AFT spearheads landmark partnership in Appalachia
The AFT is spearheading Reconnecting McDowell County, an unprecedented public-private partnership in Appalachia, aimed at helping children in one of the nation’s poorest areas "not just dream their dreams but achieve them," AFT president Randi Weingarten told an audience in Charleston, W.Va., this month. The partners are making a long-term commitment to help McDowell County tackle education, health, transportation, housing and other problems that have left the community mired in poverty and isolation for decades.
Learn more about the initiative and how you can stay connected
Watch the 'Reconnecting McDowell' video
Check out AFT president Randi Weingarten's recent piece in the New York Times, "Restoring Hope to McDowell County"
Medicare and health reform webinar
Check out "Medicare and Health Reform: A Special Information Session" brought to you by the American Federation of Teachers in partnership with the Medicare Rights Center. The webinar, presented by Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, provides an in-depth look at new healthcare legislation, updates on Medicare and what impact the debt talks might have on Medicare.
Listen to the presentation
Rhode Island's retirement overhaul will slash benefits
The Rhode Island General Assembly took only one month to pass a sweeping overhaul of public employee pension plans, but the residual effects on workers will last a lifetime. The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 (RIRSA), which was signed into law Nov. 18, institutes, among other things, a hybrid retirement system composed of a diminished defined-benefit component and a new defined-contribution individual retirement account component for most public employees starting July 1, 2012.
Read more on AFT.org
The three R’s of teacher pension plans
The National Institute on Retirement Security recently released "The Three Rs of Teacher Pension Plans: Recruitment, Retention, and Retirement," a study looking at the effectiveness of defined-benefit (DB) pensions on teacher retention and productivity. Economist Ilana Boivie, the report’s author, found that pensions play a crucial role in recruiting and retaining highly productive teachers: "Education policy literature is clear: Teachers become more effective as they gain experience. Research also shows that DB pension benefits, which provide a modest, reliable income in retirement, are an essential tool for retaining these highly effective teachers."
Get the full report
Labor’s untold story
High school history books often ignore the vital role unions play in advancing social reforms and building our nation’s middle class. Instead, the texts present labor history in a biased and negative way. A report sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, in cooperation with the American Labor Studies Center, surveys four major textbooks that together account for most of the U.S. market. The report shines a spotlight on the need for more accurate reports of labor’s contributions to our nation’s development.
Read more on AFT.org
Get the full labor history report from the Shanker Institute