April 6, 2020
AFT Tuesday Telephone Town Halls
We are living in a scary, stressful and uncertain time. The coronavirus pandemic is both a health and an economic emergency. Some of our members have died; even more have gotten sick; and everyone’s lives have been upended by school closings, furloughs, layoffs and stay-at-home orders across the country. Our healthcare members and other first responders have been the frontline soldiers in this war, while our educators are engaging families in such an extraordinary manner to keep hope alive.
Knowing how important connection is when we are physically distant, the national AFT has decided to hold member telephone town halls every Tuesday for the foreseeable future. These calls give rank-and-file members a chance to hear about the work AFT is doing nationally to help fight this pandemic. Members will be given the most recent information AFT has, including the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and tips for helping kids with lessons. Every call will include time for questions.
This Tuesday’s telephone town hall will feature Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. surgeon general. All AFT members are welcome to join; Dr. Adams will be taking questions from our healthcare members about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local Unions Keep Pushing Forward
Locals across the state are getting active and engaged in new ways as we adjust to our new way of working. Our members are providing food, developing educational opportunities, and keeping our buildings functioning among many other duties. In addition, we’re learning how to work together as “virtual unions” – holding meetings and even bargaining online. Just a few examples:
- GEU at MSU held their spring GMM this past Friday via Zoom with 48 members participating. The local had robust discussions about constitutional amendments that will be voted on by mail. The local used the polling feature on Zoom to allow attendees to vote on sending each of the constitutional amendments out for a mail-in vote. The treasurer shared charts and graphs explaining the budget and used polling to vote on the proposed budget. Members and officers were pleased with the participation and outcomes.
- Matt Smith from Clare-Gladwin ESD has been continuing his great work on the AFT Michigan Northern First Book collaboration by placing stickers on over 1,000 books we are getting ready to place with sheriffs and EMS drivers.
- At WSU, both AAUP/AFT and UPTF held successful and well-attended Zoom membership meetings.
- In Detroit, both the DFT and DFP held tele-town halls with members to distribute information and gather questions.
- Members in Dearborn and Macomb ISD continue preparing and distributing food for students and their families.
AFT Michigan Coronavirus Resource Center
As a reminder, AFT Michigan is continually updating aftmichigan.org/covid19 to provide you with important information on the state and federal response to the coronavirus crisis.
David Hecker, President