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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.
 

Advancing Workplace Safety Because "We Stuck By Our Priorities"

Union members have over the past four months demonstrated the power of combining persistence and activism to make significant gains at the negotiating table. Our latest collective bargaining report showcases a local affiliate whose leaders organized high profile public actions to build support and mount pressure on their employer. Their commitment to a healthier and safer workplace paved the way for winning long overdue protections.
 

Speaking Out for Essential Workers Who Risked it All

Local and state union activists and leaders earlier this month turned-out in record numbers to advocate for themselves and fellow frontliners impacted by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis. The occasion was a legislative public hearing held by the Connecticut General Assembly's committee that oversees employment policies and practices. Joined by members of allied labor organizations, they took a strong stand to demand restitution for their sacrifices and preparation for the next pandemic.
 

Resisting "More Calls for Austerity, Year After Year"

Labor activists earlier this year began collaborating with community organizations to help fellow residents recover from the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. That led to the formation of a new coalition, "Recovery for All," initially focused on securing a state budget in the General Assembly's 2021 legislative session that puts people first. AFT Connecticut is a full partner in these efforts, and is mobilizing members to move lawmakers and the governor to "do better."
 

Securing a Vaccination Plan to Benefit Our Schools

Unions representing teachers and support personnel, superintendents and parents today are thanking state officials for adopting their proposed parallel vaccination plan presented last week for Connecticut’s school communities. The Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition's recommendations were included in directives announced this afternoon by Governor Ned Lamont. 
 
Click here for the coalition's letter to the governor.
 

"Rewarding to Win on Issues that Matter" to Our Members

Despite the challenges posed by a deadly second wave of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) infections, union members over the past three months made significant progress at the negotiating table. We’re highlighting a contract victory for our latest collective bargaining report resulting from workplace activism in spite of the limitations imposed by the pandemic. The win reinforces how engaging the membership around priority issues yields real dividends.
 

Calling for Uniform School Quarantine Policies

Board of Education (BOE) Union Coalition leaders are urging Governor Ned Lamont create a clear, uniform policy regarding how school districts should handle quarantines and leaves in our public schools. Labor leaders in a January 8 letter said that too many districts are not following procedures established by health experts for responding to COVID-19 exposures. Those local school officials are jeopardizing the health and safety of their communities and the success of their students.
 
Click here for the coalition’s letter to the governor.
 

"No Going Back to Normal" in 2021

When I accepted a Connecticut People’s World Committee "Amistad Award" last month, I began my remarks by recognizing our members. They are the ones who are out there fighting the good fights and making — as Congressman John Lewis would have said — "good trouble." I credited our educators and school support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education professionals and public employees who have done amazing things over this past year.
 

AFT on Nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary

WASHINGTON — American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel issued the following statement after President-elect Joe Biden nominated Miguel A. Cardona to be the next U.S. secretary of education:
 
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