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We Lost A Great Leader in Hugh Jarvis

Jarvis Led the Revitalization of State Federation

Hugh Jarvis passed away last Friday.  Hugh served as President of what was then the Michigan Federation of Teachers & School Related Personnel (now AFT Michigan) from 1981 to 1996.  Prior to serving as our state federation’s president, Jarvis was president of the East Detroit Federation of Teachers (now the Eastpointe Federation of Educators).

Here is the story as written by AFT Michigan attorney Mark Cousens in The AFT in Michigan:  A Brief History, prepared for our 75th Anniversary:  

After losing two locals—Oak Park and Harper Woods—to the Michigan Education Association in 1980, “Jarvis decided that the Federation had to have a change in leadership if it was to survive.  He announced that he would run against… (the incumbent)…Federation president.  At the 1981 convention, following the first contested election in two decades, Jarvis was elected president…. Rollie Hopgood, president of the Taylor Federation of Teachers, became Jarvis’ administrative assistant.  The two worked as a team to rebuild MFT…The Jarvis election was a turning point in Federation history.”  

The Jarvis & Hopgood team worked to strengthen local unions, greatly expand our political and legislative work, and expand the state federation, including to northern Michigan.  He advocated for changing our name to the Michigan Federation of Teachers & School Related Personnel to be inclusive of our support staff membership and greatly enhanced the MFT & SRP’s involvement in the greater labor movement. We are the state federation we are today, in large part, thanks to Hugh and Rollie.

After his retirement, Hugh would attend our state conventions, staying for a while not only to see old friends, but because of his lifelong commitment to the AFT in Michigan.

Picture with Hugh Jarvis (center) and Staff Rep Mark Ciolek at 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Comerica Park.

On a personal level, I first met Hugh when I was on staff at the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO and he was a Labor Council Trustee.  Hugh recruited me to come to work for my union, so I owe him a great deal for providing me the opportunity to work for you and to help our state federation build on his (and Rollie’s) great work.

Fortunately, Hugh had a long retirement to enjoy.  He so deserved it. We all owe Hugh a great deal. Rest in Peace Hugh.  And thank you.

Michigan Medicine Workers Form Union 

On Friday, February 24, over 900 Michigan Medicine Diagnostic Technologists, who conduct scans and studies crucial to patient care, gained official recognition of their newly formed union: United Michigan Medicine Allied Professionals (UMMAP), AFT Local 6739, AFL-CIO. The union’s majority support was verified by a neutral third party and the union received official notice of recognition from the University of Michigan/Michigan Medicine administration.

“By coming together as a union, we can ensure our voices are heard across the healthcare system and our knowledge and expertise of what it takes to have a balanced work environment is respected,” said Angela Brogan, a Mammography Technologist in the Rogel Cancer Center. “I believe unionizing will preserve a strong bond with leadership to not only secure world class patient care, but to employ and retain critical technologists throughout Michigan Medicine.”

UMMAP will be a multi-bargaining unit union of healthcare workers spanning across Michigan Medicine, with diagnostic technologists leading the charge and becoming the first unit to gain official recognition. With a commitment to an open, transparent, and cooperative process, UMMAP is poised to improve the workplace culture at Michigan Medicine, ensuring that health care workers are given the respect and support they deserve.

Read more on our website.

Great work by the UMMAP organizing committee and our organizing staff who have been working toward this goal for several years. I also want to recognize the support of our other locals at UM, particularly the United Physician Assistants of Michigan Medicine, AFT 5297, who work side-by-side with many UMMAP members, and the Board of Regents, who passed the union organizing policy in 2020 that made this a cooperative and fair process.

Let’s Pass Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation in Michigan

We have the opportunity right now to pass common sense policies like safe storage, extreme risk protection orders and universal background checks to prevent gun violence in Michigan and save lives. Click here to send a letter right now to your state senator and state representative. Thank you for taking action!

Weingarten Meets with MSU Locals, Trustees, and Interim President

Last Wednesday, AFT President Randi Weingarten met with leaders of our two MSU locals, the Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty and the Graduate Employees Union.   Randi had intended to visit campus, but the ice storm forced the meetings to be moved to zoom.  Following the discussion with UNTF President Kate BIrdsall, GEU President Ava Hill and other local leaders, Randi met with members of the Board of Trustees, and then with MSU Interim President Woodruff. The discussions centered on how the AFT can assist MSU in dealing with the recent tragedy, both in terms of helping students and staff work through the horror and in making MSU as safe as possible.

