The Fight in Lansing to Restore Educator Voice
AFT Michigan members from across the state gathered in Lansing to advocate for the passage of HB 4355-7, which will restore key prohibited subjects of bargaining that were taken away under the Engler and Snyder administrations. They also advocated for HB 4044, a repeal of PA 54 (which currently forces educators to bear the burden of wage freezes and escalating health care costs when their collective bargaining agreements expire and a new contract is not in place) and HB 4233-4, which would restore the right of public school employees to have their dues and PAC contributions deducted by employers. Our members had great conversations with legislators which led to the bills being granted a hearing in the labor committee. We are fighting to get these bills passed and to the Governor’s desk before the summer recess. We need your help urging our allies in the legislature to support HB 4233-4, HB 4355-57, and HB 4044. Follow the link below and send the attached letter to your State Representative and Senator.
Thank you for all you do championing our fights in Lansing and supporting our allies!
House and Senate Finalize Education Budget Proposals
The House and Senate have finalized their PreK-12 and Higher education budgets, marking the last step before they begin negotiations with Governor Whitmer to reach a final agreement. The foundation allowance differs between each proposal with Governor Whitmer proposing a 5% increase and the Senate 6%, while the House proposed a 4% increase to the foundation allowance, but would include a higher increase in funding for at-risk students, fully fund special education and try to level out funding in districts with declining enrollment. The House put forth a $21.4 billion budget, which is 9.3% higher than this current year and approximately $600 million more than the Senate and Governor’s budget recommendations. For Higher Education and Community Colleges, the House is recommending a 9% increase from last year, while the Senate proposed a 6% increase. We will continue to monitor budget negotiations and weigh in with our allies to ensure we are equitably funding our schools and communities.
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.
Hale and Iosco Ratify New Contracts
Congratulations on an outstanding job by the leaders of three locals who, working with Gary Wellnitz, our northern Field Rep, recently settled contracts:
- The Hale Federation of Teachers team worked in a very positive manner with the Administration and School Board of Hale Public Schools and have ratified a contract with an 11% salary increase spread over the three-year contract. A 5% increase year one, and 3% increases for years 2 & 3. Additionally, the district agreed to move all staff members who are below step 5 on the salary scale up to step 5.
- The Iosco ISD Federation of Auxiliary Employees team spent many nights organizing and developing strategies that ultimately led them to a great contract settlement. It took great organizing with the unit leaders representing 4 separate job classifications and salary scales. They presented compelling wage and working condition arguments in a very professional, respectful manner. The end result is a great contract which places the Iosco support staff as some of the highest paid in the region.
- The Iosco ISD Federation of Teachers ratified a 3-year contract with 3% annual increases in salary plus additional positive benefits. The team at Iosco RESA worked hard to build a strategy and present information to the BOE that ultimately led to a great contract settlement. Congratulations on a well run campaign of organizing and respectful negotiating.
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.
AFT Michigan 3rd Annual 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!).
Questions? Can you help make the picnic a success? Contact field representative, Erin Lavin (email@example.com).
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.
Words Can Hurt or Nurture
June 3, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This workshop will raise awareness of unacceptable praise and provide guidelines for acceptable forms of praise and feedback that support student learning or changing unacceptable behavior.
Participants will receive 6 SCECHs after completion of the workshop.
Click here to register: https://aftmichigan.org/professional-development-events/