moved forward a plan to build greater strength for the future, regardless of the high court's ruling.
 

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.
 
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