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April 1, 2019

U.S. House and Senate Say “Honor Support Staff”

Last week, the U.S. Senate joined the U.S. House in passing the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act. If signed into law by the President, the U.S. Department of Education Secretary would be required to officially honor support, including the support staff person of the year award. Last month, Macomb ISD Federation of Paraprofessionals President Jeff Whittle was in Washington, D.C. lobbying for the bill.

Speaking of Brother Whittle, check his column in this past weekend’s Macomb Daily giving recognition to the work of school support staff.


Whittle: Support staff are backbone of our schools

Court Rules for AFT Michigan in Project Veritas Case

A federal District Judge has refused to dismiss the Federation’s suit against Project Veritas (PV) and an agent of PV who unlawfully recorded conversations with AFT Michigan staff and who stole confidential documents. Project Veritas is a notorious right-wing organization whose purposes include damaging labor unions. The PV playbook includes planting an agent in a progressive organization with the agent then secretly recording conversations with staff. PV then publishes misleading versions of that conversation in an effort to show the organization in a false light. PV is a defendant in several suits in numerous courts involving similar actions.

AFT Michigan sued Project Veritas after an agent engaged in fraud to obtain a position as an intern with the Federation for the purpose of secretly recording conversations with staff and reviewing confidential documents. The Court has now rejected an attempt by PV and the agent to dismiss the case and among other conclusions held that the unconsented and undisclosed recording of private conversations is unlawful.

The case will now proceed through the discovery phase with trial sometime in 2020.

LAST CHANCE to Register for AFT Michigan’s April Leadership Summit


This is your last chance to register for our third and final installment of AFT Michigan’s 2018-19 Leadership Summit series. On Saturday, April 13 AFT Michigan members will convene at the EMU Conference Center at the Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti. Conference registration and breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.

On Sunday, April 14 some participants will return for:

  • LEAD: Only for locals who opt into the LEAD program
  • Union Administration Workshop: Mass Communication Tools for AFT Locals
  • Using Quickbooks to Streamline Your Financial Review & Audit

Please click here to register and for additional information about the conference, hotel accommodations, and mileage reimbursement.

**We are unable to add special food requests at this time.

Student Debt Workshop

AFT Michigan members are invited to participate in a Student Debt Clinic following our Leadership Summit from 3:30-5:00 pm on Saturday, April 13. Space is limited to 30 participants and is first come, first serve, so register now at

We are very luck to have Lisa Laverty, former EMUFT President and AFT Michigan Vice President, back in Michigan as AFT’s Great Lakes Region Student Debt Clinic coordinator. Lisa is already working with locals to bring personalized clinics to their members and we hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to see how a Debt Clinic might fit into your local’s organizing efforts.

To register, visit:

AMERICAN FACTORY Film Provides Unique Perspective

A Chinese billionaire opened a glass making factory in a former General Motors Dayton plant in 2015 and moved a large team of employees to Ohio. Three years of film makers access to the factory lines and meetings with the 2,000 employees captured the early days of exhilaration that soon gave way to language and cultural barriers, conflict, and a union organizing campaign. The film AMERICAN FACTORY offers an all-access experience to factory floors and the Dayton-area homes of workers on both sides of the divide.

AMERICAN FACTORY is part of the FREEP FILM FESTIVAL and can be seen on April 12 at 8:00 p.m. at Wayne State’s DeRoy Auditorium and on April 14 at 1:00 p.m. at the Detroit Film Theater at the Detroit Institute of Art.

2019 Great Lakes Union Leadership Institute

Registration is open for this year’s AFT Great Lakes Union Leadership Institute, to be held June 23-27, 2019 at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, WI. The ULI draws leaders from across the region – many of whom bring their families – to learn and develop skills in a great setting. Registration deadline is May 15. AFT Michigan is able to offer a limited amount of need-based scholarships for members of locals unable to pay the full cost of attendance. For more information and a registration form, go to

2019 Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award Applications Now Available Online!

AFT Michigan has three eligibility categories of the “Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award” for individuals whose future goal is to become a teacher.

The categories are:

  1. Graduating senior of an AFT Michigan high school with the goal of becoming a teacher;
  2. AFT Michigan PSRP dues paying member enrolled (full- or part-time) in a teacher certification program at a college or university; and
  3. AFT Michigan dues paying member’s son(s) and/or daughter(s) who is a graduating senior with the goal of becoming a teacher.

Click here to download the applications. Applications are due no later than June 7, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Linda Moore at

In Solidarity,

David Hecker


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David Hecker