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Ensuring a Role for School Support Staff in Distance Learning

Education personnel across Connecticut faced an uncertain future when in mid March their buildings were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). By exercising negotiating rights and tapping political strength, union leaders were able to keep members engaged in remote distance learning — and earning their paychecks. Their action assured the school year isn’t lost for countless schoolchildren and protected the primary source of income for thousands of working families.
 

Demanding Lawmakers "Lift Up Working Families"

Connecticut's labor movement has been laser-focused on protecting working people since COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) began wreaking havoc as a full-blown global pandemic. The priority has been meeting the needs of those serving on the frontlines — health professionals, first responders and public safety professionals. At the same time, union leaders are teaming up for action aimed at preserving the livelihoods of working people facing layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours and shutdowns.
 

Protecting Caregivers' Lives with Solution-Driven Unionism

Researchers and students teamed up with engineers and scientists to defend clinical care providers treating patients afflicted by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The fruits of their labor will replenish supplies of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline heroes battling the pandemic’s spread. Working together, AFT Connecticut-affiliated local union members, their colleagues, students and administrators are demonstrating the power of collaboration when lives are literally on the line.
 

Empowering School Nurses to Fight the Pandemic

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Governor Ned Lamont nearly two weeks ago issued an executive order closing all public schools in Connecticut. Among the unintended consequences were furloughs and layoffs of education support personnel — including nurses and health professionals — in districts across the state. AFT Connecticut and affiliated local union leaders responded to the crisis by negotiating opportunities to re-deploy affected members to the frontlines of the pandemic.
 

Higher Ed Coalition Advocates for Legislation to Rein in Board of Regents

HARTFORD – Faculty and staff from the state's community colleges and regional universities joined forces with students at the Legislative Office Building today for a capitol news briefing to announce a shared legislative agenda. Members of the unions representing Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) employees gathered to urge the Connecticut House and Senate move forward bills that increase financial transparency and accountability at the system office and Board of Regents (BOR). 
 

Preparing for a Possible Public Health Emergency

The continuing spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) across the globe and here in the U.S. is a growing concern. As professionals working with students, patients and the general public, our members must be prepared — not panicked. We are working with our national union and state public health officials to provide tools and information in the event of a possible outbreak in Connecticut.
 
Click here for AFT's round-up of coronavirus resources.
 

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.
 
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