Workplace Safety

Demanding a Voice in Reopening Safely

Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions have for the past four weeks taken center stage in the debate over fall "back to school" plans. Teachers and education personnel have repeatedly called for prioritizing students and staff health in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Efforts culminated this week in public actions organized with labor allies demanding state officials put safety first. 
 
Click here to sign and share our board of education (BOE) union coalition's petition.
 

Winning Hassle-Free Workers' Comp for "Frontline Heroes”

Union activists in late July last month scored a major victory in the fight to protect “essential" employees recovering after contracting COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) on the job. Governor Ned Lamont on July 24 issued an executive order establishing a workers' compensation “presumption" for those sickened during their service on the frontline of the pandemic. The action followed months of pressure coordinated by the state’s labor movement and which engaged members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions.
 
Click here for the official executive order. 
 

Educators Take to the Streets in Coordinated "Safety First" Car Caravan Rallies

From Stamford to Stonington, Hamden to Hartford, and more than two dozen towns in between, teachers, education personnel, students, parents and advocates today joined school "Safety First" car caravans. The purpose was to demand safety and health precautions — and much-needed funding — in Connecticut public school building reopening plans. 
 
Click here for video coverage of several actions.
 

CT's Students, their Families and Educators Need a Lifeline, Not an Anchor

Today Connecticut Education Association (CEA) President Jeff Leake and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel released the following joint statement regarding the state education department's plan for reopening school buildings:
 
 

New "Back-To-School" Plan Needs More Specifics - Raises Serious Health, Safety Concerns

Today Connecticut Education Association (CEA) President Jeff Leake and AFT Connecticut Vice President Mary Yordon released the following joint statement regarding Governor Ned Lamont's proposals for resuming in-person learning:
 
 

Giving Voice to "Overwhelmed" Educators

A third survey of teachers jointly coordinated by labor and media partners presented a complex picture of distance learning challenges during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. The effort was conducted at a critical time, helping guide the work of the official state "re-open" advisory group's education subcommittee. Union members' input ultimately proved instrumental in prioritizing student and staff safety, helping assure that buildings would remain closed for the current school year.
 
Click here for the full survey results.
 

Ensuring a Role for School Support Staff in Distance Learning

Education personnel across Connecticut faced an uncertain future when in mid March their buildings were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). By exercising negotiating rights and tapping political strength, union leaders were able to keep members engaged in remote distance learning — and earning their paychecks. Their action assured the school year isn’t lost for countless schoolchildren and protected the primary source of income for thousands of working families.
 

Demanding Lawmakers "Lift Up Working Families"

Connecticut's labor movement has been laser-focused on protecting working people since COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) began wreaking havoc as a full-blown global pandemic. The priority has been meeting the needs of those serving on the frontlines — health professionals, first responders and public safety professionals. At the same time, union leaders are teaming up for action aimed at preserving the livelihoods of working people facing layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours and shutdowns.
 

Protecting Caregivers' Lives with Solution-Driven Unionism

Researchers and students teamed up with engineers and scientists to defend clinical care providers treating patients afflicted by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The fruits of their labor will replenish supplies of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline heroes battling the pandemic’s spread. Working together, AFT Connecticut-affiliated local union members, their colleagues, students and administrators are demonstrating the power of collaboration when lives are literally on the line.
 

Empowering School Nurses to Fight the Pandemic

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Governor Ned Lamont nearly two weeks ago issued an executive order closing all public schools in Connecticut. Among the unintended consequences were furloughs and layoffs of education support personnel — including nurses and health professionals — in districts across the state. AFT Connecticut and affiliated local union leaders responded to the crisis by negotiating opportunities to re-deploy affected members to the frontlines of the pandemic.
 
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