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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.
 

Paraeducators in New London Schools Win Union Recognition; "Ready to Work Together"

New London — Paraprofessionals, teaching assistants and tutors who support the education of students in New London Public Schools (NLPS) are reacting to officials' support for their free choice to form a union. Board of Education (BOE) members last night voted unanimously to approve an agreement creating a new labor-management partnership with the district's 160 classroom and school support staff.
 

Spotlight: Teachers Reaching English Learners

Students who are new arrivals to our nation's schools face a myriad of unique challenges beyond acquiring language skills. They must adjust to a new environment while learning to listen, speak, read, write and think all while growing and developing socially and emotionally. On global World Refugee Day, we're spotlighting teachers here in Connecticut who work together to promote the overall well-being of all their students — regardless of where they came from.
 

Defending Retirees from Predatory Wall Street Fees​​

A new report reveals billions in potential savings if pensions slashed fees paid to hedge fund managers who invest in risky "alternative" assets such as private equity. The research, completed by our national union, for the first time quantifies the massive wealth transfer that has placed Americans' retirement security in peril. The findings are particularly important to understanding and resolving the mounting fiscal crises on states' balance sheets — the costs of which are ultimately being borne by taxpayers.
 
Click here for the full report.
 

Advancing the Fight for Safe Hospitals and Health Facilities

As advocates build on progress in achieving safe staffing levels in Connecticut hospitals, community clinics and school-based health centers, a bill setting national standards has been introduced in Congress. Federal lawmakers last month raised legislation ahead of national Nurses Appreciation Week that promises to save lives and empower nurses to nurture their patients. Union members who have long fought for appropriate staffing ratios see the bill as progress that promises greater workplace safety and improved patient outcomes.
 
Click here to urge your members of Congress to support the proposal.
 

Union Leaders on Failure of Yale University to Negotiate with its Graduate Employees

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel made the following remarks on Yale's refusal to bargain a first contract with its graduate workforce:
 

Rejecting the Failure to Deliver Shared Prosperity

The governor and lawmakers from both parties this past week released three separate proposals for narrowing wider state budget gaps anticipated in the next two fiscal years. These political leaders once again failed to offer long-term solutions that would grow the economy or commonsense strategies to stop endless cycles of deficits. Instead, their latest proposals rely heavily on austerity policies that would unfairly balance the budget on the backs of working families.
 
Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the proposals.
 

Spotlight: Building the "Backbone" of the Community's Healthcare

Business leaders in Connecticut are increasingly reliant on the faculty in our state's public colleges to train and educate their future employees. Despite this growing need, many elected officials have reacted to mounting fiscal challenges by disinvesting in a proven source of effective and efficient workforce development. During the annual recognition of our nation's public service workers, we're spotlighting a union member who helps her students today prepare for good jobs tomorrow, despite mounting challenges.
 
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