Budget agreement: A first step
While far from perfect, the budget agreement passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December avoids the specter of another destructive government shutdown and partially restores critical education, healthcare and public services funding that was on the chopping block under the sequester, AFT President Randi Weingarten says. “This agreement is not everything we want, but it is a first step toward restoring a functional government. The American people demand and deserve better. It’s time to continue this work on behalf of the American people so we can create an economy rooted in shared prosperity and increased opportunity for all Americans.”
The entire statement is here
Funding bill eases sequestration hits
The retired Temple prof who took on the FBI
Civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activist John Raines was a Temple University tenure-track professor of religious studies in 1971, when he, his wife and three others pulled off an astonishing act of civil disobedience. Their secret operation exposed illegal FBI spying on law-abiding students, academics and other citizens, and it forced FBI reforms. Now the story of Bonnie and John Raines, who is a retired AFT member, is the basis of a just-released book by Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger, who covered the incident 40 years ago.
Listen to the NPR story
Read all about it in the Philadelphia Inquirer
Ask 'Dear Marci'
In this month’s “Dear Marcie,” Carlyle asks, “What Medicare changes will occur in 2014 as a result of the Affordable Care Act?"
See what Marci has to say
AFT, First Book reach million-book milestone
The AFT and First Book celebrated a huge milestone in December: The partners announced they have now distributed upward of 1 million new, free children's books to public schools and groups serving children in low-income families around the country. The announcement was made at a First Book event in Baltimore, where more than 400,000 books are being distributed in city public schools as well as 538 communities across the nation. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake played a key role in the latest effort by making a public warehouse available for book storage and distribution.
The story is here
AFT blasts Illinois pension-theft legislation
Legislators in Illinois recently passed legislation that Illinois Federation of Teachers President Daniel Montgomery says “robs teachers and public employees who have served our state and faithfully made their pension contributions.” The bill was passed, and signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, despite vocal opposition from numerous lawmakers, outcry from IFT members, and vehement testimony from the We Are One Illinois coalition. "Political attacks on workers' hard-earned pensions are unconscionable," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Last year, politicians scrapped a proposal to reform the state pension system that would have preserved retirement security while delivering significant savings to the state. The legislation passed is grounded in politics, not sound fiscal policies." On Jan. 28, the We Are One Illinois coalition and a group of active and retired public employees filed suit in a county circuit court seeking to overturn the pension-slashing legislation.
Read the AFT press release
Here's IFT President Montgomery's full statement
Read the statement from We Are One Illinois on the lawsuit
‘Two Words that Cost Medicare Patients Thousands’
When it comes to Medicare claims, it’s all about the fine print on your hospital chart.
Find out from “NBC Nightly News” how being “under observation” can cost you.
Check out the video
Who is your Everyday Hero?
Do you know an AFT member who has made a difference in his or her workplace? Someone whose extraordinary contribution in his or her field of work, or to the lives of others, has been heroic? Nominate this person as an AFT Everyday Hero by Jan. 31, 2014, and you will be entered to win a $250 American Express gift card! We will identify semifinalists from each of our constituencies: teachers, PSRPs, early childhood educators, higher education faculty and staff, public employees, healthcare professionals and retirees. One finalist from each constituency will be selected through online voting. The finalists will be honored at the 2014 AFT convention in Los Angeles.
Nominate as many people as you like, but nominees must be AFT members.
Use this brief nomination form
Read more about the competition