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Teachers, Nurses and Public Employees Back Victor Funderburk to Lead Windham

Willimantic - Citing his deep community roots and commitment to issues impacting working families, members of the 30,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting Victor Funderburk to serve as mayor of Windham. The labor federation's executive committee voted to add the retired educator to its slate of endorsed municipal candidates for the November 7 General Election. Members of affiliated unions last week participated in a local community canvass and are engaged in additional efforts to help "get out the vote" for Funderburk.
 

Fight for a Fair State Budget Moves Forward

Following intense pressure to reject a damaging state budget narrowly adopted by lawmakers two weeks earlier, the governor on Thursday vetoed the toxic fiscal package produced by Republican legislative leadership. The action came after unions joined advocates for demonstrations and speak-outs across the state demanding better choices than failed and painful austerity policies. Our members played a vital role, turning up their efforts following a telephone town hall last weekend where the focus was on planning our next steps.
 

Spotlight: Making a Proper Diagnosis Possible

The general public has in recent years begun to appreciate the important work of forensic scientists, thanks in large part to popular Hollywood-produced television series and feature films. In the real world, their effectiveness depends on a team of skilled lab technologists behind the scenes. As the week recognizing the contributions of forensic professionals comes to a close, we're spotlighting a public employee who delivers these vital services while also helping educate future physicians.
 

Organizing to Defend Against a "Heartless Assault"

President Trump's decision last week to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program puts approximately 850,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children at risk. Many are public school educators, support staff, college instructors and faculty — as well as their students — right here in Connecticut. Our national union has teamed up with advocates to both fight back on their behalf and provide answers to their many questions about the impacts of this radical policy change.
 

Renewing the Fight for Fairness at Back to School Season

As thousands of children in communities across Connecticut return to school this week, state lawmakers and the governor remain gridlocked over how to appropriately fund their education. Teachers earlier this month joined parents, superintendents, school business officers and elected board members to warn that students would be hurt by the ongoing budget impasse. There, union leaders urged a "fair share" approach to prevent local officials from cutting vital programs, increasing class sizes, or laying off teachers and classroom support staff.
 

Spotlight: Linking Patients to Vital Primary Care

One in every 15 Americans depends on their locally-based community health centers (CHCs), which in 1965 began providing primary care to underserved populations. Each is staffed by a team of medical, dental and behavioral professionals critical to their region's healthcare network and who deliver high quality, cost effective services. During the annual recognition of CHCs, we're showcasing a union member who plays an important role in assuring her community's good health.
 

A National Audience Hears Local Educators' Stories

Educators, families and communities are in a "David versus Goliath" battle against powerful special interests seeking to dismantle public education and rip opportunity from children and families. That was the message delivered last month to more than 1,400 teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff at the biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America's Children) conference. Union members from Connecticut were there — and two local leaders shared their political engagement experience and discussed teacher-driven professionalism.
 

Mobilizing to Defend Public Services and the Workforce that Delivers Them

An effective response to painful austerity policies being pushed by the Trump Administration and in statehouses across the country was the focus of AFT's annual public employees' professional issues conference. The consensus among attendees was clear; unprecedented attacks demand fully engaging current members and organizing more working people into our movement. For our accomplishments on this front, union leaders from Connecticut were recognized in particular for successful efforts over this past year.
 

Achieving Educator Diversity with a 'Grow Your Own' Vision

Leaders in education, labor and civil rights this past spring packed the AFL-CIO's Washington, D.C. headquarters for a second annual teacher diversity and social justice summit. Our national union once again co-sponsored the event, which featured a series of presentations showcasing effective "home-grown" methods for addressing a growing educator shortage. Connecticut labor and community leaders were among the participants, and they've brought back strategies for identifying, preparing and retaining teachers of color from the communities where they work.
 

State Employees Vote to Secure Jobs, Extend Benefits & Protect Services

Union members gathered in Hartford earlier today to announce that a strong majority of their colleagues have ratified agreements to shield against layoffs and preserve their healthcare and retirement security. The news came at the conclusion of a three weeks-long period in which approximately 25,000 state employees voted by a 5 to 1 margin to accept negotiated cost savings. In addition to a master agreement covering pensions and health benefits, union members also ratified 33 individual five-year contracts, retroactive to July 1 of last year.
 
Click here for the master agreement approved in June by union leaders.
 
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