Safeguarding our children
Keeping kids safe is the top priority of AFT member Sue Graves, a safety coordinator for the Lincoln County public schools in Oregon. Right after the tragedy in Newtown, the U.S. Department of Education called on Graves to fly to Connecticut to speak at a symposium for about 850 educators and school staff who wanted to strengthen their emergency plans. "You can’t just give a school a plan and say 'Let’s go.' It should be customized," Graves says.
Read more about how AFT members like Graves are helping to safeguard our children
Working longer to pay for health coverage
More than half of all workers say they intend to stay on the job longer than they want to as a way to keep their health insurance, according to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The actual experience of retirees suggests that may be wishful thinking: Only 19 percent of retirees say they were able to work longer to continue receiving health insurance through their jobs, the EBRI report says.
Read the report
Check out the Washington Post story
AFT welcomes the National Federation of Nurses
The National Federation of Nurses, which represents 34,000 registered nurses across the country, has affiliated with the AFT, whose 1.5 million members include more than 48,000 nurses and thousands of other healthcare professionals. This new partnership between the NFN and the AFT solidifies and builds on the unity of AFT members wherever they work—and is a major step for our union, for nurses, for patients and for patient care.
"The NFN decision is a vote of confidence in the AFT as a voice for professionals," says AFT president Randi Weingarten. "The NFN is the largest independent union of nurses, and we are delighted they have chosen to become part of our family of shared interests and professional values."
Read more about the affiliation
Check out the coverage by the New York Times and the Huffington Post
AFT applauds President Obama's
immigration reform plan
President Obama’s immigration reform plan, proposed on Jan. 29, provides a compassionate, comprehensive pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the United States, AFT president Randi Weingarten says. "The president's blueprint for reform and the U.S. Senate bipartisan framework show an understanding that our nation has always been enriched by immigrants and strengthened by the diversity they bring," she says. The AFT supports commonsense reform of immigration laws and, at the same time, has called for protections for the rights of immigrant workers recruited under various work visa programs. Some have been exposed to exploitation and abuse.
View the AFT’s entire statement
Read the call for protecting recruited workers' rights
Sign on to support commonsense immigration reform
Read Randi’s New York Times column on AFT.org
Today, nearly $4 trillion is held in defined-benefit pension funds in our country on behalf of American workers for their retirement. Amassed by these hard-working employees through their deferred wages, the funds and the benefits that come from these pension accounts represent a social promise that when individuals are ready to retire, they will have the financial security to live in dignity the rest of their lives.