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September 14, 2020

This weekend, I was honored to be part of the virtual roundtable discussion on “Fighting for Justice in Michigan” hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders. We had a great crowd who were clearly fired up about the need to get our country turned around and headed in the right direction. Along with several other panelists (including former UAW president and current AFT Michigan member Bob King), I was able to highlight the stand being taken by members of the Graduate Employees Organization, AFT Local 3550, who are entering their second week on strike fighting for issues that impact the entire University of Michigan community. If you’re able, I encourage you to contribute to the GEO Solidarity Fund.

Union Day of Action September 20

Union Day of Action is September 20th!  Help spread the message about Vice President Biden fighting for working families with your fellow union members. Let’s make sure Labor turns out and votes for a candidate who will be a friend and ally to them in the White House. Hear from MI AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber, a potential special guest, during a pre-rally and then let’s get on the phone and call voters all over the state and make sure they vote for Joe Biden. There will be remote phone-banks with training on Sunday, September 20. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and your phone. 

September 20th Union Day of Action Sign-up Link

Decline to Sign the Dangerous “Unlock Michigan” Petition

The cynically named “Unlock Michigan” ballot initiative would strip Gov. Whitmer of the emergency powers she’s used to keep us safe and save lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. UnlockMichigan is led by Republicans in the Legislature, including Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, in a dangerous partisan power grab that puts public health at risk.

If we can’t keep people safe, the economy, small businesses and workers will continue to struggle. Polls continue to show support for Gov. Whitmer’s actions throughout the pandemic, and this ill-conceived proposal only hampers her ability to save lives.

Unlock Michigan petition gatherers have been lying to people all over the state just to get signatures. They have been saying the petition is meant to help the governor. They have also been saying it will create union jobs and even add more police and firefighters to keep our communities safe. All these statements are LIES, and it is critical all Michiganders refuse to sign this deceitful and unscrupulous petition. We ask our members to Decline to Sign the UnlockMichigan petition.

Wealth Inequality Workshop: 9/24

Join us September 24th, 5:00 – 6:30pm!

Economic inequality is not inevitable. America’s massive wealth gap is not by chance, but by design. Our elected officials make policy. And we choose our elected officials. If we want to change the system and improve our communities, we have to vote.

This workshop will discuss the roots of economic inequality in the U.S., how particular policy choices have led to this outcome, and how you can use your vote and your voice in 2020 to begin reversing the damage of unjust economic policies. The conversation will feature educational research from the critically-acclaimed book Runaway Inequality: The Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice, written by author Les Leopold.

RSVP Now >>

Nominations Being Accepted for the 2021-22 Michigan Teacher of the Year

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is requesting nominations of outstanding teachers for the Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY), an annual program that recognizes teachers from throughout the state. Each year, 10 regional teachers of the year (RTOYs) are selected, with one of those teachers named MTOY. Nominations can be submitted using the online form.

Nominations will be accepted through Sunday, October 18, 2020. All eligible nominees will be invited to complete the first phase of the application process, with the top applicants advancing to the second phase of the process. From there, the top applicant in each region will be named that region’s 2021-22 teacher of the year and will be interviewed for the 2021-22 MTOY. The application process scores candidates on several factors, including their approach to meeting students’ unique needs and their involvement in the education profession.

Upcoming Professional Development

Close Reading and A Case Study of the Armenian Genocide Part Two

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Virtual Online Class from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This in-service will pursue Close Reading strategies and implementation, while engaging in hands-on learning activities by exploring relevant resources to use in the classroom.  Participants will also explore modern-era genocide through its prototype, the Armenian Genocide.

Register here.

Google Applied Digital Skills Training

AFT members are invited to a free training session on either Sept. 22 or Sept. 23: Get Started with Applied Digital Skills—Curriculum for Any Subject Being Taught Remotely.

The curriculum offers engaging, ready-to-use lessons that teach practical digital skills remotely. Instead of teaching these skills in a vacuum, Applied Digital Skills curriculum helps students create projects from scratch while using the digital skills they need to achieve success at school and in their future careers. Lessons are designed to enable students to learn from any place, and at their own pace, helping you create effective remote-learning opportunities. During this 90-minute training, you will:

  1. Learn about Applied Digital Skills and how it can help you improve the remote teaching experience by increasing student engagement and promoting self-directed learning;
  2. Explore the variety and flexibility of Applied Digital Skills lessons, and learn tips for how to use them to supplement class assignments in a remote setting; and
  3. Receive step-by-step instructions on how to set up your class and begin using Applied Digital Skills in your remote and/or in-person classroom!

You will need to have a Google account to register and participate. Space is limited, so make sure to register now for one of the following free training dates:

In solidarity,

David Hecker, President

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