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Anxiety and Trauma Top Challenges Facing Students, Survey Finds

HARTFORD - Connecticut is ranked among the best states in the country for K-12 education; however, findings from a new 2020 CEA/AFT CT/WFSB survey should raise alarms. Teachers increasingly find themselves in unsafe work environments, encountering more children impacted by trauma or anxiety, and dealing with a persistent shortage of school counselors, social workers and other supports necessary for their students.
 
Click here for an executive summary of the results.
 

Making Gains "That Weren't Given to Us"

Gallup last year reported that Americans' approval of labor unions in 2019 continued its decade-long upward trend. A clear driver is the pay differential; wages and salaries average 10 to 30 percent higher for workers able to exercise collective bargaining rights to secure employment contracts. We’re spotlighting two recent examples that show how this "union difference" works at the negotiating table for new and veteran members alike. 
 

Remaining Vigilant to "Open Doors for More Families"

Hartford families and education advocates earlier this month reached a settlement with local and state officials in the 30-year-old Sheff v. O'Neill, et al. desegregation lawsuit. While the agreement adds more than 1,000 new magnet slots in the region, it comes up short on resolving racial isolation in the Capitol City's traditional neighborhood schools. Following news of the resolution, civil rights activists and union leaders warned against complacency in the fight for equity for students struggling with poverty.
 

Safeguarding Public Structures and Taxpayer Dollars

The Office of the State Comptroller (OCS) in late December issued the first annual analysis of public employee union members' 2017 agreement to protect jobs and preserve services. Among the key findings; the pact has already netted nearly two billion for Connecticut's treasury. State employees three years ago exercised their collective bargaining rights to lay the groundwork for a projected long-term savings of over $24 billion.
 
Click here for the OSC's SEBAC 2017 agreement report.
 

"Looking Ahead to 2020" for Funding Our Future

State federation leaders last month teamed up with the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and WFSB-TV Channel 3 for a survey of certified educators on the issues facing their profession. The first-of-its-kind effort engaged over a thousand union members from scores of local and regional school districts. To further expand public awareness, delegates to AFT Connecticut’s PreK-12 Council are gearing up for a second survey scheduled later this winter.
 

CSCU Faculty and Professional Unions Issue a Statement of Unity Opposing Consolidation Efforts

HARTFORD – The faculty and professional unions that comprise the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) released a joint statement today in opposition to the Board of Regents’ proposal to consolidate the 12 independently accredited community colleges.
 

Comments on the State Auditors' Review of the Sandy Hook Workers Aid Fund

State and local AFT leaders today made the following public remarks in response to the Auditors of Public Accounts' (APA) December 4 letter regarding the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program (SHWAP):
 

Lifting Up Managerial and Exempt Employees

Our state federation's ongoing efforts to empower a greater share of the public sector workforce with a voice on the job continue surging ahead. A week-long membership mobilization drive drew union leaders and activists from across the state — and the nation — this fall to AFT Connecticut's Rocky Hill headquarters. "ConnectiBlitz 2019" brought more than 60 managerial and exempt state employees into our labor family while at the same time strengthening one of our newest local affiliates.
 

Making Our Collective Voice "Heard in the Voting Booth"

The vote tallies in the 2019 General Election say it all; 23 members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions across the state won their respective races for municipal office. There is no debating the value of backing our sisters and brothers when they step up to show their communities that “labor is your neighbor.” Importantly, it also points to the path for restoring working peoples' political power as nationally important elections in 2020 draw near.
 
Click here for final election results in races in which AFT Connecticut made endorsements.
 

Joint Statement on Providing Pathways to Post-Secondary Success for Connecticut Students

AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel today joined educational partners to sign on to the following joint statement committing to create new and expand existing career pathways that will engage students:
 
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