In Uncategorized

July 20, 2020

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up.  You have to say something; you have to do something”

“…find a way to get in trouble.  Good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Thank you Congressman John Lewis!

AFT Michigan has attached Black Lives Matter signs to our building (the sign in the photo above faces Jefferson Avenue).  We all know that issues, no matter how important, fade from the front pages and the newscasts.  While the most important work we are doing to advance racial justice is incorporating it  into what we do as a union and supporting like minded organizations, we believe it is important to keep the issue front and center in a very visible way as well.

Support EMUFT

After five months of negotiations at Eastern Michigan University, the EMU administration reversed course at the last minute and told the EMUFT  bargaining team that they couldn’t agree to the compromise they had hammered out unless they agreed to give up the only path to full-time positions that part-time members have. In response, the bargaining team made a reasonable demand: the university must commit to working on better paths to full time by the next contract, and in the interim they must provide better job security for part-time lecturers.

The administration met their reasonable response to this betrayal of five months of work by hiring a union busting law firm, Dykema, and doubling down on their commitment to exploiting their most vulnerable workers. While EMUFT is hard at work negotiating this contract, they need your support! Find them on Facebook and like their page:

Then, post this message: “Part Time Lecturers deserve job security and a fair contract!” and the hashtag #ISupportEMUFT and @ the following groups:

@Eastern Michigan University

@Eastern Michigan University Alumni

@EMU Parents – Eastern Michigan University

@EMU Student Government

Discussions on How to Reopen Schools Continue

Much work continues to be done regarding the possible return to school.  We have had regular meetings with our higher education and K-12 leaders (within K-12, we’ve also been convening breakout sessions focused on special education).  We are constantly advancing the ideas and concerns voiced with the Return to School Council, the Governor’s office, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Community College Association, the Michigan Association of State Universities, the Michigan Association Superintendents and Administrators, and the Michigan School Board Association to try to create a better environment for local planning and negotiations.  

With these state leaders we are clear that our members have a good deal of very understandable concern and anxiety about returning to school, university and college buildings, and that unions must be a part of Preparedness Plan development and that the impact of an employer’s plan on mandatory subjects must be bargained.

On the local level we are assisting locals with their good work and will continue to push for health and safety to be the top decision-making factor as this work continues.

AFT Releases “Time to Act” Report 

This morning, AFT released A Time to Act: the Importance of Investment in Public Education and Other State and Local Services in the time of COVID-19 calculates the need to fill a gaping $93.5 billion preK-12 funding gap and $45 billion higher education funding shortfall caused by the country’s economic slump. And it identifies an additional $116.5 billion to equip schools and colleges with physical distancing, masks, Plexiglas, hand-washing stations, cleaning supplies, test kits, and other resources like ventilation retrofits necessary to halt the virus’ spread—as well as resources like nurses and guidance counselors to meet the needs of students. 

AFT Michigan Endorsements for the August Primary Election

Our primary election is coming up on August 4. Hopefully you have requested (and perhaps already received) your absentee ballot. For a list of our endorsed candidates for the August primary go to:

Congratulations Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the Rollie Hopgood High School Senior Scholarship winners Alexandra Van Damme (Brown City High School), Kyle Scarbrough (Lake City High School), and Ontrice L. Ramsey II (Detroit School of Arts).

Congratulations to the Rollie Hopgood PSRP Scholarship winner Sheila Lee (Taylor Fed of Teachers).

AFT Summer of Learning Professional Development Webinar Series

Rigor in the Remote Learning Classroom

July 23, 1 p.m. EDT | REGISTER  Barbara Blackburn, Author

Do you feel like your remote learning instruction was satisfactory but not as rigorous as you had wanted it to be? If so, you are not alone. In this session, we’ll explore how to incorporate rigor in remote learning for all grade levels and subject areas.

Collaborative Best Practices for Successful Distance Learning with Special Populations

July 23, 2 p.m. EDT | REGISTER  American Music Therapy Association

Through case studies and published resources, this webinar will present evidence-based practices addressing how to maximize learning opportunities for students and their caregivers during distance learning. The first section will present adult learning models and family-centered practice approaches, such as coaching, to help students engage in distance learning. The second section will present examples from specialized instructional support providers (SISPs) working collaboratively with English language learners during distance learning. 

Back to School: Attending to Students’ Social and Emotional Needs in the New Normal

July 23, 3 p.m. EDT | REGISTER  Facing History and Ourselves

What does it mean to go back to school this year—after a season of disrupted learning, a summer of historic protests and unrest, and in the midst of an ongoing pandemic? Effective teaching in these times demands that educators prioritize the social emotional needs of their students and build strong relationships, regardless of whether school starts in person, remotely or somewhere in between. Before students can focus on what they are being asked to learn and do in the classroom, they must feel safe, connected and emotionally secure.

Blended Learning with Social Skills Animations in Early Childhood

July 23, 4 p.m. EDT | REGISTER  Wonder Media

When students finally transition back to school after being in front of a screen all day, the WonderGrove SEL animated lessons can act as a bridge between the home and the classroom. With Wonder Media’s new blended learning plan, teachers can rely on the WonderGrove Social Skills animations as an effective way to modify behavior and teach social emotional learning in school and at home. Teachers or parents can access videos and extension lessons from home or the classroom, so the process is adaptable to any teaching or learning style.

The presentation will show how WonderGrove can be used as a blended learning tool for teachers, at home to prevent summer slide, and how to foster social emotional learning from a distance.

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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