AFT Local 4200

Awarding Activism and Aiding Academics

Like every other aspect of our lives, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis impacted the presentation of annual awards and scholarships at our state federation's 2021 convention. Members were last month recognized virtually for their "above-and-beyond" activism, and several weeks later educational grant winners received notice of their selection. The unorthodox celebrations were indicative of the challenges our labor family has faced and overcome this past year.
 

Mobilizing Because "We Can't Afford to Sit on the Sidelines"

Union activists in the final stretch of the 2021 legislative session have escalated efforts to urge better choices while lawmakers and the governor deliberate over a biennial state budget. Among those leading the charge are state employees who have experienced firsthand the negative consequences of decades of failed austerity policies. They have over the past month amplified earlier demands to embrace a "recovery for all" approach by engaging in collective action.
 

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.
 

Lifting Up Managerial and Exempt Employees

Our state federation's ongoing efforts to empower a greater share of the public sector workforce with a voice on the job continue surging ahead. A week-long membership mobilization drive drew union leaders and activists from across the state — and the nation — this fall to AFT Connecticut's Rocky Hill headquarters. "ConnectiBlitz 2019" brought more than 60 managerial and exempt state employees into our labor family while at the same time strengthening one of our newest local affiliates.
 

Making Our Collective Voice "Heard in the Voting Booth"

The vote tallies in the 2019 General Election say it all; 23 members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions across the state won their respective races for municipal office. There is no debating the value of backing our sisters and brothers when they step up to show their communities that “labor is your neighbor.” Importantly, it also points to the path for restoring working peoples' political power as nationally important elections in 2020 draw near.
 
Click here for final election results in races in which AFT Connecticut made endorsements.
 

"Winning a Better Future for More Working People"

Veteran labor activists in both the private and the public sectors will attest to significant challenges in winning initial and first successor union contracts. AFT Connecticut-affiliated locals secured such collective bargaining agreements, arbitration awards and memoranda of understanding over the past three months. We're highlighting two of these important victories, which demonstrated how member engagement and internal organizing can overcome steep obstacles and make meaningful gains.
 

Keeping the Commitment to "Win-Win" Solutions

Republican lawmakers earlier this month hatched a last-ditch attempt to block passage of a biennial budget package by misrepresenting so-called "labor savings." They have since continued pushing a false narrative that public sector union leaders were negotiating "concessions" with the administration of Governor Ned Lamont. In reality,  nothing could be further from the truth; ongoing discussions have since January focused on "win-win" solutions, not more givebacks.
 

Standing Up to the State Employee "Blame Game"

Last month on Election Day the candidates for statewide office and the legislature who pledged to stand up for Connecticut's working families won big. Yet corporate lobbyists and their front groups continue pushing austerity policies that benefit big business and the ultra-rich ahead of the opening of the General Assembly's 2019 session. Union leaders are mobilizing to ensure the new Lamont Administration and incoming lawmakers make better choices than more middle-class givebacks or additional public service cuts.
 

Providing "Proven Strategies for Building Power"

Building on successful volunteer-based initiatives spanning the past three years, AFT Connecticut will this fall launch the next generation of its Member Organizer Institute (MOI) program. The effort, jointly funded by our national union, state federation and local affiliates, seeks to build greater participation by offering compensation to our most valuable resource — active members. The application period is now open, and leaders are seeking potential candidates for a paid cohort to begin training in late September.
 
Click here for a fact sheet on the MOI program.
 

Defending the "Future of Our Collective Bargaining Rights"

A Republican legislative leader last week launched a politically motivated media attack on gains made by state employee unions. At issue are contractual bonuses due later this month as part of a 2017 agreement to protect jobs, extend benefits and preserve services. In reality, the true targets are the collective bargaining rights that secured them — rights which face an uncertain future in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
 
Click here for reporting on the state Senator's remarks.
 
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