March 2, 2020
Support WSU Lecturers
Over 100 Lecturers and supporters rallied at Wayne State University this past Wednesday to protest the Administration’s sending non-renewal notices to all Lecturers with appointments above 50% whose contract expires this semester. These Lectures are represented by AAUP-AFT Local 6075.
WSU has chosen this course as it is the easy way out. Similar action has taken place at Central Michigan University. In past years some K-12 districts laid everyone off in the spring, and then recalled almost all when they determined how many teachers they would need.
There is only one reason for this course of action, administrators not doing their jobs. It is their job to figure out what courses will be taught next academic year and what lecturers are needed. Even Lecturers who have won the University’s highest teaching awards and/or are listed on the fall teaching schedule, were non-renewed. Targeting Lecturers to deal with budgets is bad policy: 25% of the tuition raised by Lecturers covers the cost of their salary, the rest goes to other administrative costs.
Support WSU Lecturers by signing the public statement of support here: AAUPAFT.org/LecturersMatter
Biden, Sanders or Warren
At its meeting the week of February 17, the AFT Executive Council urged AFT leaders and members to become involved with the campaigns of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. In part, the resolution stated: “Our executive council is encouraging our members to actively support Biden, Sanders and/or Warren because they share our values, have demonstrated effective leadership through their records, have earned significant support within our membership, and are best positioned to achieve meaningful and lasting victories on the issues that matter to us most.”
This resolution was a result of the AFT presidential endorsement process that has generated an unprecedented level of engagement, both with our members and with all of the Democratic presidential candidates. More than 300,000 members have engaged personally in AFT’s election 2020 work so far.
This direct member engagement with the 2020 candidates includes: 10 separate candidate town halls, five regional meetings, multiple telephone town halls with hundreds of thousands of members around the country, member surveys and polls, and AFT’s Public Education Forum 2020. In addition, many states and locals have done more (AFT Michigan’s survey, for example). Many members, including our top two officers, are already involved with campaigns. Last week, President Randi Weingarten made a personal endorsement of Elizabeth Warren and Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson endorsed Joe Biden. Members can:
- Run to be a delegate to your party’s national convention, and encourage your members to do the same. Visit AFTvotes.org.
- Volunteer for a campaign. We encourage you to check out(we can help make Michigan connections):
- Submit a blog post for AFT Voices about why you support a specific candidate.
Thanks for your activism and commitment to put a friend of public education and working families in the White House, a friend who will appoint a supporter of public education, students and educators as Secretary of Education.
Senator Warren Speaking at Eastern Market on March 3
While we do not have an endorsed candidate, when we are informed of candidate appearances open to the public we will inform you. Senator Warren will be speaking at Eastern Market, 2934 Russell, Detroit, Tuesday, March 3. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. with the event starting at 7:15 p.m. For more information, go to events.elizabethwarren.com/event/254315/.
Report: Michigan Needs Stronger Oversight of Charter School Authorizers
A new report by the Citizens Research Council (https://crcmich.org/wp-content/uploads/rpt409_Charter_School_Oversight-2020-1.pdf) calls for new rules and laws to provide greater oversight of charter school authorizers “to ensure the productive use of public resources and the well-being of children.” Responsibility for charter school oversight has been largely delegated to authorizers—mostly universities—who receive 3% of the foundation allowance per student in every charter school they authorize. Neither that State Superintendent nor other state officials have significant oversight powers over authorizers.
2020 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:
- Graduating senior of an AFT Michigan high school with the goal of becoming a teacher;
- AFT Michigan PSRP dues paying member enrolled (full- or part-time) in a teacher certification program at a college or university; and
- AFT Michigan dues paying member’s son(s) and/or daughter(s) who is a graduating senior with the goal of becoming a teacher.
Upcoming Professional Development
Helping Students Struggling with Mental Health
May 2, 2020
AFT Michigan Office
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This workshop provides interaction strategies that help educators maintain a workable relationship with learners who are experiencing mental health challenges.
Click here to register
David Hecker, President