AFO Turns 15!

Secretary-Treasurer Terrence Martin and I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Anniversary Party of the Henry Ford College Adjunct Faculty Organization last Thursday. It was great to see over 60 current and former AFO members as well as leaders from the HFCCFT 1650, the College, and the Board. 

Lamphere Teacher in Top 40 Under 40

Amy Schroeder, a reading specialist at Lamphere Schools and a member of the Lamphere Federation of Teachers, is on Oakland County’s 40 under 40 list of outstanding leaders.  In addition to her incredible work with Lamphere students, Amy is President of the  Madison Heights Youth Assistance and volunteers monthly with Forgotten Harvest and Goodfellows.  Congratulations Amy.

Arthur Divers Featured in Sunday Free Press

DFT 231 retiree Dr. Arthur Divers had a well-deserved feature in this Sunday’s paper. Among many recognitions over the years, Dr. Divers was the 2010 recipient of our Walter Bergman Human Rights Award:

Rosa Parks:  The Truth Not the Myth

Teaching the truth about Rosa Parks is the subject of my February Michigan Advance column. Too many people don’t know that Ms. Parks was a trained, experienced organizer and agitator and her action was well planned and strategized. She wasn’t a “only” a seamstress who was physically tired – she was a leader who was tired of racial discrimination. 

WSU Labor Studies Center Spring WISE Conference

Conference Logo

Thursday, April 20—Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the Hollywood Casino Hotel at Greektown 

The Labor Studies Center at Wayne State University has created the WISE (Workers in Solidarity & Education) conference series that is committed to the teaching and learning of workers through innovative and advanced labor education programs. During the three-day WISE@Wayne conference, participates will attend one advanced labor education workshop and interactive general sessions that include speakers, panels and group exercises

Participants may register online or by calling the Labor Studies Center at 313-577-2191.

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! 

Professional Development 

AFT Michigan Professional Development Virtual Workshop 

Data and The Equity Lens

Saturday, March 11, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will introduce attendees to diverse ways of interpreting student data using an equity lens, and addressing the inequitable norms and patterns.

Participants will receive 6 SCECHs after completion of the workshop. 

Click here to register. 

AFT Share My Lesson 2023 Virtual Conference 

Registration is now open for the AFT Share My Lesson annual virtual conference, to be held March 21-23! Featuring 30+ free, for-credit sessions, this professional development event is one not to miss for preK-16 teachers, school staff and parents. Sessions will run each day from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT and will span the curriculum, including dedicated sessions on diversity, equity and inclusion and social-emotional learning and mental health. You’ll learn professional strategies and tactics to continue to foster the emotional and scholastic development of students in a post-pandemic environment.

Win a trip to Washington, D.C.! By joining the virtual conference, you’ll have a chance to win one of three trips to Washington, D.C., for the AFT TEACH conference this summer. Enter now.

New Resources to Teach the Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

Share My Lesson and the Zinn Education Project are coordinating several events to help teach about Rosa Parks.

  • Watch a livestream of the film The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks on March 8 at 6:30 p.m. EST. Register here. Or sign up to host your own screening for students.
  • This film is based on the book by author and AFT member Jeanne Theoharis. Watch a conversation with the author about her book.
  • Enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 12 sets of her books for your students or reading clubs.
  • Sign up for a for-credit webinar on March 23 at 3 p.m. EDT, Rosa Parks: Countering the Master Narrative.

Strategies for Student Success Webinars

Join us March 9 at 7 p.m. EST for the third session in our new monthly webinar series, “TEACH-ify: A Great Teaching Strategy Playlist!” AFT members are invited to join national trainers from the AFT’s Professional Learning program to talk about great teaching strategies for supporting students in grades K-12.

These free Zoom sessions are a fun and productive way to meet colleagues from around the country and learn about teaching strategies you can use the next day. We will also offer office hours following each session to answer participants’ questions. Sessions will be held the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Check out the list of topics below and register for all sessions here. Register for as many sessions as you’d like, and be sure to forward to a friend or colleague.

  • March 9: Social and Emotional Learning
  • April 13: Differentiation: Tiering
  • May 11: Differentiation: Choice Board

In solidarity

David Hecker


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