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.
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.
Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.
Trump Education Budget Tips Scale Against "Marginalized Communities"
April 26, 2017 | Public News Service | Eric Tegethoff, Producer
SEATTLE - Teachers and education staff are watching closely this week to see what happens with the Trump administration's proposed cuts to Education Department programs, as Congress works on a budget for next year.
The proposal slashes more than 13 percent, or $9 billion, off the agency's budget. While this might change during negotiations, Karen Strickland, president of the American Federation of Teachers of Washington, said she sees a theme that is emerging from the proposal. [full story]
WA Lawmakers Consider "Student Loan Bill of Rights"
March 10, 2017 | Eric Tegethoff, Producer, Washington News Service
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill to hold student loan providers accountable for their services.
Passed in the House last week, the Senate is considering the Student Loan Bill of Rights.
House Bill 1440 gives students protections as consumers of loan services, and also establishes a student loan ombuds to advocate for students and resolve loan issues.
Rep. Monica Stonier, who sponsored the bill in the House, says an ombuds will be able to help students navigate the questionable practices of some loan providers. [read or hear full story]
I hope to use this LWFT website to start having brief, but more frequent communication with LWTech Faculty on important issues. Briefer than this, anyway. Lots to catch up on. Please bookmark http://lwtcft.wa.aft.org
The first concern at this time is that Faculty do NOT use the college email for Federation (union) matters. Announcements of general informational nature are permitted, but the feedback and discussion that follows can easily be problematic. Please respond if necessary to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you give permission to use your home
WA Part-time College Instructors Seek Job Stability
February 8, 2016 | Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Almost half the college courses in Washington are taught by part-time instructors at less pay than full-timers and with no benefits. Legislation in Olympia aims to change that in the state's busy community and technical college system. House Bill 2615 outlines a plan to convert 200 teaching positions every two years from part-time to full-time. [more]
Feb. 26, 2014 | Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee today is to sign Washington's version of the "Dream Act." It's another step in years of effort by children of immigrant families to gain access to higher education - and it could make the difference for some as to whether college is even an option. . . . Baca, now a lobbyist for the education union AFT Washington, said immigrant students still don't qualify for the federally funded Pell Grants for higher education, which makes state-level opportunities even more important. [read or hear audio of