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Detroit Resident Physicians Seek Unionization Vote through NLRB

On Friday, resident physicians employed by Detroit Education & Research and working at Detroit Medical Center hospitals, filed union authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in order to begin the process of having a unionization election. The filing with the NLRB comes after a request by the resident physicians for their union to be voluntarily recognized.

The Alliance of Resident Physicians is affiliated with AFT Michigan. 

“This organizing effort has been successful because residents know that through a union we can bargain together for the resources, respect and support we deserve on the job while ensuring patients are receiving the best care possible and improving the hospital system as a whole,” said Justin Bria, a third-year resident in the surgery department.

“Resident physicians show up early, leave late and are the first point of contact for patient support. A union and collective bargaining will help ensure the administration is supporting residents the same way they support their patients,” stated Shiv Misra, a second-year resident in the Med-Peds program.

Residents ask Detroit Education and Research for voluntary recognition

Right-to-Work Reversed, Prevailing Wage Restored

Last Friday was an outstanding day for Michigan working families, as Governor Whitmer signed the repeal of Right-to-Work  and the restoration of Prevailing Wage.  While the House, Senate and Governor worked on these laws over the past few months, the reality is that while they technically were signed into law this month, these developments actually happened on November 6, 2018 and November 8, 2022.  In 2108, ballot proposals that created non-partisan redistricting and expanded voting access were adopted.  In 2022, voters put Democratic majorities in place and re-elected the Governor.  Elections matter.

The public sector Right-to-Work bill provides that when the U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision is overturned Michigan will no longer be a public sector Right-to-Work state.  The private sector Right-to-Work bill and Prevailing Wage will take effect in early 2024 as Republican Senators refused to provide the super majority needed to give the laws immediate effect.

Thank you to all who contributed to PAC and worked to elect pro-worker, pro-union, pro-public education candidates.

Third Grade Reading Required Retention Overturned

Governor Whiltmer also signed the legislation that eliminated the provision of the Third Grade Reading law that required retention of students who are not reading proficient.  This provision was adopted by the past Republican legislature and governor, while refusing to provide the resources needed to ensure that all students have the support they need for reading literacy.  The requirement also dealt with these students as a monolithic block, rather than considering individual students and their circumstances.

Clare-Gladwin Member Wins Michigan Farm Bureau Educator of the Year

The Michigan Farm Bureau announced this week – National Agriculture Week – that Clare-Gladwin RESD agriculture teacher and Clare-Gladwin RESA Federation member, Anthony Wood,  won its 2023 Educator of the Year Award.

As this year’s winner, Wood earns a scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference and a $500 classroom grant from the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, sponsored by Agroliquid.

The MFB said, “Wood has worked tirelessly to bring the dream of having agricultural science classes and an FFA Chapter back to Clare and Gladwin counties. He works to bring agricultural experiences to his students while helping them gain life leadership skills through classwork and FFA activities.”

Congratulations Tony! 

McDonald Honored by Henry Ford College

Last week, the Henry Ford College Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the Student and Culinary Arts Center for John McDonald, the President of Local 1650 for almost 44 years.  A student at HFCC before completing his studies at the University of Michigan, John began teaching at HFCC in 1969 just before he turned 23.  In 1978, John was elected to his first term as the President of Local 1650, a position he was re-elected to multiple times before his death on December 30, 2021.  John served as a Vice President of AFT Michigan and the AFT, the latter a rare accomplishment for the leader of a relatively small local union.  John chaired the Local 1650 negotiating team for his entire tenure as president, and successfully led numerous HF(C)C millage campaigns. In 2022, the AFT Michigan Administrative Board renamed our President’s Award presented at convention, the John McDonald Union Building Award.

That evening the HFC Board also named the Band Room in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center for Rick Goward, former music instructor and band director at HFCC, and a Local 1650 activist, who passed away suddenly on January 31, 2022.  With Rick’s leadership, the College’s band performed internationally, winning numerous awards.

Major Address by Randi Weingarten: “In Defense of Public Education”

On Tuesday, March 28, Randi Weingaraten will be delivering a major address, “In Defense of Public Education,” as the institution comes under renewed attack from extremist, culture war-peddling politicians.

It will be livestreamed on Facebook and on AFT’s website. See the graphic below for more details.

EMUFT Movie Screening and Roundtable Discussion – April 5

Join EMUFT on April 5, from 6-8 pm, for a movie screening and roundtable discussion on the precarious lives of contract faculty.

AFT Michigan Spring Leadership Summit – April 15

The AFT Michigan Spring Leadership Summit will take place on Saturday, April 15, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at UM Dearborn Fairlane North,19000 Hubbard Drive – Dearborn, MI 48126. Leaders will select a “position-specific cohort” to attend in the morning and constituency groups will meet in the afternoon. Local presidents, treasurers, membership data coordinators, contract enforcement coordinators, and political coordinators are particularly encouraged to attend.

Click here to register.

2023 Michigan School for Women Workers

Women in Leadership Empowering Us All!

April 27-29, Somerset Inn, Troy, Michigan

The Michigan School for Women Workers invites all union and non-union workers and activists from allied organizations to share ideas and grow skills for responding to the challenges facing working people. We welcome participants from all genders and all cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

Click here for more information and to register.

Free Webinar on Labor Leader César Chávez

Join the Rackham Graduate School for an exploration of César Chávez, his impact, and the importance of service to a community. This webinar will be presented by Christine Chávez, outreach coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Christine has made a lifetime commitment to civil rights, the labor movement, and community organizing.

March 31

12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Click Here to Join the Zoom Webinar at noon.

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! 

The AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) conference will be held July 21-23 in Washington, D.C.Registration is now open! Register before June 1 and save $200! 

AFT TEACH provides an unforgettable experience filled with inspiration and ideas to bring back to school for the year ahead. Each professional development workshop is custom-developed for TEACH by AFT members and other experts to directly focus on tools and strategies to support educators and their efforts to help kids and communities succeed. 

Read on for the top five things you need to know about TEACH.

TEACH is July 21-23 in Washington, D.C. Register by June 1 to save $200.
70+ sessions to choose from.
First-time attendees save $100 on registration.
Pre-TEACH is on literacy. A full day dedicated to helping students become joyful and confident readers. ($50 fee)
Register early to secure your top session choices.

Register now or ask your union local if it’s sending a delegation.

In solidarity

David Hecker


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