March 21, 2022
Green Schools Can Improve Our Classrooms and Climate
From poor ventilation to leaky roofs to lead-contaminated water, subpar and outdated school infrastructure is making classroom environments less healthy for students and staff. But together, we create efficient, sustainable school buildings that will benefit everyone involved: our kids, who can learn and thrive in safe school environments and have a bright future to look forward to; staff, who will have the resources they need to effectively teach our children; school districts, who will save money thanks to more efficient energy systems; and working people everywhere, who need and deserve good union jobs and clean air and water.
Member Spotlight: Christine Knapp, WSU AAUP-AFT, Local 6075
Christine has fought tirelessly for Lecturers as the Chair of the Lecturer Steering Committee and member of the AAUP-AFT Contract Enforcement Team at WSU at Wayne State University (WSU). Christine, who has successfully advocated for the conversion of Lecturers to Assistant Professors of Teaching, noted that “we feel this is a step in the right direction towards professionalizing contingent faculty and has been really well received by the tenure track and teaching faculty. Before this change, we had a sentiment that we were just lecturers. Now we have a sense of pride in our titles.” These new titles recognize the important role members play in terms of teaching and make them eligible for meaningful raises and promotions. Christine consistently challenges the process and systems which hold Lecturers to a different standard than tenure track faculty. She has organized a large following of faculty to support contract negotiation efforts and is working to unite all non tenure track faculty across campus. The gains for Lecturers in the most recent contract are, in part, credited to Christine.
Help us highlight the amazing work members from across our constituencies do every day for their colleagues, students, communities, and our union. To make sure more people hear their stories, follow the link to our website and fill out the form to nominate an AFT Michigan member to be recognized for what they do at work, in the community, or our union!
Register for Labor and Social Movements, Part 1: Understanding Our History
The history of working people’s struggle for justice has been inextricably linked to other movements fighting for freedom and equity. AFT Archivist (and WSU AAUP-AFT 6075 Political Coordinator) Dan Golodner will be joining us on 3/24 to discuss some of the interesting figures and key moments in AFT history when our union has intersected with other movements.
Join us to learn how our unions have historically been part of civil rights, women’s, LGBTQ+, disability, immigration, and other movements for justice.
Register at https://aftmichigan.org/union-building-events/
Get Your Student Debt Forgiven
More than 45 million people have student debt and many of them, including many AFT members and their families, are struggling with this burden. The AFT Student Debt Clinic program provides information about free federal programs that may help reduce the burden of this debt, while also highlighting the role that our union can play in addressing problems both within the workplace and in our communities. Additionally, the Student Debt Clinics provide crucial information and resources to help our members take advantage of the temporary expansion of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program before the expansion period ends on 10/31/22.
To find out how you might shed your debt and reclaim your funds, you can attend the AFT’s virtual student debt clinics through March or check out the Summer debt counseling program, an online resource for AFT members to help navigate the student loan repayment landscape.
Upcoming Union-Building Workshops
|Labor & Social Movements Part I: Understanding Our History||Thursday, March 24, 2022||5:00 – 6:00 PM|
|Treasurer Tuesday: Preparing for Local Financial Reviews||Tuesday, March 29, 2022||7:00 – 8:30 PM|
|Labor & Social Movements Part II: How Our Movements are Connected in the Present Day||Thursday, March 31, 2022||5:00 – 6:30 PM|
Beyond Oxford Workshops
We are proud to co-sponsor these upcoming dialogue sessions, facilitated by UPTF #477 leader Barbara Jones.
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 and set up a recurring gift to make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future!
Deadline Extended to Apply for AFT Innovation Fund Grant
The deadline has been extended to apply for the AFT Innovation Fund’s Return, Recover and Reimagine grant; applications will now be accepted until March 27. The AFT Innovation Fund is focused on supporting our educators, students and communities as they continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic. Grant awards will range from $20,000 to $50,000 (with consideration given to affiliate size). Don’t miss out on this opportunity to support your members, students and community!
New AFT Member Benefit
Meet NewsGuard! This new membership perk features tools and resources to help students in grades 6-12 develop their media literacy skills. For example, NewsGuard provides trust ratings for more than 7,500 news and information sites—written by trained journalists based on nine apolitical journalistic criteria. They include what standards each site uses in creating its content, who’s behind the site, how it’s funded, and whether you can trust it.