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LEO Continues Fight for Fair Contract

As the Lecturers’ Employee Organization at the University of Michigan continues its fight for a new contract, they are asking for your continued support.  

  • Join with LEO as they make their labor visible and hold informational pickets at Move-In Day on the Ann Arbor campus on August 27 and 28, 10 am-2 pm. RSVP here to join.

Through solidarity, LEO will win the contract lecturers deserve.

Working to Promote Vaccination in Schools

We all know that vaccination is the single most important factor in getting the covid-19 pandemic under control. As schools and colleges welcome students back, many of our members are on the front lines of dealing with both safety issues and what has become an unfortunately politicized debate. Today, the FDA issued a full approval of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, which will hopefully encourage some of those who have been on the fence to get the shot. As the parents of young children know all too well, kids under 12 still have no access to a vaccine.

About 90% of AFT members working in schools are fully vaccinated, which as you know is much higher than the rate among the general public. With all this in mind, the AFT Executive Council (on which I serve, along with Terrence Martin of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and John McDonald of the Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers) recently debated and passed a resolution promoting vaccination in educational institutions, while firmly stating that workers, through their unions, must be included in the development of employer policies and that any impacts of vaccination policies must be bargained. After passage of the resolution, the AFT Michigan Administrative Board reviewed the language and agreed that it should guide our position here at the state level as well.

Donna Jackson and Terrence Martin Join Fighting For Our Vote Rally 

AFT Michigan, along with our locals and members, have been deeply engaged in the fight to protect — and expand — voter access and engagement for years. And as you know, AFT Michigan has intensified our efforts to defend our democracy in response to recent, concerted attacks on our freedoms and attempts to undermine free and fair elections and voting rights.  

Over the weekend, Fighting For Our Vote, a national coalition of labor and civil rights organizations kicked off a year-long campaign to stand up for voting rights with events and action around the country, including a flagship rally in Detroit. Detroit Fed. Of Paraprofessionals President Donna Jackson and Detroit Fed. of Teachers President Terrence Martin, were featured speakers at the event, which highlighted the need for the US Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and to fight back against the more than 400 bills introduced in state legislatures that attempt to suppress the vote, primarily of people of color and those who live in poverty. 

A Labor Vision for Higher Education

This summer, activists from campuses across the country – including several here in Michigan – met virtually to craft a vision of what higher education in the US could look like. This effort builds on many of the concepts developed under the banner of the collaborative New Deal for Higher Education and AFT Michigan has added our name to the list of endorsers of the vision statement. 

United Physician Assistants of Michigan Medicine Leader Featured in Crain’s Article on Physician Assistants

It was nice to spot a labor leader leading off a recent article in Crain’s Detroit Business – Eryn Smith, UPAMM secretary and bargaining team member, is pictured in an article highlighting the importance of physician assistants in our healthcare system. 

Click here for copy of the article

Metro Detroit AFL-CIO Food Box Giveaway

Because of COVID, there will not be a Labor Day parade in Detroit this year.  However, the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO  has organized a Food Box Giveaway for members of unions affiliated with the Metro Detroit AFL-CO, which includes AFT Michigan locals.  The Giveaway will be on Friday, September 3 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  To pick up food you must provide your name, address, phone number, union name and local number to by Friday, August 27.  Confirmations will be sent to those who send in this information.  The location of the Giveaway will be sent with the confirmation.

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 $52 a year to elect more candidates who share our values? Please visit and set up a recurring gift. For as little as $1 a week, YOU can make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

Upcoming Union-Building Workshops

Accessing Michigan’s Unemployment SystemMonday, August 30, 20212:00 PM3:30 PM
Free Speech for Public EmployeesWednesday, September 1, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM

Upcoming Professional Development 

March on Washington Lessons & Activities 

Aug. 28 marks the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Teach the significance of this event and its influence on the civil rights movement with the resources in this collection. 

Back to School Resource Library

Save time and minimize stress with Share My Lesson’s mega Back to School resource library. Access hundreds of free preK-12 lesson plans, on-demand professional webinars, and teaching strategies on everything from classroom management and family engagement to supporting special populations and social emotional learning.

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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