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October 1, 2019

Governor Whitmer Signs State Budgets

Late Monday evening, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed all state budgets, while issuing 147 line-item vetoes which total $947 million. The governor vetoed $128 million from the School Aid budget. As fiscal analysts review the line items in the coming days, an updated report on the impact for each district will be prepared. We will keep you updated and provide information as soon as it is available.

Register for AFT Michigan’s Union Building Institute


Join us at the University of Michigan in Dearborn as we kick-off our 2019-2020 Union Building Institute (UBI). AFT Michigan’s UBI program is intended for all AFT Michigan members, with a focus on local leaders who want to:

  • Attend a 101-level workshop in one of the four Power Wheel categories, or
  • Participate in a more advanced workshop on building up the internal structures of their union.

Please click here to register and for additional information about the conference, hotel accommodations, and mileage reimbursement.

AFT Michigan Locals Continue Supporting GM Strikers

More AFT Michigan members were on picket lines across the state this past week as the GM strike continues. Thanks to everyone who has come out and contributed.

Great Turnout at Fall Leadership Summit

We had a great gathering of local leaders from across the state at UM-Dearborn this weekend, with 36 locals represented. A special thank you to all those who drove a significant distance – the “mileage award” was shared by Dana Schlosser from Glen Lake and Olivia Lehr from Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD, who both drove almost 300 miles to join us! We had great discussions about where we are and where we’re headed in the Presidents’ Council, Constituency Committees and Administrative Board. Presidents had a great discussion with Ben Pfeiffer of the Oregon City (OH) Federation of Teachers about how they have not only survived, but thrived, since “right to work.” Constituency Committees discussed our future policy and organizing directions, and the Ad Board elected two new Vice Presidents to fill vacancies: Christian Nwamba, President of the Wayne County Community College Federation of Teachers and Sarah Walker, President of the Graduate Employees Organizing Committee at Wayne State. And 15 great new local officers stuck around for Sunday to take part in New Officers Orientation. All in all, an invigorating and productive weekend.

REMINDER: Nominations for Teacher and Support Staff Professional of the Year DUE October 6 and 13!

Support Staff:

At the request of AFT Michigan, MDE has brought back the Educational Support Staff Professional of the Year Award, and is currently seeking nominations for an award recognizing the exceptional work done by those in educational support staff roles such as transportation workers, food service, custodial staff, skilled trades staff, maintenance, secretarial and administrative assistants, security guards, and paraprofessionals. 

Nominations can be made by anyone using the online form between now and Sunday, October 13, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Reviewers will evaluate each recommendation with the awardee announced in November 2019. For more information about the Education Support Staff Professional of the Year program, please contact Jennifer Robel at or (517) 241-7054


Now is the time to nominate them for the 2020-2021 Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY) program!

Nominations can be made using the online recommendation form between now and Sunday, October 6, 2019, at 11:59 p.m.  Anyone can nominate a teacher, provided the nominee meets the following requirements: Holds a current Michigan teaching certificate; has at least five years of successful teaching experience in Michigan; and works directly with students in their current role.

Every teacher eligible to apply will receive an email inviting them to complete Part A of the MTOY application process. Part A of the application process will be due by November 17, 2019.

New Discount Program from AFT Member Benefits

New MEMBERS ONLY Discount that can only be accessed through the AFT Members Only site.  

Office Depot/Office Max Discounts

·         up to 55% on 300+ core office and school products and office/school breakroom products and cleaning supplies

·         up to 30% on office services like printing and tech support

·         free shipping on purchases over $50.00

·         download a discount card to use in the store or request a personalized discount card when you create an account

Four steps: 

  1. login to AFT members only site
  2. click on Office Depot
  3. create an account at Office Depot
  4. start shopping

If you are already registered, go here to login and get to the members only site: . If you are not registered but have your card or know your member ID, register here: . If you don’t have your card or Member ID, you can complete this form to request your member ID *: . When you get to the members-only site you can print a temporary membership card, request a replacement or update your account information.

Upcoming Professional Development

Activating Learning in All Disciplines

October 5, 2019

8:30-4:00 p.m.

Macomb Federation of Educators Office

15300 E. 10 Mile Rd. – Eastpointe, MI

This workshop explores a pathway where lessons connect with cultural norms and students’ ability to share in their own learning and expectations leading to academic growth.

AFT Michigan members will receive 6 SCECHs after completion of this course.

Click here to register.

How to Build on Students’ Cultural Strength

November 2, 2019

8:30-4:00 p.m.

Dearborn Federation of Teachers Office

15250 Mercantile Dr. – Dearborn, MI

This workshop will help educators understand some of the most powerful cultural differences that can lead to classroom conflict for many students and how to capitalize on these differences to make the classroom a harmonious and productive learning environment.

AFT Michigan members will receive 6 SCECHs after completion of this course.

Click here to register.

In Solidarity,

David Hecker, President

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