The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.
Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
This is a fraught time. COVID-19 has been deeply disruptive to families. Even though kids are back in their classrooms, it has been a very tough school year. I’ve seen students’ joy as they learn alongside their friends and teachers, and I’ve seen their social and emotional struggles as we all endure the uncertainty and anxiety of the ongoing pandemic.
Just as we all need to be pulling together, there are divisive forces pouncing on families’ fears to stoke division—fears many people have about the effects of the pandemic and school closures and fears some people
In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.
Your union’s mission includes keeping the children and our members as safe as reasonably possible, as well as, keeping everyone gainfully employed during this unprecedented pandemic. Since March, we have worked tirelessly to mitigate risk from COVID-19 and to continue with full employment for all of our members by meeting, conferring and negotiating with the district.
SLPS has decided to open Instructional Support Centers (ISC’s) which will provide in-person support to students at each site. Local 420 insisted and the district agreed to ensure that conditions at the centers will meet and