With Election Day less than three weeks away, the AFT Votes bus tour rolled into the upper Midwest, with stops in Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana over the last several days. Along the way, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick C. Ingram urged educators, parents and community allies to vote—early, if possible. The Biden-Harris presidential ticket, they said, is the right choice to move the country forward.
Registered nurses at Backus Hospital in Norwich, Conn., launched a two-day strike on Oct. 13 over unfair labor practices by hospital management amid ongoing contract negotiations. The nurses rallied in the rain on day one and were joined by union leaders, including AFT President Randi Weingarten and elected officials who called on the hospital to negotiate a fair contract with the nurses.
Confronting the climate crisis was the focus of the AFT’s town hall on Oct. 8. The fires in the West and the hurricanes in the South are raising public awareness about climate change, but it’s time to match public awareness with public action, said AFT President Randi Weingarten during the event. “Climate change is real. It’s caused by humans, it’s already doing significant damage, and we need to act,” she said, adding that the climate crisis should be a central issue in the election.
Like everything else in education, the AFT Innovation Fund, a program that awards funding to local and state affiliates directing creative projects in education, has been influenced by COVID-19. Grant recipients, announced Oct. 7, will use their awards on projects such as food and clothing distribution to communities hit by the pandemic-related recession; expanding professional development for remote learning; additional health and wellness resources; trauma-informed training; and literacy clinics for students adjusting to online learning.
We may have to stand 6 feet apart, but we’re standing together. Crossing half the country from west to east since the end of September, the AFT Votes tour bus is making critical stops to engage voters, distribute free books and rally with our members and other unions—all done with pandemic safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe.
Elections always matter, but this is the most consequential election of our lifetime, says AFT President Randi Weingarten, which is why the AFT—in the midst of a pandemic—is launching a multistate bus tour beginning Sept. 30.
When wildfires in Oregon spread across the state in early September, burning more than 1 million acres, more than 500,000 Oregonians were under some level of evacuation notice, including thousands of Oregon School Employees Association members who were forced from their homes. As communities and homes continue to be threatened by fire, with many people still evacuated and seeking food and emergency shelter, OSEA is stepping up to help its members.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has raised the stakes in the upcoming election, AFT President Randi Weingarten told member activists who joined the AFT’s biweekly telephone town hall on Sept. 23. The call, held on National Voter Registration Day, focused on the importance of voter registration, voter protection and voter engagement in this year’s election.
When the Scranton (Pa.) School Board proposed a hybrid reopening model this fall, the Scranton Federation of Teachers knew it was the wrong move. Too many crucial safety variables hadn’t been figured out, from classroom ventilation to cleaning supplies.