Strong unions offer strong protections to LGBTQ+ workers. We celebrate the contributions of queer workers to our labor movement. In our own state federation, the growth of our Queer Caucus has highlighted just how many local leaders and rank-and-file union members across the state are also members of the LGBTQ+ community! Our AFT Michigan Queer Caucus has become a space for LGBTQ+ workers to learn together about rights, protections, strategy, and organizing, as well as to build relationships of fun and solidarity within our broader efforts to advance justice on the job and in our unions for BIPOC workers, international workers, and queer workers. We invite you to learn more and join us at our Pride Picnic on June 24!
3rd Annual AFT Michigan Pride Picnic – June 24
Join together with AFT Michigan’s Queer Caucus for our 3rd annual Pride Picnic on Saturday, June 24, from 3-7pm at Ford Field Park in Dearborn, MI. This is a family-friendly, relaxed event open to all AFT Michigan union members (non-LGBTQ+ allies are most welcome!).
Motor City Pride Parade – June 11
Join over 50,0000 participants in Michigan’s largest pride celebration – The Motor City Pride Parade on June 11, 2023, step off at 12 noon. For more information click here.
Support EMUFT in Bargaining
EMUFT has been hard at work negotiating a new joint contract for the Part-Time and Full-Time Lecturers who make up the Non-Tenure Track Faculty at EMU. Negotiations started in March and the EMU administration presented their first proposals for salary increases and promotions last week on Thursday, April 18. While there were some positive developments, EMU’s proposals threaten job security, make it more difficult for Part-Time Faculty to get promoted, provide no way for Lecturers to have any voice in decisions that directly affect their working conditions, increase healthcare costs and provide no health care or retirement benefits even for the many Lecturers teaching more than Tenure-Track Faculty, and do very little to positively affect stagnant wages that have fallen drastically behind inflation. A Part-Time Lecturer hired 10 years ago at EMU now earns 11% less when adjusted for inflation. To make matters worse, EMU is proposing a cap on the number of classes PTLs can teach any given semester below current levels.
Sign the Solidarity Petition to support EMUFT members in their fight for better working conditions.
AFT Michigan Podcast Launches First Episode
We’re excited to present the first episode of our new podcast in which we look forward to sharing stories of AFT Michigan members and locals across the state. In this first episode, Secretary-Treasurer Terrence Martin sits down with Field Representative Sonya Alvarado for a wide-ranging discussion, particularly focused on higher education, drawing on Sonya’s experience as a faculty member, local union president, and now staff person working with higher ed locals across the state.
Restoring Our Rights-June 15 Lobby Day
My column in the Michigan Advance this month highlights both how much this legislature has accomplished so far but also the key priorities for educators and other public sector workers that we want to see addressed.
Superintendents are working against us everyday in Lansing and pressing Legislators to vote against HB 4233-4, HB 4355-57, and HB 4044 which will restore educator voice and balance power at the bargaining table. Building on the momentum from our May 4 Lobby Day in conjunction with the Michigan AFL-CIO, our UAW brothers and sisters will be hosting a lobby day on June 15, 2023 at 8:30 am, to advocate with legislators about these bills and others needed to reverse the Snyder/Engler attacks. It is imperative that these bills are passed and signed into law before legislators leave for summer recess. We will meet at 215 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933 and need you to be there to tell them the importance of these bills and as a show of solidarity with all our members.
Here is the link to register: https://actionnetwork.org/events/citizen-lobby-day-june-15th.
Detroit Federation of Teachers Celebrates Building Reps
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the end of year celebration the DFT holds each year recognizing the crucial contribution of building reps to the work of the union. Whether your local calls them stewards, department reps, or some other title, these worksite leaders are both the backbone and the face of any union. I know many locals are holding similar events this time of year and I want to thank all of the worksite leaders out there for the central role you play in building a strong union.
GEO continues to fight for a fair contract. Bargaining continues, but with minimal progress. You can support the striking GSIs by contributing to the strike fund at https://t.co/wlbTgvTnSf.
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!
Worker’s Pride – June 24
The Center for Labor and Community Studies is pleased to announce the launch of a new conference: Workers’ Pride on June 24. This one-day conference is open to all workers. Instructors, facilitators, and coordinators are drawn from the LGBTQ+ community. Click on the link for flyers, more information and online registration.
EPIC Read by Grade Three Survey Closes June 13
There are just a few days left to complete EPIC’s Read by Grade Three survey and earn 5 SCECHs! The survey will close on June 13, 2023. K-5 teachers and literacy coaches or interventionists/specialists are eligible for the survey through the following link: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3q2sDk9yJOsFfz8
Any eligible participant who completes the approximately 25-minute survey will be awarded 5 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) and will be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Schools that receive a 65% response rate from their teachers can also receive $500 to further their literacy efforts. Please note that participation is voluntary, and all survey responses will be kept strictly confidential. Your Personal Identification Code (PIC) is needed in order to complete the survey and be awarded SCECHs.
If you have any questions about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact EPICrbg3@msu.edu.