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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.
 

Raising Our Voices Together in 2017

Everyone in Connecticut will be impacted by the issues raised today at the Capitol in Hartford in Governor Dannel P. Malloy's annual "State of the State" speech. For our union members who provide education, health, safety, and other vital public services that depend on lawmakers to adequately fund them, his words carried particular resonance. That's because the budget the governor proposes next month will have significant consequences for their students, their patients and their communities.
 
Click here for the governor's full speech.
 

The Challenge of Precarious Labor in Higher Ed

The landscape of America's working world continues to shift, with the number of unstable — and, often, part-time — jobs, low pay and exploitative conditions increasing at a rapid rate. At a daylong Washington, D.C., conference earlier this month, union leaders, policy experts and academics examined the contingent labor force and how to ensure fair working conditions for all. Much of the discussion centered on the issues impacting higher education adjunct faculty and graduate student employees; two groups participating in a "day of action" next month here in Connecticut.
 

Public Sector Compensation Myths Debunked

A respected non-partisan research organization has exposed a deceptive attack on Connecticut public employees designed to diminish the effectiveness of the vital services they deliver. An Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study released last week discredits oft-repeated claims by anti-union special interests that public-sector workers in Connecticut are “overcompensated."
 
Click here for the study.
 

Spotlight: Computer Science Educators Drive Innovation

Educators in the field of computer science understand that their students learn skills that are both vocational and foundational. Related jobs are in every industry and represent the top source of new wages in the U.S. The discipline also relies on core fundamentals like problem solving, logical thinking and creativity. As international Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) comes to a close, we're spotlighting union members who believe every student should learn how to understand the technology that drives innovation.
 

Agreement Reached to Shore Up State Employees' Retirement Security

Representatives of the 15 unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) yesterday reached agreement with the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy to restructure state employee pension fund payments. The agreement does not impact members' retirement benefits or require increased employee contributions; it does, however, stabilize pensions by ensuring obligations to current and future retirees are fully funded.
 
Click here for the signed memorandum of understanding (MOU).
 

Grants to Support Civic Engagement Projects

Our national union, along with education and literacy advocacy organizations, earlier this year announced an opportunity for teachers to apply for financial resources for help in resolving community-level problems. When the winning projects in the "Citizen Power Challenge" were announced this fall, a local union member here in Connecticut was among 15 educators who will receive a $500.00 grant.
 
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