Workplace Safety

Sending Hope and Taking Action on Gun Violence

Members of our AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions representing educators and support staff in Newtown Public Schools relive the Sandy Hook massacre with each school shooting headline. Yesterday's incident in Texas closely mirrors their own horror, in which six of their colleagues and 20 of their students were in December, 2012 slain. Trent Harrison, a science educator at the town's high school and president of our Newtown Federation of Teachers, captured his colleagues' emotions in an open letter to the nation:
 

Urging Action for a "Safe, Healthy Return to the Classroom"

Leaders representing over 60,000 public education employees across Connecticut are urging immediate implementation of new, strict, consistent protocols and safety standards in our schools. Our Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition is calling on state and district officials to take specific additional steps ahead of students’ return from winter break. Action is needed now as the COVID-19 omicron variant continues transmitting at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic.
 
Click here for the coalition's updated core principles.
 

Winning a Contract that Shows "What is Possible"

Reflecting Connecticut's improved fiscal health, union members have over the past three months made solid progress in negotiations with their employers. A local affiliate whose leadership overcame their community's slow economic recovery to secure significant monetary improvements is being spotlighted in our latest collective bargaining report. By demonstrating a shared commitment to vital and valued health services, they moved their administrators to invest in both the current and future workforce.
 

Demanding Action to Reverse Critical Short-Staffing Conditions

State employees who provide essential public services are urging Governor Ned Lamont take immediate steps to address safety issues compounded by unprecedented levels of short-staffing. They have requested an extension on his recent executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations to avert harmful consequences for frontline workers and the residents who depend on them. Tomorrow's compliance deadline threatens to strain public health and safety services already stretched to the breaking point by staff shortfalls.
 

Speaking Out for Essential Workers Who Risked it All

Local and state union activists and leaders earlier this month turned-out in record numbers to advocate for themselves and fellow frontliners impacted by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis. The occasion was a legislative public hearing held by the Connecticut General Assembly's committee that oversees employment policies and practices. Joined by members of allied labor organizations, they took a strong stand to demand restitution for their sacrifices and preparation for the next pandemic.
 

Securing a Vaccination Plan to Benefit Our Schools

Unions representing teachers and support personnel, superintendents and parents today are thanking state officials for adopting their proposed parallel vaccination plan presented last week for Connecticut’s school communities. The Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition's recommendations were included in directives announced this afternoon by Governor Ned Lamont. 
 
Click here for the coalition's letter to the governor.
 

Calling for Uniform School Quarantine Policies

Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition leaders are urging Governor Ned Lamont create a clear, uniform policy regarding how school districts should handle quarantines and leaves in our public schools. Labor leaders in a January 8 letter said that too many districts are not following procedures established by health experts for responding to COVID-19 exposures. Those local school officials are jeopardizing the health and safety of their communities and the success of their students.
 
Click here for the coalition’s letter to the governor.
 

"No Going Back to Normal" in 2021

When I accepted a Connecticut People’s World Committee "Amistad Award" last month, I began my remarks by recognizing our members. They are the ones who are out there fighting the good fights and making — as Congressman John Lewis would have said — "good trouble." I credited our educators and school support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education professionals and public employees who have done amazing things over this past year.
 

AFT on Nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary

WASHINGTON — American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel issued the following statement after President-elect Joe Biden nominated Miguel A. Cardona to be the next U.S. secretary of education:
 

Presenting Petitions Urging the "Safe and Successful Schools Now" Recommendations

As COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) cases continue to rise in Connecticut, leaders of the Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition today presented a petition signed by nearly 14,000 education and community members. Signers urged the state to take immediate steps to protect the health of students, staff and communities.
 
Click here to sign and share the petition.
 
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