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Labor Packs House Lobby 

Public and private sector unionists packed the lobby outside the Michigan House last Thursday afternoon discussing with legislators the need to negate the Snyder and Engler attacks on educators and all public employees by immediately passing our proposed amendments to the Public Employees Relations Act (PERA) and other laws.  This action was part of the Michigan AFL-CIO Lobby Day (with the MEA joining in) that brought over 100 public and private sector unionists to Lansing.   Immediately following these discussions we learned that the House Labor Committee will take up many of these bills next Thursday.

Dearborn Federation of Teachers President Kathi Martin stated that the local’s members who participated “left feeling empowered.”  Jeannette Bradshaw, Recording Secretary of the Electrical Workers Local 58, one of a number of private sector unionists who joined last Thursday’s action standing in solidarity with public employees, noted that “this is what the labor movement is all about.  Public sector unionists supported the building trades in bringing back Prevailing Wage.  Now we stand with public employees in your fight to restore your rights.”

Detroit Teacher Named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Candice Jackson, a member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) has been named Michigan’s Teacher of the year for 2023-24. The Teacher of the Year is awarded annually by the Michigan Department of Education. Candice is a third-grade teacher at Mann Learning Community and will be entering her 22nd year of teaching in the fall.

“Ms. Jackson is this year’s Michigan Teacher of the Year and we are so grateful for her decades of service to children and families in Detroit,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We are thrilled to honor Candice and highlight her efforts in the classroom to help students achieve their potential and her peer leadership work to empower fellow educators as well.”

DFT President Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins noted that “Candice is a shining example of the quality of Detroit Public School Community District educators. She has impacted so many lives. We are so proud that she is a DFT member.” 

Terrence Martin, AFT Michigan Secretary-Treasurer and immediate past President of the DFT, noted that “Candice exemplifies what our union is all about, providing all Michigan students with a quality education.” 

Congratulations Candice. Thank you for all you have done for Detroit students and our community.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our teachers. Teachers spend their days shaping the minds of our children and helping them to learn and grow. They are always willing to go the extra mile in creating positive learning environments where all children feel safe and seen. We appreciate your patience, your understanding, and your love of teaching. Thank you for making a difference in our lives.

APALA: Representing Asian American Pacific Islander Union Members

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month we celebrate the work of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).  APALA is the official voice of the 500,000 Asian and Pacific Islander labor union members in the AFL-CIO. With 20 chapters in the United States APALA has influenced the AFL-CIO toward more actively organIzing Asian Pacific workers and communities.

APALA has two main goals.  First, it works with the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute to train Asian and Pacific Islander workers in organizing techniques, and assists member unions of the AFL-CIO in organizing these workers of similar ethnic and racial background, building awareness of the labor movement among  Asian-Pacific American workers.  Second, APALA works to build awareness of and address exploitative conditions in industries with large numbers of Asian-Pacific American workers, such as garment, electronics, hotel and restaurant, food processing, and healthcare industries.

Follow the Michigan APALA chapter at

For more information on APALA:

Support GEO

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

Writers Guild Strike

The members of the Writers Guild of America, who write most of our TV shows and movies, are on strike as they work to win a contract that will protect the profession as it adapts to the 21st century of streaming, etc.

Public Against Book Banning

A poll commissioned by the Michigan Library Association has found that Michiganians are solidly opposed to book banning.  83% would support state legislation that would protect the right of the public to read what they wish in public libraries and not have books banned. 75% agreed that “we need to protect the ability of young people to have access to books from which they can learn about and understand different perspectives and help them grow into adults who can think for themselves.”  80% agreed with the statement that “individual parents can set rules for their own children, but they do not have the right to decide for other parents what books are available to their children.”

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.

Young Worker Registration Continues

Registration is still open for the June 8-10 Young Worker Conference. Click on the link for flyers, more information and online registration.

Professional Development

AFT Michigan 

Words Can Hurt or Nurture

June 3, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Virtual Workshop

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:

In solidarity

David Hecker


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