December 7, 2020
AFT Michigan’s Angela Johnson Succumbs to COVID-19
AFT Michigan lost a fighter for public education and social justice last week with the passing of Administrative Board member Angela Johnson. The cause of death was COVID-19. A retired educator from Detroit Public Schools, Angela served as our Vice President for Retirees. She was always an important part of our board discussions contributing regularly and effectively.
Her work as a Board member was just one avenue for Angela’s activism. If there was a political event, Angela was there discussing our issues with decision makers. When she came across an interesting article or piece of news, she would share it with me and I am sure many others.
Angela’s activism was driven by her passion for public education and her drive to help develop a fairer and more just world. She will be greatly missed.
Upcoming Union-Building Workshops
|Member Benefits||Wednesday, December 9, 2020||6:00pm||7:30pm|
|Filing for Unemployment in Michigan||Wednesday, December 9, 2020||3:00pm||4:30pm|
|Treasurer Tuesdays: Record Retention & Important dates||Tuesday, December 15, 2020||7:00pm||8:30pm|
|Filing for Unemployment in Michigan||Friday, January 8, 2021||3:00pm||4:30pm|
|Filing for Unemployment in Michigan||Tuesday, January 12, 2021||2:00pm||3:30pm|
|Filing for Unemployment in Michigan||Wednesday, January 13, 2021||3:00pm||4:30pm|
|Member Organizing Institute 101||2 Saturdays, January 23 and January 30, 2021||9:00am||12:00pm|
|Bargaining 101||3 Mondays, January 25, February 1, February 8, 2021||6:00pm||8:00pm|
Unemployment and Non Tenure-Track Faculty
Institutions of higher education are anticipating reduced course loads next semester, which will hit part-time faculty units particularly hard. If you are not teaching next semester, or the number of classes you normally teach has been reduced, you might be able to file for unemployment insurance through the State of Michigan. These are benefits that you have paid into every time you are employed and our unemployment insurance system is designed to help people going through situations like this.
It is possible for nontenure-track faculty to collect unemployment; however, the process can be difficult to navigate. We have been working with the Sugar Law Center for Social & Economic Justice to develop workshops designed to help you calculate if you qualify for unemployment and guide you through the application process (see above to sign up) and answers to frequently asked questions: https://aftmichigan.org/unemployment/.
AFT Michigan Welcomes New Staff Members
We’re excited to be welcoming three great people to our staff after the holiday break:
- Erin Lavin (Field Representative, working primarily with higher education locals) currently teaches Spanish at the University of Michigan and is the Ann Arbor Campus Co-Chair of the Lecturers Employee Organization, AFT Local 6244.
- Jenell Mansfield (Political & Legislative Coordinator) is currently the Executive Director responsible for the Detroit Public Schools Parent Academy and previously worked as a school social worker and classroom teacher.
- Meenakshi Mukherjee (Leadership Development & Internal Organizing Coordinator) is currently a middle school teacher in Detroit Public Schools who has served the Detroit Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 231, as an Organizing Fellow and other leadership roles. Meenakshi previously helped form a chapter of Michigan ACTS, AFT Local 6482, at Southwest Detroit Community School, serving as Chapter Chair and Lead Negotiator.
David Hecker, President