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Spotlight: Teachers Reaching English Learners

Students who are new arrivals to our nation's schools face a myriad of unique challenges beyond acquiring language skills. They must adjust to a new environment while learning to listen, speak, read, write and think all while growing and developing socially and emotionally. On global World Refugee Day, we're spotlighting teachers here in Connecticut who work together to promote the overall well-being of all their students — regardless of where they came from.
 

Defending Retirees from Predatory Wall Street Fees​​

A new report reveals billions in potential savings if pensions slashed fees paid to hedge fund managers who invest in risky "alternative" assets such as private equity. The research, completed by our national union, for the first time quantifies the massive wealth transfer that has placed Americans' retirement security in peril. The findings are particularly important to understanding and resolving the mounting fiscal crises on states' balance sheets — the costs of which are ultimately being borne by taxpayers.
 
Click here for the full report.
 

Advancing the Fight for Safe Hospitals and Health Facilities

As advocates build on progress in achieving safe staffing levels in Connecticut hospitals, community clinics and school-based health centers, a bill setting national standards has been introduced in Congress. Federal lawmakers last month raised legislation ahead of national Nurses Appreciation Week that promises to save lives and empower nurses to nurture their patients. Union members who have long fought for appropriate staffing ratios see the bill as progress that promises greater workplace safety and improved patient outcomes.
 
Click here to urge your members of Congress to support the proposal.
 

Union Leaders on Failure of Yale University to Negotiate with its Graduate Employees

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel made the following remarks on Yale's refusal to bargain a first contract with its graduate workforce:
 

Rejecting the Failure to Deliver Shared Prosperity

The governor and lawmakers from both parties this past week released three separate proposals for narrowing wider state budget gaps anticipated in the next two fiscal years. These political leaders once again failed to offer long-term solutions that would grow the economy or commonsense strategies to stop endless cycles of deficits. Instead, their latest proposals rely heavily on austerity policies that would unfairly balance the budget on the backs of working families.
 
Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the proposals.
 

Spotlight: Building the "Backbone" of the Community's Healthcare

Business leaders in Connecticut are increasingly reliant on the faculty in our state's public colleges to train and educate their future employees. Despite this growing need, many elected officials have reacted to mounting fiscal challenges by disinvesting in a proven source of effective and efficient workforce development. During the annual recognition of our nation's public service workers, we're spotlighting a union member who helps her students today prepare for good jobs tomorrow, despite mounting challenges.
 

Working Hard to "Prevent an Economic Disaster"

News that layoff notices for as many as 1,100 state employees will be delivered this week is causing considerable anxiety and frustration for union members and the public they serve. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the job cuts in late April — despite ongoing efforts to urge better choices than slashing vital services or the workforce that delivers them. Since then his administration's budget officials have warned of worsening deficits, adding urgency to a deepening crisis.
 
Click here for our previous update on the layoffs announcement.
 

State Employee Professionals Say "Union YES"

A national poll released last fall found that a strong majority of America's professional and technical employees support a collective voice for negotiating their wages and working conditions. The survey found nearly two-thirds of respondents favored joining unions in order to win improved salaries and regular pay raises. The poll's scientific results have been backed up over the past year by an uptick in unionization among Connecticut state employees not previously represented.
 

Cutting Jobs "No Way to Achieve Prosperity"

The Malloy Administration today announced contingency plans for possible workforce layoffs, despite ongoing informal discussions with leaders of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC). The exploratory talks have since last fall focused on mutually beneficial solutions for closing current and future state budget shortfalls. The possibility of further job cuts adds urgency to collective efforts to demand better choices than failed policies that have already negatively impacted Connecticut's quality of life.
 

Achieving More "Fair and Equitable Evaluation Practices"

State school officials last week took a major step toward empowering teachers to be more effective in the classroom by eliminating the use of mastery examination scores in educator evaluations. The move will benefit students by prioritizing instructional emphasis on deep issue knowledge and analytical skills over test preparation. The April 5 vote by the State Board of Education's (SBOE) followed years of advocacy by a diverse coalition of stakeholders, including AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members.
 
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