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Credit and Training for Making Workplace Progress

Our state federation has continued efforts to expand professional learning opportunities and career advancement preparation for members of affiliated local healthcare unions. In collaboration with AFT’s national nurses and health professionals leadership team in late March we organized a full day conference that featured workshops on a variety of relevant topics. 
More than two dozen members signed up for sessions addressing legal issues, workplace fatigue and hospital financial reporting. Participants received continuing education credits (CEUs) for courses presented by national union staff who are recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Shamia Moffett, a registered nurse in Danbury Hospital’s 9 Tower medical unit, signed-up to attend in order to take advantage of available CEUs. She selected the sleep deprivation workshop in particular for the credits and found the course material “hit the nail on the head” for her.
“We can’t be efficient in our job as healthcare professionals if we don’t have enough rest,” said Moffett, a member of our AFT Connecticut-affiliated Danbury Nurses Union. She added that she frequently talks with colleagues about the “burnout, mental and physical stress” and the need to “take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.”
“I appreciate confirmation that these issues we deal with are truly a problem — and the union is going to do something about it,” Moffett added.
Click here for photos from the conference at AFT Connecticut headquarters.
While tapping national union staff to present select course content, our PD department continues to invest in building capacity to develop affiliated union leaders to take on those roles. Most of the workshops organized since March — including those held locally, as well as at our state federation headquarters — were led by members for the benefit of their colleagues.
One such example was an early May session (photo, above) presented by Amanda Peck, a paraprofessional at Brownstone Intermediate School in Portland. She led a course for PreK-12 and higher education professionals on developing skills to address students with learning disabilities after having completed a previous “train the trainer” session.
“I like that I can take what I’ve learned and make it my own when I present,” said Peck, a member of our Portland Federation of Paraprofessionals. “I can add my own stories and experiences to make it personal and relevant,” she added.
Click here for additional photos of Peck and participants at AFT Connecticut for the workshop.
In addition to our state federation course, which brought members from 16 different affiliated unions across the state, Peck is now a PD content presenter for her local school district. 
“I was excited to bring it back to my co-workers,” said Peck. “The first time I presented I was a tiny bit nervous, but the more positive reactions I got from colleagues, the easier it got,” she added.
Members of PSRP unions have two opportunities this summer to participate in “train the trainer” sessions coordinated. The first, a four-day conference in late June in Springfield, MA, features five different workshops on topics ranging from social and emotional learning to forming and maintaining positive relationships. The event is being coordinated by our sisters and bothers in the Massachusetts AFT and the local affiliate representing paraeducators in the city’s public schools.
Click here for more on the June 24-27 “Train the Trainer” conference in Springfield.
AFT Connecticut’s PD department is coordinating in early August a full-day series of sessions at our state federation headquarters. Three separate courses will be offered on workplace violence, minimizing stress and transforming school cultures.
Click here for more on the August 3 training sessions in Rocky Hill.
Members with questions on these scheduled courses, or who would like to propose additional professional learning opportunities, are encouraged to reach out to AFT Connecticut PD coordinator Jennifer Benevento.
Click here to send e-mail requesting more info or suggesting relevant course content.

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