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Joint Labor-Management Statement Calling for Civility in Board Rooms and Classrooms

Today, education labor and management released a joint statement calling for civility in Board meetings and in Classrooms.  Please click on the link below to read the full statement.

Kellogg Strikers Hold Strong, Call for Boycott of Kellogg’s Products

While children are major consumers of Kellogg’s products, workers are often forced to  work extended hours providing them little time to be with their families. This is a major issue of the strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery,  Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers (BCTGM).  The union is also striving to eliminate two separate compensation schedules for the same work, and to retain the union insignia on Kellogg packaging, which allows  consumers to distinguish between products made by union workers in the United States and those made in Mexico. This past Saturday I joined the picket line in Battle Creek.  Joining me to my right is Jonathan Byrd, president of the South Central Michigan AFL-CIO.

Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness and How to Use Summer

AFT is working to keep members informed about the recent changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness and how to use Summer to get help to borrowers. You can start using Summer by creating and logging in to your AFT Member Benefits account ( Have a family member or friend who might benefit from Summer’s online tools? By becoming an AFT associate member (, they’ll be able to access Summer for free.

And, in case you missed it, AFT President Randi Weingarten’s New York Times column published yesterday outlines the landmark settlement reached this week in Weingarten v. DeVos that will allow thousands of borrowers to get relief from crushing student debt.

Shaping Our Economy

The Center for Labor and Community Studies at UM Dearborn will be hosting a virtual workshop on Saturday, October 23, from 10 am to 12 noon on how legislation creates the global system, how the laws that protect workers are being weakened, the goal of the neoliberal agenda, and how our power can shape the system. 

Participants will take a deep dive into the ethical considerations of purchasing goods and services, why it’s imperative to make the effort and how union-made and USA-made ties into those principles.

Treasurer Tuesday: Billhighway Cleanup & AccountingTuesday, October 19, 20217:00 PM8:30 PM
Local Financial Review WorkshopSaturday, November 6, 20219:00 AM5:00 PM
Local Organizing StructuresTuesday, November 9, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM
Lobbying 101Wednesday, November 10, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM
Group Decision-Making (2 Sessions)Thursday, November 11, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM

The AFT Michigan Administrative Board has created five working groups to help push forward our work in priority areas that have emerged from, and cut across, our Constituency Committees, and we are looking for members to add your expertise and passion to the groups (listed below, with target constituencies we will seek to involve):

  • Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline (All Constituencies)
  • Increasing the Number of Black Educators in Michigan (All Constituencies)
  • Support Staff-to-Teacher Pathways (PreK-12 Support Staff, Teachers, Special Ed/ISD)
  • Converting Part-time to Full-time Faculty (NonTenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty)
  • New Deal for Higher Ed: Fighting Back Against Austerity Budgeting (Grads, NonTenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty & Academic Staff)

Each group will begin with an Assessment Phase before moving toward recommending action steps to the AFT Michigan Administrative Board. Time commitments are flexible and will vary depending on the project and timeline. See descriptions of each group’s scope of work and interest sign up forms at

Dale Kildee:  A Fighter for Public Education and Organized Labor

Last week, former Congressman Dale Kildee passed away at the age of 92. Just about every time we were together, Dale would proudly remind me that he was a former teacher and AFT member. During his 36 years serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dale served on the House Education Committee.  Upon his retirement, the AFT honored Dale at the 2012 national convention in Detroit. His nephew, Dan Kildee, who followed Dale in Congress, highlighted his uncle’s work to support early childhood education, promote child and senior nutrition programs, and craft legislation that provided children what they needed and respected educators.  

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 $52 a year to elect more candidates who share our values? Please visit and set up a recurring gift. For as little as $1 a week, YOU can make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

Professional Development 

Creating Class Community: Building Student Identity and Efficacy

AFT Michigan Virtual Workshop 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will introduce educators to a variety of modalities, strategies and materials to investigate the importance of classroom community as a way to help students build identity and efficacy. 

Click here to register. 

Share My Lesson: More Resources to Help All Students Thrive

In the newly relaunched Share My Lesson website, you’ll find a 1.9 million-member community with expanded offerings inclusive of all AFT union members: preK-12 teachers, paraprofessionals and support personnel, specialized instructional support personnel, and higher education faculty. After getting extensive feedback from members, Share My Lesson revamped online communities to make it even easier to collaborate with your colleagues, families and members of your communities. Take a tour of the new site for what you need to help you and your students thrive—socially, emotionally and academically.

Improving Reading for Older Students, Oct. 19 – Dec. 7 (self-paced course)

Achieve the Core is pleased to announce that the Improving Reading for Older Students course is back by popular demand! The self-paced course covers literacy accelerators designed to improve literacy outcomes for students in grades 4-12 who are reading below grade level. The session will run from Oct. 19 – Dec. 7. Participants who complete the coursework within that window will receive a certificate showing 12 hours of professional learning credit.

Leading Forward, Together: New Leadership for a New World; Oct. 25, 4-5:30 p.m.

The AFT and NASSP are launching a virtual learning series, “Leading Forward, Together,” focused on transformative labor-management collaboration. Sessions are designed to equip participants with the tools to build teams that can navigate and thrive in a rapidly changing school environment. Join us for our kickoff webinar, “New Leadership for a New World,” on Monday, Oct. 25, from 4-5:30 p.m. EDT. Ashoka, the world’s largest network of leading social entrepreneurs with decades of experience enabling social innovation and changemaking, will introduce the concept of changemaking and how to encourage others to activate their changemaker potential. Register now.

School and College Support Staff Deserve Respect

The AFT PSRP Department has created a Respect Campaign Toolkit for you to use in your local. This toolkit is designed to give you a road map to run a campaign on respect and/or ideas for just-in-time actions on the topic that can bolster your members and their work.

Trauma Counseling Programs and Services

AFT members work hard—now more than ever—to educate, heal, help and serve our communities. Sometimes our own stress is compounded by a personal or workplace trauma; still, we struggle to be fully present for others. Now the AFT is offering a new, free benefit—trauma counseling—to provide help and healing for our members, whenever needed, wherever a member may be.

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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