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Detroit Resident Physicians Move Forward Toward Union Recognition

On Friday, resident physicians employed by Detroit Education & Research working at Detroit Medical Center hospitals got some great news when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) denied a procedural maneuver by management’s attorneys to delay a union election. This means the residents are back on track to join the Alliance of Resident Physicians (ARP), AFT Local 5154, through a vote conducted by the NLRB this spring. This group of residents filed for an election in March of last year and has since been joined within ARP by the residents employed by Wayne State University.

We sincerely hope that the DMC, which played such an important historical role in providing healthcare to generations of Detroiters, will allow the process to move forward smoothly and work collaboratively with the resident physicians to bargain a contract that improves working conditions and enhances patient care.

(Even More) UM Health Professionals Join UMMAP!

This afternoon, more than 600 health care professionals who work in patient rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists, etc., officially certified the United Michigan Medicine Allied Professionals (UMMAP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 6739, as their union UMMAP now represents 3700 employees across the University of Michigan Health System. Amazing work by the rehab unit and all the great organizers across UMMAP who have built their local from scratch over this past year!

AFT Michigan’s Union Building Institute – February 5-8, 2024

Start off 2024 strong by building your union leadership skills!  Worksite leaders and members are invited to sign up for various virtual sessions designed to support members develop skills and build on existing knowledge and skills around core union capacities throughout the week of February 5th. Sessions are focused on core areas of AFT Michigan’s Power Wheel and include the following:

What’s a Worksite Leader? – Monday, February 5

As a building representative or department steward you are a “mini-president” — the “face of the union” in your worksite.  Members rely on you for communication about union events, updates, and actions.  Members also turn to you for support with worksite issues.  Join us to learn about and reflect on the core skills that make a strong union leader.

Contract Enforcement 101 – Tuesday, February 6

We work hard to win strong contracts, let’s make sure we enforce them!  Knowing your contract and understanding the process of handling worksite issues can help members find solutions and build power.  In this session, participants will define grievances and work their way through a case study to help demystify the process of contract enforcement.

Using Lists to Organize Your Worksite – Wednesday, February 7

All good organizing starts with a great list! Join us for an evening with AFT Michigan’s very own list-guy, Dan Kukuk, to learn how a well organized list can support your ability to reach out to colleagues about upcoming union events and issues. We’ll also spend some time discussing how elections play an important role in setting policies and conditions that impact educators, students, and communities with Political Coordinator, Jenell Mansfield. Come find out how lists and worksite conversations are crucial in moving members to action in upcoming 2024 elections!

Mastering the One-on-One Conversation – Thursday, February 8

Want to talk to your colleagues about issues in your workplace or invite them to the next union meeting, but not sure how to start?  This training is for you!  Come join our 90 minute session on 1:1 conversations that move your colleagues to action.  Whether it’s asking a potential member to sign a union card, talking to an unsure member about an upcoming board meeting, or moving a busy colleague towards being more active in your union, this training will leave you feeling confident in your organizing conversation skills!

All sessions are over zoom and run from 5-6 PM. Register today at

Justice Leaders Collaborative (JLC) Core Course – February 12 – April 1

The Justice Leaders Core Course is open to all AFT Michigan leaders passionate about issues of equity, inclusion and social justice. Learning will focus on issues of privilege, oppression and inequality along lines of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Participants will come to understand their own social identities, biases, and prejudices; increase their knowledge about the histories and present realities of various social identity groups; and begin considering how to incorporate this knowledge and awareness into building strong unions.

Our next cohort of the Justice Leaders Core Course will run 8 consecutive Mondays, 6:00-8:00 PM, starting February 12. Nearly 100 AFT Michigan leaders from all constituencies have now completed the Core Course. 

To register for the Justice Leaders Core Course fill out this form:

Upcoming International Workers Caucus Meeting – February 12

Join fellow international workers to discuss challenges of being a visa holder in the workplace. Join us and build a space for community, conversation, and action around immigration issues for international workers. 

We hold monthly meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month, our next meeting is February 12, at 5pm EST. RSVP here: 

Gov. Whitmer to Deliver State of the State Wednesday, 1/24

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her sixth State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00PM. The address will be held in the Michigan House Chambers in front of a joint session of the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate and broadcast live throughout the state. Watch online at

Upcoming Webinar: Dimensions to Wellness Self-Care for Educators – January 24

Join AFT’s Share My Lesson for this free webinar to support your health and well-being, part of our 2024 Wellness Series

Dimensions to Wellness is a valuable and research-based training program designed to cater to the holistic well-being of educators. This  webinar is a unique opportunity for educators to explore and enhance their mental, physical, and emotional health.

During this hour-long session, participants will delve into their own self-care practices, gaining insights to become more intentional about their wellness journey. The program covers a range of topics, including an assessment of current health, understanding circadian rhythms, exploring eight wellness indicators and their impact on overall well-being, and even delving into the concept of chakras.

Note: Each webinar in this Wellness Series is a stand-alone professional development webinar; you can watch one or all and in any particular order that suits your needs. Register now.

Join AFT Book Club Series

The AFT is launching the AFT Book Club Series in 2024, a pioneering initiative in collaboration with Share My Lesson and the Albert Shanker Institute.

Starting in January, each month will bring you an evening of inspiration, intellect and innovation, putting the power of words center stage. We kick off with none other than the inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman with AFT President Randi Weingarten for the first session of the AFT Book Club Series. Learn more about this virtual conversation to be held Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. EST.

Learn more about the AFT Book Club Series and get ready to be captivated by a seamless blend of words and wisdom. 

Help us make this a memorable journey into the world of literature and social transformation together. Make sure you and your colleagues know they also can enter the AFT Book Club Sweepstakes to be one of 250 people to receive a copy of one of Amanda Gorman’s books.

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,

Terrence Martin


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