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Biden Rips Kellogg’s, Supports Workers, as #KelloggStrike Continues

Over 1,400 BCTGM members in Battle Creek, MI, Lancaster, PA, Omaha, NE, and Memphis, TN have overwhelmingly voted to reject the tentative agreement reached with Kellogg management. The strike, which began on October 5, continues into its ninth week.

President Biden has once again shown himself to be the greatest friend organized labor has ever had in the White House.  As Kellogg’s moves to destroy families from which they make their profits, by hiring permanent replacements to replace striking employees, President Biden made this statement directed at the cereal maker:

“Permanently replacing striking workers is an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods,” he said. “I have long opposed permanent striker replacements and I strongly support legislation that would ban that practice.”

Thank you Mr. President. Elections matter.

Support Striking Workers

Strikes are tough, but the solidarity of Michigan’s labor movement is powerful and this has been proven by the constant visits to the Battle Creek picket line, and countless monetary, food and goods donations made to Local 3G.

If you’re interested in joining the picket line with a break ahead for many of us, stop by the Battle Creek Picket Line at 425 Porter Street, Battle Creek, MI 49014.

Member Spotlight: Missy Semanco, Lake Shore Federation of Support Staff

Missy Semanco, Paraprofessional & Building Representative, Lake Shore Federation of Support Staff (LSFSS #4793)

Missy Semanco, Paraprofessional & Building Representative

Lake Shore Federation of Support Staff (LSFSS 4793)

Missy started working as a paraprofessional at Lake Shore Public Schools 26 years ago after volunteering at her children’s schools and serving on the PTA.  Today, Missy is a K-3 paraeducator at Rogers Elementary where she supports students daily through reading intervention and small group instruction.

As a building representative, Missy has built a strong worksite membership where all support staff are not only dues-paying members, but also informed and active in their local.  When asked what makes her most proud about support staff and the important work they do each day, Missy says, “We get put in positions that aren’t necessarily ‘ours’. Especially during Covid, having to step out of our comfort zones to help. That’s the best thing about our support staff, we work together.”

We are committed to highlighting the amazing work members from across our constituencies do every day for their colleagues, students, communities, and our union. To make sure more people hear their stories, we are launching a Member Spotlight Program and need your help.  Follow the link to our website and fill out the form to nominate an AFT Michigan member to be recognized for what they do at work, in the community, or our union!

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 and set up a recurring gift to make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

Join an AFT Michigan Working Group

The AFT Michigan Administrative Board has created five working groups to help push forward our work in priority areas that have emerged from, and cut across, our Constituency Committees, and we are looking for members to add your expertise and passion to the groups (listed below, with target constituencies we will seek to involve):

  • Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline (All Constituencies)
  • Increasing the Number of Black Educators in Michigan (All Constituencies)
  • Support Staff-to-Teacher Pathways (PreK-12 Support Staff, Teachers, Special Ed/ISD)
  • Converting Part-time to Full-time Faculty (NonTenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty)
  • New Deal for Higher Ed: Fighting Back Against Austerity Budgeting (Grads, NonTenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty & Academic Staff)

Each group will begin with an Assessment Phase before moving toward recommending action steps to the AFT Michigan Administrative Board. Time commitments are flexible and will vary depending on the project and timeline. See descriptions of each group’s scope of work and interest sign up forms at

Upcoming Union-Building Workshops

Accessing Unemployment in Michigan Friday, January 7, 20222:00 PM3:30 PM
Treasurer Tuesday: Convention ComplianceTuesday, January 18, 20227:00 PM8:30 PM
Electoral Politics 101Wednesday, January 19, 20225:00 PM6:30 PM

Cancel Student Debt Now  

Student loan borrowers are counting the days before student debt raises its menacing head once again: After a 21-month reprieve on student loan payments, they’ll have to start making their monthly payments again on Feb. 1. Research shows few are ready, and the AFT is one of 105 organizations to officially urge President Joe Biden to cancel $50,000 in student debt. “Canceling up to $50,000 in student debt would provide transformational relief to about 80% of those with student debt,” they say. Read more about the tremendous impact this would have on individuals and on the economy.

Summer and Assistance with Public Service Loan Forgiveness 

AFT is working to keep members informed about the recent changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness and how to use Summer to get help to borrowers. Summer is a trusted online platform that can help you simplify and navigate your student loan debt. Using Summer’s online student loan management platform, AFT members who enroll in this free member benefit can:

  • Enroll in income-driven repayment plans and manage annual income recertifications; 
  • Complete the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form and manage the PSLF certification and application process; 
  • Find other options for loan forgiveness, and get assistance in applying for them; and 
  • Talk through options with Summer’s borrower success team so they can understand how to best maximize their loan repayment and forgiveness options. 

You can start using Summer by creating and logging in to your AFT Member Benefits account ( 

Professional Development 

AFT Michigan Professional Development Workshop 

Social Emotional Learning and the Brain

January 8, 2022, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop is informative, providing insight on the relationship of the brain to one’s emotions. Attendees will be introduced  to research-based strategies to enhance student growth, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and take a closer look at the role Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) has in the classroom.

Click Here to Register 

Human Rights Month

Find activities to engage students in globally recognized human rights topics, including the rights to education, equal treatment, and food, water and shelter.

Learn More at Sharemylesson

Register for AFT’s Winter Educator Academy

It’s been nearly two years since we all had to pivot to online teaching, learning and communicating. AFT’s face-to-face Winter Educator Academy, which will be held in January, is a chance to extend Summer Educator Academy train-the-trainer offerings in three new modules. Space is limited. Registration closes Dec. 30.

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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