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Support All Workers

My January Michigan Advance column comments on the tremendous outpouring of support for Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills when he narrowly avoided death on the football field, while noting that we unfortunately hear nothing about workers injured and killed on the job every day. 

Lake Shore Federation of Teachers Ratifies New Contract

The Lake Shore Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1465, has negotiated a three-year contract in record time! The LSFT bargaining team was a diverse group made up of educators at all levels of the current pay scale, from various buildings within the district, and differing levels ranging from early elementary to high school. The team’s prep work started with collecting survey results, compiling membership concerns brought during in person conversions and emails, and collaborating with other locals to research other contract language. Members provided quotes and small video clips to insert into the original proposal presentation. Members ratified the TA on January 18, 2023, with 110 yes and five no votes. With over 34 proposals TA’d there is much to celebrate. Some of the team’s most proud accomplishments are:

  • Yearly step increase with 3% raise across the board each year  for 3 years (with wage reopener clauses pending state funding and student count)
  • Paid paternity and adoption leave
  • Right to disconnect
  • Snow days to remain snow days
  • In the event of another indefinite prolonged shutdown, the parties will bargain mutually agreeable solutions.

Henry Ford Federation of Teachers Elects DEI Officer

The Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers (AFT Local 1650) has further advanced its commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by electing Dr. Courtney Matthews, Henry Ford College English professor, to its Executive Board as the Local’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer.  During the Fall 2022 semester, the Executive Board and membership of Local 1650 unanimously approved an amendment to its constitution and bylaws establishing the new DEI Officer position.  The DEI Officer will lead Local 1650’s internal efforts to advance the values of DEI in union policies and contractual matters, while also pushing the HFC Administration to incorporate DEI principles in its decisions.  At a time when society continues to address the centuries-long history of systemic racism and discrimination in our nation, Local 1650 will work to deal with these issues on the HFC campus.   We believe Local 1650 is the first AFT Michigan Local to establish a specific DEI position on its executive board and looks forward to sharing its experience with other Locals around the state and nationally.

AFT Michigan’s Queer Caucus & Inclusive Language Workshop!

AFT Michigan Queer Caucus is a space where LGBTQIA+ union members join together to build collective power, develop organizing skills, increase dignity & respect on the job, socialize, and support each other as queer, professional workers. 

Queer Caucus members will facilitate a workshop at the upcoming Union Building Institute on how gender-inclusive language can increase union strength and member engagement. Register for the UBI here and sign up to attend the workshop on inclusive language! All are welcome.

If you are interested in getting involved in Queer Caucus or indicating your support as an ally, please fill out this interest form

Questions? Contact AFT Michigan field rep Erin Lavin (they/shey) at

Welcome New Local Presidents at Wayne State, Dearborn, and EMU

This month, we are welcoming several new local presidents replacing stalwart AFT Michigan local leaders.

  • Deborah Kingery is the new president of the Wayne State Union of Part-Time Faculty. Deborah replaces Susan Titus, the founding president of UPTF, who served on our Administrative Board for many years, and is a longtime civil and human rights activist in Detroit. Thank you Susan, and congratulations Deborah.
  • Kathi Martin is the new president of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers. Kathi replaces Jane Mazza, who was active in the local leadership for many years and served multiple terms on our Administrative Board. Thank you Jane and congratulations Kathi.
  • Matt Kirkpatrick is the new president of the Eastern Michigan University AAUP/AFT. Matt replaces Mohammed El-Sayed, who led the local union through their strike last year. Thank you Mohamed and congratulations Matt.

Strategic Contract Bargaining 

Thursdays 6pm-8pm

March 2, 2023 – April 6, 2023

This course will teach you effective techniques of bargaining local/main table agreements. Come learn the legalities and do’ and don’ts of the very legal document that dictates your wages, health care, safety, benefits and rights on and off the shop floor. Learn strategies of effective representation to ensure fair and equitable agreements for your constituency. Course is taught by veteran union bargainer Andrea Hunter.

Click here for more information 

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 

Black History Month Resources on Share My Lesson

Black History Month is an important time for educators and students to recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Black people throughout history, and also serves as an opportunity to acknowledge and learn about the struggles and injustices of the past and present. By incorporating these lessons into our curriculum, we not only acknowledge the diversity of our society, but also gain a deeper understanding of our shared history and the ways in which it has shaped our world today.

Strategies for Student Success Webinars

Register now for a 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 our students in grades K-12; the series started in January and continues through May.

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. 

Check out upcoming sessions below:

  • Feb. 9: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Focusing on Student Strengths
  • March 9: Social and Emotional Learning
  • April 13: Differentiation: Tiering
  • May 11: Differentiation: Choice Board

Sessions will be held the second Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Register for all sessions here.

In solidarity

David Hecker


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