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Benefits to Tackle the High Cost of Higher Ed

Our national union helps members and their families with grants to support professional development, achieve a post-secondary education or participate in graduate-level learning. When the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program winners were last July announced at the 2016 AFT Convention, a local teacher from Connecticut was among those honored. She was awarded $1,000.00 to assist with her continuing education —  and now encourages her colleagues to apply by the March 31 deadline for this year's benefit.
 

State Employees Defend a Voice for All Working People

Thousands of union members last week packed the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford to express their opposition to a dozen bills threatening a voice for all working people. The legislation — all sponsored by Republican lawmakers — drew condemnation from a diverse cross-section of the state's labor movement. Public employees in particular turned out in force to denounce the most egregious proposals jeopardizing their fundamental collective bargaining rights.
 
Click here for press reporting on the legislative hearing.
 

Spotlight: Educators Delivering "Tomorrow" for CTE Students

A high quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) is increasingly being deployed as a tool to resolve mounting fiscal and workforce challenges facing our state and country. Preparing students to be both college and career-ready for high-demand jobs is an effective response to a fragile economy and employment insecurity. During the month in which the annual recognition of CTE is observed nationally, we're spotlighting union members here in Connecticut who prepare their students to "own tomorrow."
 

Protecting Immigrant Students, Educators and Caregivers

In classrooms and on campuses across the nation, undocumented youth, from preschoolers to college students, are terrified. Young people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status as well as visa-contingent educators and healthcare professionals fear that changing policies could jeopardize their safety. In an increasingly  hostile political climate, national, state and local union leaders have stepped up to defend communities, demand fairness and corral resources to help.
 
Click here for our national union's resources for immigrant communities.
 

Time to be "All In" for Better Choices at the Capitol

The governor in his annual state budget address today presented numerous proposals that will have significant implications for every one of our union members and their families. His plan to close shortfalls in the 2018-19 fiscal year won't just impact teachers and classroom aides, higher education faculty, nurses and caregivers, probation officers and revenue collectors. Students, patients and all who depend on our members will also feel the effects of funding changes and cuts for vital state and local public health, education, and safety services.
 
Click here for the governor's full speech to the General Assembly.
 

Windham Hospital Caregivers Protect Community Access to Vital Services

Nurses, technicians and healthcare workers at Windham Memorial Community Hospital (WCMH) last Thursday approved a mediated settlement for new three-year contracts with their employer following nine months of negotiations. Members of two AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions ratified collective bargaining agreements covering economic and working conditions for approximately 350 caregivers at the 130-bed facility owned by Hartford HealthCare (HHC).
 

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

Caregivers Win National Standard to Reduce Workplace Violence

The U.S. labor department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) earlier this month took a major step toward protecting the nation's healthcare and social assistance workforces. The agency's assistant secretary accepted a petition urging the development of a federal standard for reducing workplace violence submitted last summer by a coalition that includes our national union.
 

Spotlight: Teaching & Protecting Civil Rights

For the month in which the nation observes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we're spotlighting union members whose work carries on the social justice leader's legacy. Here in Connecticut, attorneys in the state's civil and human rights enforcement agency strive to confront ongoing discrimination faced by residents. At the same time, local public schools' educators teach their students the history of the movement that Dr. King led — and its relevance to struggles for justice and equality today.
 

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 
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