AFT Local 1018

Realizing Historic Wins to Secure a "Better Future"

Lawmakers in late April approved significant investments in the state workforce, capping union members' efforts aimed at successor contracts. Our latest quarterly collective bargaining report showcases seven affiliated public employee locals and their wider coalition's landmark achievement - their first such agreements without concessions in more than a decade. Together they demonstrated how a seat at the table yields much more than pay raises and better conditions.
 

Encouraging Teachers to "Share Your Story" and Celebrate the Profession

State and local union leaders are engaging with rank-and-file members in support of a new multi-media project designed to raise educators’ collective public profile. The online platform, "Teachers of Connecticut," was in August launched to amplify the voices of practitioners across the state with an initial series of stories from the classroom. News outlets have since helped further raise public awareness with coverage of featured educators.
 

Remaining Vigilant to "Open Doors for More Families"

Hartford families and education advocates earlier this month reached a settlement with local and state officials in the 30-year-old Sheff v. O'Neill, et al. desegregation lawsuit. While the agreement adds more than 1,000 new magnet slots in the region, it comes up short on resolving racial isolation in the Capitol City's traditional neighborhood schools. Following news of the resolution, civil rights activists and union leaders warned against complacency in the fight for equity for students struggling with poverty.
 

Promoting Professional Learning that Empowers Growth

The strength of our unions comes not from contracts or bylaws, but from the diversity and collective capacity of the nearly 30,000 women and men we represent. Our state federation's professional development (PD) program relies on both in order to offer a wide-ranging series of career advancement and labor leadership opportunities. Members of three divisions recently were asked to provide input and feedback for future course offerings as both new and previously presented workshops are scheduled in the coming weeks.
 

Winning on a "Labor is Your Neighbor" Platform

The state's labor movement had much to celebrate once all the votes in the November 7 municipal General Election were tallied in local communities across Connecticut. Seventy-two candidates endorsed by our federation's executive committee won races for offices ranging from mayor to town council to board of education. Most significantly, 21 were themselves members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions, demonstrating the resonance of the "labor is your neighbor" message developed earlier this year.
 
Click here for the full list of endorsements and final results.
 

A National Audience Hears Local Educators' Stories

Educators, families and communities are in a "David versus Goliath" battle against powerful special interests seeking to dismantle public education and rip opportunity from children and families. That was the message delivered last month to more than 1,400 teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff at the biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America's Children) conference. Union members from Connecticut were there — and two local leaders shared their political engagement experience and discussed teacher-driven professionalism.
 

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.
 

AFT President to Tour MLK Jr. Elementary School, Hold Media Briefing

Washington - American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will tour Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School on Thursday and hold a media availability after the visit. Joining her will be Hartford Federation of Teachers President Andrea Johnson, Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals Co-Presidents Shellye Davis and Jackie Aviles and Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell.
 

"From My Classroom to My Colleague:" Improving Teacher Retention

The challenge of retaining highly qualified teachers for public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods is having a detrimental impact on the "opportunity to learn" for children across the country. That's among the significant findings of a report on the so-called "diversity gap" between educators and their students by the Albert Shanker Institute. In Connecticut, union members, who on a daily basis see the effects of teacher turnover in distressed local communities, are discussing its implications and proposing possible solutions.
 
Click here for the report.
 

Educators, Caregivers, and Public Employees Back Hartford Working Families' Candidates

Rocky Hill - Citing their collective commitment to working families' issues, members of the nearly 30,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting Joshua Blanchfield, Wildaliz Bermudez and Dr. Larry Deutsch, MD, MPH to serve on Hartford's Court of Common Council. The labor federation's executive committee voted to add the Connecticut Working Families Party (WFP) candidates to its slate of endorsements for the November 3 municipal General Election. Earlier this month active and retired members of its affiliated local unions were informed and encouraged to vote for all three.
 
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