Workers Rights

Teachers at Windham Charter School Ratify First Contract

Willimantic - Teachers who educate the students of Path Academy Windham on Tuesday ratified a two-year contract with the school's administration and charter management organization, Our Piece of the Pie®, Inc. (OPP®) The members of the recently organized Windham Charter School Federation of Teachers (WCSFT) overwhelmingly approved the collective bargaining agreement negotiated in what educators describe as an atmosphere of mutual respect.
 

Overwhelming Majority of Healthcare Workers Urge Negotiations

Danbury - Healthcare professionals on Friday called on the president of Danbury and New Milford Hospitals to commence negotiations over decisions impacting care for their patients and working conditions for themselves. A group representing approximately 800 service, environmental, maintenance and other patient care providers at both facilities at a 'town hall'-style meeting presented their 'mission statement' to President Daniel DeBarba.
 

Caregivers "Taken Away from the Bedside" by "Union-Busters"

Danbury - Service, environmental, maintenance and other vital patient care providers at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals are taking additional steps to hold the network operating both facilities accountable under the law. An employee last week anonymously filed a "whistleblower" complaint under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The action followed patient medical information breaches by outside consultants retained by the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) to thwart both facilities' healthcare workers' legally protected efforts to form a union. 
 

Labor History Lesson: The Abood Decision

Most of the gains that organized labor has made are due to courageous and principled stands by working men and women. In his latest "Vocational Instructor" labor history column, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy acknowledges the important role that the courts have also played in shaping our rights:
 
 

Honoring Our Past, Inspiring Our Future

Ninety-nine years ago today, on May 9, 1916, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was founded in Chicago, when eight local unions were granted a charter signed by American Federation of Labor (AFL) President Samuel Gompers. Leading up to AFT's national convention in 2016, we will spend the next year looking back on our rich history -- our struggles, our accomplishments, our proudest moments -- and celebrating how far we have come and what lies ahead.
 
Click here to watch a brief promo of AFT's 100th anniversary celebration.
 

Settlement in Lawsuit Over Illegal Layoffs

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against former Governor John Rowland for retaliating against union members with job cuts in 2003 today announced a settlement after nearly 12 years of litigation. The agreement is a testament to the courage and tenacity of workers who stood up for the rights of free speech not just themselves but for all of us.
 
Click here for the state unions coalition's press statement.
 

Comments on GOP Legislators' Alternative State Budget

Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks in response to state budget proposals announced today by Republican legislative leaders:
 

"Fast Track:" Bad for Our Economy

The so-called "Fast Track" bill on trade promotion authority introduced last week in the U.S. Senate will hurt everyday working people and stack the deck in favor of corporations. The legislation threatens to limit the ability of labor unions, environmental advocates, and all Americans to have meaningful input on our nation’s trade policy.
 
Click here to tell Congress to stop Fast Track.
 

Labor History Lesson: Coxey's Army

The first "march on Washington" is the subject of AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy's latest "Vocational Instructor" labor labor history column. He details events that took place a full seven decades before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech -- and which still resonate today.
 
The words the march's leader planned to deliver -- "the rich have been growing richer, the poor poorer, and that by the close of the present century the middle class will have disappeared" -- ring true 121 years later:
 

Labor at a Crossroads

Speaking last week at the Albert Shanker Institute, AFT President Randi Weingarten participated in a wide-ranging discussion on the challenges facing unions, their members and all workers in our nation. She was joined in Washington, D.C. at "The American Labor Movement at a Crossroads" conference by U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez as well as workers and activists, journalists and economists, labor leaders and advocates.
 
Click here to watch the conference's first session.
 
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