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Huron Support Staff Secure Raises and More

The Huron School District Federation of Support Staff, AFT Local 5298, our newest local, overwhelmingly ratified a three year contract with the Huron School District last week.  Highlights of the agreement include a restoration of paid holidays for Food Service and Lunchroom/Recess Aids, the adoption of a new longevity pay policy that makes many more bargaining unit members eligible for additional pay, and competitive annual pay increases and off schedule stipend.  The HSDFSS’s bargaining team were professional, persistent, and organized over 60 members to attend bargaining action that helped settle the agreement.  Congratulations! 

Crawford-Ausable Locals Secure New Agreements

Our Crawford-Ausable Bus Personnel and Support Staff locals each ratified two-year contracts.  In the first year,  there will be a  3% on-scale increase for both units, plus $2.00/hr wage increase for Drivers and $1.50/hr wage increase for Support Staff. Additionally, an MOU establishes a program to cross-train Bus personnel to perform other duties in the district in order to give them all the opportunity to reach full time status and benefits. In the second year, there will be a 1% off scale payment plus $2,100 for each employee for health care related expenses.  Congratulations on the new agreements.

Support a Fair Contract for KVCCFT

Kalamazoo Valley Community College Federation of Teachers (KVCCFT, AFT Local 2412, AFL-CIO) is bargaining for a fair wage, dignity, and respect for part-time faculty at KVCC. KVCCFT has proposed our first base salary increase since 2015, a technology stipend to support the increased demands of remote instruction, and greater job stability. So far the KVCC administration has either been silent or has pushed back on our reasonable requests. Please show your support for KVCCFT in our bargaining efforts by signing and sharing this petition.

Click here to sign the petition

Support WMU’s Part-Time Faculty in their Fight for a Living Wage

Western Michigan University (WMU) relies on the highly qualified and deeply dedicated part-time instructors in the Professional Instructors Organization (PIO, AFT Local 1903) to fulfill its educational mission, yet WMU’s administration clings to unnecessary austerity narratives in our current contract negotiations. PIO is calling on fellow AFT union members to lend their voice in support. Please click here to sign the petition and share among your networks.

House and Gov. Reach Agreement on Pre K-12 School Aid Fund and ESSER Supplemental

Last Thursday night the House passed the SY 2021-22 school aid fund budget which would allocate $16.7 billion to Pre K-12 education, which is a 7.8% increase from last year’s budget.  The house-passed version of the K-12 budget included nearly $300 million to bring every district to a minimum of $8,700 per pupil. This funding was originally proposed by Governor Whitmer as an “equity fund” to address the long-standing funding gap between districts since the passage of Proposal A in 1994. The governor applauded the bill and she along with the House are hopeful that the Senate will return next week and finalize the budget and meet the July 1 deadline. 

The House also passed HB 4421 sending a supplemental appropriation of $4.3 billion in ESSER II and 90% of ESSER III federal funds to the governor’s desk. We expect the Governor to sign the bill when it reaches her desk this week.  Schools will now have the funding needed to implement summer programs and reopen safely in the fall. We will continue to monitor the budget as it progresses. 

House Dems Roll Out “Respecting Teachers” Legislative Package


Last week, Democratic members of the Michigan House held a press conference to introduce the Respecting Educators bill package, which consists of 18 bills focused on retaining and attracting individuals to the profession. The bills introduce a wide array of solutions to issues that plague our educators such as removing the growth component from evaluations, subsidizing teacher certification fees, allowing teacher discretion in whether to retain students in the 3rd grade and a teacher student loan forgiveness program. 

Kathi Martin, Affiliations Vice President for the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, who has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for the last 18 years, spoke in support of the  the package: “This is a great bill package and has items that will benefit existing teachers, such as helping with student loan payments and many items to incentivize prospective teachers to enter the field. This is a comprehensive package that addresses issues we all have been facing as educators and it deserves our full support.”  

AFT TEACH 2021 – July 6

AFT TEACH 2021 starts next week on Tuesday, July 6, at 1 p.m. Eastern time with a welcome session featuring AFT President Randi Weingarten. Each day that follows, through July 10, will feature general sessions covering important topics, including anti-racism, civic education and participation, self-care and equity practices, and the future of public education.

But that’s not all. What else is great about TEACH this year?

  • It’s virtual. You can join us from anywhere with an internet connection—no need to travel or figure out accommodations.
  • It’s affordable. AFT members can attend the full conference for $50 (and $25 for new AFT teachers (fewer than five years), AFT PSRP members and AFT retirees).
  • It’s worth credit. You can get certificates of completion for more than 60 educational workshops. 
  • It has two movie nights. Watch the world premiere of Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with Students and True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality.
  • It includes mental and physical health sessions. You can work out your body and your mind with our non-credit wellness sessions on nutrition, yoga, meditation and Zumba.
  • It will be available on demand. Registered attendees can access TEACH sessions on demand for 90 days starting July 6. So, you have more time to get the most out of this amazing professional learning opportunity. View the agenda.  
  • It includes a sweepstakes. If you register by June 30, you can enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headsets. Get the scoop

Trust us, you won’t want to miss a minute, register now.

Upcoming Professional Development

The deadline to register for AFT’s Summer Educator Academy has been extended to July 9.

Given the times, AFT has decided to keep Summer Educator Academy 2021 virtual. The Educational Issues professional development team, along with AFT’s national trainers, has been designing online train-the-trainer versions of offerings. We will continue to help your local build internal capacity to lead the professional development your members need and deserve.

As in the past, the local leader or designee must recommend participants for the train-the-trainer sessions. More information on future in-person trainings will follow.

COSTS: The costs for the virtual academy courses are per person, per course:

Train-the-Trainer $175

Participant Only   $50

Payment must be submitted by local unions or districts; payment will not be accepted by individual participants for the train-the-trainer courses. Individuals may register and pay for the participant-only courses.

The following offerings will begin as soon as July 12 and will have staggered start dates throughout July and August.

Participant only:

  • 10 Trauma-Informed Strategies to Help Students Heal (July 19-30, MWF)
  • Managing Behavior in School Communities for Support Staff (July 26-30)
  • Strategies for Student Success (SSS): From the “New Normal” to the “New Future” (July 16-30, not all dates are mandatory)


Prerequisite: Developing Effective Professional Development (DEPD)

  • Beginning Reading Instruction (July 19-23)
  • Creating a Supportive Learning Environment Through Social Emotional Learning (July 12-16)
  • ELL 101 Special Virtual Train-the-Trainer Edition: Planning for the Success of English Language Learners (July 19-27)
  • Foundations of Effective Teaching: Organizing the Classroom Environment for Teaching and Learning (July 19-30 or July 26-August 6)
  • Instructional Strategies That Work with All Disciplines (July 16-30)
  • Managing Behavior in School Communities (August 2-6)
  • Reclaiming Assessment: Using a Balanced Classroom Assessment System to Strengthen Student Learning (July 26-29 and August 12)
  • Strategies for Student Success (SSS): From the “New Normal” to the “New Future” (July 16-30)
  • Thinking Mathematics 3-5 (July 19-23)
  • Transforming Your Teacher Identity: Who Am I as an Educator? (July 12-16)

Learn more or register your members now. 

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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