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"U & I in Union:" Stepping Up to Be an "Agent of Change"

The power of collective bargaining to make workplace improvements ranks among the most valuable benefits of labor representation. Union members participating in negotiations with their employer are empowered to overcome seemingly intractable challenges and insurmountable obstacles. We're lifting up the recent experience of PreK-12 teachers volunteering for fist-time bargaining team duty who made real, tangible breakthroughs in their new contract.
 

Educators, Municipal and State Employees, Nurses Back Grocery Workers on Strike

Hamden - Leaders of AFT Connecticut and Council 4 AFSCME today presented a joint donation to workers picketing outside the Dixwell Avenue Stop & Shop in Hamden. Each labor federation contributed $2,500.00 to a joint strike fund benefitting approximately 12,000 cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerks, and butchers in the company's 94 grocery stores across Connecticut. They were joined by local consumers and elected officials supporting members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
 

Bargaining to "Make Real Gains" for Members

The negotiating table has since mid January seen a frenzy of activity and produced results for AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions. Six new contracts were ratified, three memoranda of understanding were reached and two arbitration awards were won in the first quarter of 2019. Each exemplifies the advantage of an active and engaged membership, and we're spotlighting two featuring important milestones for their locals and our movement.
 

Boosting Our Strength, Overcoming Opponents' Tactics

Schemes to undercut America’s labor movement — epitomized last year by a U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision — have stalled, according to the latest federal labor data. Union membership rates last year remained steady, despite an escalating assault targeting the public sector workforce. AFT national, state and local leaders helped stem the tide by empowering new groups of workers and signing-up former "fair share" fee-payers as full members.
 
Click here for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2018 unionization data release.
 

"U & I in Union:" Helping Colleagues See "Better Days Ahead"

Outdated labor laws governing private sector workplaces have for decades hindered working people seeking to exercise their collective bargaining rights. A management culture hostile to employees with labor representation has at the same time proliferated, adding to the difficulty. We're sharing the story of healthcare professionals overcoming these obstacles to organize and win a union election through mutual support and workplace solidarity.
 

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:
 

Meeting Members' Workplace Well-Being Needs

AFT Connecticut's professional development (PD) department each fall surveys members of affiliated unions to determine the career advancement and labor leadership courses that would be most relevant and beneficial. The feedback drives a program empowering PreK-12 and higher education professionals, nurses and healthcare staff, and state and municipal employees to make tangible improvements in their work lives. Stress reduction and self-care emerged from the latest results as common goals shared by our diverse membership.
 

Working Together to Protect Retirement Security

A small group of leaders representing several public sector unions in mid January sat down with Governor Ned Lamont and members of his new administration. The purpose of the informal meeting was to explore potential efforts to further safeguard pensions for state employees and shore up retirement funding for teachers. The discussion followed Lamont's frequent assertions last year as a candidate to treat working people — particularly, union members — in Connecticut with "fairness, dignity and respect."
 

Showing Members "How We are Here to Help"

In the closing months of 2018, bargaining teams representing five AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions won new contracts, including several with notable gains for new members. Others made steady progress for veteran employees, while some struck the often challenging balance of achieving both. The start of a new year is a good time to highlight two demonstrating the value of collective bargaining for all members of our "labor family."
 

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.
 
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