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Working Hard to "Prevent an Economic Disaster"

News that layoff notices for as many as 1,100 state employees will be delivered this week is causing considerable anxiety and frustration for union members and the public they serve. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the job cuts in late April — despite ongoing efforts to urge better choices than slashing vital services or the workforce that delivers them. Since then his administration's budget officials have warned of worsening deficits, adding urgency to a deepening crisis.
 
Click here for our previous update on the layoffs announcement.
 

State Employee Professionals Say "Union YES"

A national poll released last fall found that a strong majority of America's professional and technical employees support a collective voice for negotiating their wages and working conditions. The survey found nearly two-thirds of respondents favored joining unions in order to win improved salaries and regular pay raises. The poll's scientific results have been backed up over the past year by an uptick in unionization among Connecticut state employees not previously represented.
 

Cutting Jobs "No Way to Achieve Prosperity"

The Malloy Administration today announced contingency plans for possible workforce layoffs, despite ongoing informal discussions with leaders of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC). The exploratory talks have since last fall focused on mutually beneficial solutions for closing current and future state budget shortfalls. The possibility of further job cuts adds urgency to collective efforts to demand better choices than failed policies that have already negatively impacted Connecticut's quality of life.
 

Achieving More "Fair and Equitable Evaluation Practices"

State school officials last week took a major step toward empowering teachers to be more effective in the classroom by eliminating the use of mastery examination scores in educator evaluations. The move will benefit students by prioritizing instructional emphasis on deep issue knowledge and analytical skills over test preparation. The April 5 vote by the State Board of Education's (SBOE) followed years of advocacy by a diverse coalition of stakeholders, including AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members.
 

Spotlight: Ensuring Special Education Students' Success

Paraeducators are among the most important members of a school's team, particularly when it comes to providing a quality learning experience for children with special needs. Teachers and administrators have become increasingly reliant on their support as students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELLs) have been "mainstreamed" into the classroom. During the week in which the annual recognition of paraprofessionals is celebrated in Connecticut, we're spotlighting a union member who has dedicated her career to helping students.
 

Spotlight: Serving Her Community as Nurse and Councilor

Despite providing the majority of direct and supportive patient care in the field, women historically have not held an equivalent share of leadership positions in hospitals or healthcare organizations. A similar imbalance exists in American politics and is evident in elected offices ranging from local school boards to Congress. During the month in which women's history month is celebrated, we're spotlighting a union member bucking these trends and "trailblazing" within the labor movement, in her industry and her community.
 

Public Employees Converge on the Capitol to Defend Rights

With chants of "We Will Fight!," a crowd of nearly 1,500 on Friday took over Minuteman Park in Hartford to denounce lawmakers' proposals to silence the voices of working people. The rally was organized by members of unions representing Connecticut's public sector workforce as part of a series of actions throughout the day at the State Capitol complex. They came to resist 77 individual bills that, if passed into law, would roll-back collective bargaining rights and undermine state and municipal public service employees' pay and benefits.
 

Demanding Answers from Judge Gorsuch

The Senate's Judiciary Committee on Monday will convene confirmation hearings in Washington, D.C. for President Trump's nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The impact of the eventual vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's bid cannot be overstated. That's why union members are joining with consumer, social justice and women's rights advocates to ensure federal lawmakers fulfill their constitutional "advice and consent" duties.
 
Click here to urge Connecticut's U.S. Senators demand Judge Gorsuch reveal where he stands on the issues.
 

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.
 
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