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AFT's stand on Common Core gains traction; DOE offers more time for rollout

common coreU.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on June 18 announced that states can have additional time before evaluating teachers using assessments that are tied to the Common Core State Standards. The Education Department also offered help for states struggling with "double-testing" as new standards and assessments are introduced. AFT president Randi Weingarten, who has repeatedly urged policymakers to focus on implementation before high stakes, backed the Education Department move, and stressed that, "the ball is now in the states’ court to seize this opportunity."

Separately, a group of education organizations representing more than 10 million teachers, parents and administrators issued an open letter supporting the AFT’s position on Common Core implementation.

See the open letter backing the AFT's position

Tell your state to put the brakes on stakes

Take action: Join the human chain

against the chained CPI

On July 2, the Alliance for Retired Americans will sponsor a National Day of Action to elevate grass-roots voices in the battle to protect and enhance retirement security.  The alliance wants to create a human chain in front of key congressional offices and federal buildings, as well as other strategic locations nationwide in the event, which it calls A Human Chain Against the Chained CPI.

Want to join the chain? Find an event near you

Long-term care in America

The PBS NewsHour is airing a series focused on long-term care in America. Part one follows Rebecca Wyant, a small-business owner from Tucson, Ariz., and full-time caregiver for her mother Mary, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Wyant’s story shows how the Older Americans Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 is still relevant for communities across the country as the population gets older.

Check out part one of the series

AFT report making an impact on the investment community

investmentIt’s been two months since the AFT’s Center for Workers’ Benefits and Capital Strategies spearheaded the release of the report, “Ranking Asset Managers: A Retirement Security Report on Money Managers for Trustees,” and it has made an impact on the investment community.  The groundbreaking report calls out money managers who have been profiting from work with public pension funds but acting behind the scenes to undercut AFT members’ long-term interest. Along with providing transparency and disclosure to trustees, the Center also is shaping AFT’s proactive voice in the capital markets. "Harnessing the strength of the pension funds of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other workers to rebuild our roads, schools and bridges and create the infrastructure America needs is not just a financially sound investment—it creates job accelerates our economic growth and invests in the future of our nation," said AFT president Randi Weingarten.

Read the full story at AFT.org

Good news for Medicare beneficiaries

The 2013 Medicare trustees report released in late May projects that the trust fund that finances Medicare’s hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent—meaning it will be able to pay 100 percent of the costs of hospital insurance coverage—until 2026. "The trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries," said Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare’s long-term financial issues."

Learn more from the report "Medicare Is Not 'Bankrupt' "

AFT offers $25,000 prize for solution-driven unionism

25k prizeAcross the AFT, there are many inspiring examples of collective work to improve our workplaces and our communities. That's why we created the Prize for Solution-Driven Unionism: to recognize extraordinary accomplishments that exemplify our mission of providing high-quality public education, healthcare and public services. More information about the prize and the online application are available here. Applications are being accepted from June 10 to Aug. 16, and we’ll announce the winner(s) of the $25,000 prize(s) in October.

Companies urged to sign Bangladesh safety accord

Bangladesh building collapseIn the aftermath of the tragic building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 workers, the AFT has called on manufacturers and retail companies working abroad to sign an accord to ensure the safety of foreign workers, just as they do their U.S.-based employees. "Companies outsource apparel work to developing countries because of their cheap labor, but that does not give them license to ignore safety measures and put workers' lives at risk," says AFT president Randi Weingarten. "Investors and shoppers should consider the corporate values and responsibilities of clothing stores and brand names—especially those that have not signed the accord," she adds. Nonsigners include Gap Inc./Old Navy, Children's Place, JCPenney, Wal-Mart and Sears.

Read AFT press release

Read related story at Huffington Post

Sign on to the letter to Gap Inc.


In This Issue

Calls for sound Common Core rollout 

Join the human chain against the chained CPI

Report impacts investment community 

Good news for Medicare beneficiaries 

Bangladesh safety accord

member benefit ad

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