Workers Rights

Demanding Answers from Judge Gorsuch

The Senate's Judiciary Committee on Monday will convene confirmation hearings in Washington, D.C. for President Trump's nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The impact of the eventual vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's bid cannot be overstated. That's why union members are joining with consumer, social justice and women's rights advocates to ensure federal lawmakers fulfill their constitutional "advice and consent" duties.
 
Click here to urge Connecticut's U.S. Senators demand Judge Gorsuch reveal where he stands on the issues.
 

State Employees Defend a Voice for All Working People

Thousands of union members last week packed the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford to express their opposition to a dozen bills threatening a voice for all working people. The legislation — all sponsored by Republican lawmakers — drew condemnation from a diverse cross-section of the state's labor movement. Public employees in particular turned out in force to denounce the most egregious proposals jeopardizing their fundamental collective bargaining rights.
 
Click here for press reporting on the legislative hearing.
 

Windham Hospital Caregivers Protect Community Access to Vital Services

Nurses, technicians and healthcare workers at Windham Memorial Community Hospital (WCMH) last Thursday approved a mediated settlement for new three-year contracts with their employer following nine months of negotiations. Members of two AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions ratified collective bargaining agreements covering economic and working conditions for approximately 350 caregivers at the 130-bed facility owned by Hartford HealthCare (HHC).
 

Spotlight: Classroom Paraprofessionals

Leaders from several AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions representing hard-working school paraeducators in districts across the state this weekend are joining with their colleagues from throughout the country. They gathered in Las Vegas for our national union's professional issues conference for paras and school-related personnel (PSRP), which this year coincides with national Paraprofessional Appreciation Day on April 2.
 

Comments on Electeds' Call to Reject Collective Bargaining Agreement

Jan Hochadel, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following statement in response to Gov. Malloy and state Senate leaders' remarks about the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA) members' recently ratified contract:
 

A Supreme Court Vacancy: No Time to Rest Easy

The news of Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden passing on Saturday has raised important questions about cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The unjust Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA) lawsuit no longer appears headed to a likely defeat for our unions and the wider labor movement in America. Still, some legal experts are predicting it to be re-argued once the vacancy on the high court is filled.
 
Click here for the latest update from a high court analyst.
 

Labor History Lesson: The Fight for Free Speech

AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy opened a recent column in his local union's "Vocational Instructor" newsletter saying, "the study of labor history is an exercise in finding hope." He found some much-needed hope in the story of the Spokane "Free Speech" movement, an "example of how people refused to let a corrupt system beat them:"
 

A New Years' Message to Our Members

As we enter 2016, I find myself looking for positives in the labor movement and it's easy to become discouraged. I hear politicians and big corporations blaming the poor, people of color and immigrants for the disappearance of the middle class and worsening income inequality. The real issues we face are obscured by political sideshow.
 

Our Right to Work Together Under Assault

With the U.S. Supreme Court set Monday to hear oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), efforts are underway to expose the case's threats to all working people. Union members on Wednesday attempted to deliver more than 100,000 petition signatures to the Washington, D.C. headquarters of Center for Individual Rights (CIR), one of the special interests behind the lawsuit.
 
Click here for a brief video of the petition delivery.
 

Labor History Lesson: No Mercy for Injured Workers

Laws to compensate working people hurt while on the job have existed since 1908 when first passed in Wisconsin, where today anti-worker politicians are aggressively rolling them back. AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy shared some little known labor history that illustrates the limits of an employer's mercy for injured workers in a recent "Vocational Instructor" column:
 
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