The AFT calls for freedom to teach

AFT President Randi Weingarten today delivered a major address on the crisis hollowing out the teaching profession—massive disinvestment in public education and deprofessionalization. In her speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she called for reinvestment and freedom to teach.

AFT town hall welcomes Bernie Sanders

AFT President Randi Weingarten and presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders shared the stage yesterday in Lordstown, Ohio, together condemning the corporate greed—and the Trump administration behind it—that drove the General Motors plant closure here. The townhall-style gathering, and the backstage conversations between Sanders, AFT members and Lordstown students, was the first in a series of “AFT Votes” events designed to connect presidential candidates to AFT members around the country, to learn more about their lives, hopes and struggles.

AFT New Mexico wins major new laws

Members of AFT New Mexico are celebrating three important new state laws, signed this month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, that will strengthen community schools; fund career ladders to remedy the state’s teacher shortage and enhance teacher diversity; and bolster job security for school support staff. Two other new laws will enhance services for kids: One raises wages for classified personnel, and the other provides nearly $33 million to buy and equip district-owned school buses.

Thanks to PSRPs, recognition is on the way

Thanks to the activism of our members, AFT paraprofessionals and school-related personnel will be recognized in a new federal awards program, the first of its kind to honor public school preK-12 support staff. Every year, the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees program will honor one classified employee to acknowledge the excellence shown by PSRPs nationwide.

Community college faculty threaten strike in Philly

A strike is still imminent at the Community College of Philadelphia, where union faculty were at the bargaining table until 4 a.m. this morning but have yet to reach an agreement that eases one of the heaviest workloads in the area, and provides a living wage to staff. Community leaders have rallied behind CCP faculty and staff, and the students who rely on them. “You come to work every day to actually help create opportunities,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told them at a rally last week. “You have a right to earn a living wage.”

Fighting back against the assault on healthcare

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote this week on H. Res. 271, a resolution led by Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), condemning the Trump administration’s campaign to take away Americans’ healthcare. The resolution comes after the administration decided to back the full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act in federal court. On April 2, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gathered with other top Democrats on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to introduce the resolution.

Capital city teachers plead to ‘Fund Our Future’

The Washington Teachers Union launched a Fund Our Future campaign March 29, accusing District of Columbia Public Schools administrators of hiding budget cuts in a budget proposal that starves public schools in the nation’s capital. WTU’s petition to demands that student needs come first, with more focus on teachers and resources and less on administration and unfunded mandates.

Grads strike: Because billions for building but nothing for teaching doesn’t add up

Graduate employees at the University of Illinois at Chicago have been on strike since March 19, demanding that administrators respect their work and show they value academics as much as they value brand-new construction on campus. The strike comes after a year of stalled negotiations and the news that, while the university is refusing to raise grad employees’ pay, it is investing $1 billion in nearly a dozen new buildings, a new soccer stadium, a skating rink and other campus renovations.