This years AFT End of the Year Luncheon was about change. Our past president John Krimmel passed the torch to our new president Nancy Lasher. We have high expectations of our incoming president and she has the full support of the Union to achieve all the goals set before her. Nancy has been a part of The College of New Jersey for 25+ years serving in multiple roles across campus, most recently being a professor in the Marketing and Interdisciplinary Business Department. Please join us in welcoming the new President of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2364, Nancy Lasher!
Nurses at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, Ore., have been fighting more than four months for a fair contract that includes consistent scheduling and safe staffing. The Oregon Nurses Association represents the 135 registered nurses at CMH. Their contract expired May 31; since then, they have held an informational picket, a town hall and a march to protest the hospital’s refusal to negotiate and to educate the community about their efforts to put the quality of care before record-breaking profits and executive bonuses.
The Springfield (Mass.) Federation of Paraprofessionals has won a $30,000 grant from for their new kindergarten First Book program, which kicked off last weekend with a visit from AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson. More than 2,000 public school kindergartners will each take home four books by the end of December.
Graduate workers are rallying on campuses across the country to fight a new Trump administration proposal that would strip them of the right to form a union. Join them as they flood the National Labor Relations Board with written comments to show that their work—teaching classes, grading exams, doing crucial research and more—makes them not just students, but workers who deserve workers’ rights. “Graduate workers deserve respect for the work they do and the right to join a union, just like any other employee,” says AFT President Randi Weingarten.
Sometimes college students need extra help, whether it’s tuition assistance, money for textbooks, a metro card to get to school or a word of encouragement during a particularly challenging moment.
That’s exactly what the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs gives students at the City University of New York, and the program has been a game-changer, helping otherwise marginalized students stay on track. CUNY’s faculty-staff union, which includes ASAP student advisers, is pressing for continued funding for the program, which has more than doubled graduation rates among participants.
A secure, decent life from generation to generation was the theme of questions put to presidential candidate Julián Castro during a town hall meeting last night with union members and retirees in Las Vegas.
On Sept. 26, the Chicago Teachers Union announced that 94 percent of its members voted to go on strike. They could walk off the job and onto the picket lines as soon as Oct. 7. In addition to issues of wages, benefits, evaluation, and preparation time, CTU members have been pressing the city to address student needs. Current law prevents them from striking over such issues, but there is room to change the law, and the issues are so urgent they have become a big part of the conversation.
As the presidential elections inch closer and the field of candidates gets more and more competitive, AFT members are engaging, parsing campaign platforms, asking questions of the candidates, and voicing their priorities as educators, healthcare practitioners and public employees.
Presidential candidate Steve Bullock, the governor of Montana, met with members of the Washington Teachers Union in Washington, D.C., for an AFT Votes town hall on Sept. 19. The event was the eighth in a series of town halls the AFT is holding across the country as part of our AFT Votes 2020 presidential endorsement process. Bullock, a strong supporter of public education, joined the presidential race just four months ago, making his announcement in a classroom at his high school alma mater. “I did it because of the public education that I received,” he said. “If done right, public education is one of the great equalizers. It gives everyone of us a chance to climb the ladder of success.”
Hillary Clinton headlined an all-day conference, In Defense of Democracy, co-organized by the Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers and Onward Together, Sept. 17 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her strong warning that democracy is under threat reverberated through her keynote speech as well as panel discussions and presentations with prominent activists, politicians and intellectuals. “The norms and institutions that provide the foundation of our democracy are under assault, and that includes the single most important fight of our times, ... the fight to protect the right to vote,” said Clinton.