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Dearborn Teachers Kick Off Bargaining

Even though it was 4:00 on a Friday before Spring Break, DFT 681 members came out with signs, bells, and noisemakers to cheer on the union negotiating team as they entered the building for bargaining. In this round of negotiations, DFT 681 is looking to win back concessions made over the last 15+ “lean” years in education and make sure every member benefits from the current financial climate and the ongoing educator exodus by winning a contract that attracts and retains educators in Dearborn Public Schools.

April is Arab American Heritage Month

During Arab American Heritage Month, we would like to recognize the great work of a rising Arab American union leader in Kathi Martin, the president of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, AFT 681, who is leading the DFT contract campaign cited above. Kathi became president of the local earlier this year after many years in the district as a speech pathologist and serving as the DFT political action coordinator. She follows in a long tradition of Arab American labor and political leaders in Dearborn and beyond, from former UAW president Steve Yokich to Ismael Ahmed, who co-founded ACCESS and the National Arab American Museum.

For resources on teaching Arab American Heritage Month from AFT’s Share My Lesson, click here.

GEO Strike Continues-Rally on April 16

The Graduate Employees Organization, AFT Michigan Local 3550, AFL-CIO, has been on strike since March 29 fighting for a living wage, affordable and accessible benefits, and a safe and inclusive workplace.  The University of Michigan Administration has gone to court for an injunction. A hearing on the case took place today in Ann Arbor. We continue to urge the Administration to bargain in good faith with GEO toward an agreement that meets the needs of graduate employees, not use the legal system to circumvent this process.

A community support rally is planned for Sunday, April 16, at 1pm on the UM-Ann Arbor Diag. You can donate to the GEO Strike Fund at

Teaching Race Conference at Oakland University – August 9

Registration is now open for “Teaching Race in America: A Professional Development Conference” (August 9, 2023). Registration is $20. 

The conference will feature presentations by Nikole Hannah-Jones (creator of The New York Times’s 1619 Project and Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University School of Communications), Roy Finkenbine (Professor of History and Director of Black Abolitionist Archives at the University of Detroit Mercy), Carlin Borsheim-Black (Professor of English Education at Central Michigan University), and local teachers and university professors.

If you are interested in attending or submitting a proposal, check out the conference webpage. If you have any questions, please contact 

Calling All Librarians

Are you a librarian? Are you upset about the wave of book banners threatening our communities? Our friends at Progress Michigan are looking for librarians willing to speak up and talk about why protecting access to literature is so important. If you’d be willing to do a short interview on this important topic, please email Dave Dobbie at

MSU Labor Education Conference

On Thursday, April 20, MSU will be hosting a conference on “The Future of Work/The Future of Labor,” designed to bring Michigan labor leaders and activists together to look at emerging trends and current situations that affect us in the labor movement. There will be presentations and reaction panels on the future of work, organizing, bargaining and on our post-pandemic workplaces.

Register at:

2023 Michigan School for Women Workers

Women in Leadership Empowering Us All!

April 27-29, Somerset Inn, Troy, Michigan

The Michigan School for Women Workers invites all union and non-union workers and activists from allied organizations to share ideas and grow skills for responding to the challenges facing working people. We welcome participants from all genders and all cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

Click here for more information and to register.

Contribute to the AFT Michigan PAC Today

AFT Michigan fights for our members, students and communities all year round and we need your help. Can you donate $1 a week to aid us in this fight? Please visit the AFT Michigan website to contribute and make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

In solidarity

David Hecker


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