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Letter in Support of Danny Fenster Delivered to Myanmar Embassy

We have previously written about journalist Danny Fenster, a former member of the Union of Part-Time Faculty at Wayne State University, one of many unjustly imprisoned in Myanmar (Burma). Since we asked the AFT to become involved with the overall campaign to free Danny, our national union has written letters to U.S. government and Myanmar officials, and helped spread the word through social media. Earlier this month when I was in D.C. for AFT meetings, I delivered  another letter from President Weingarten demanding Danny’s release to the Myanmar embassy.  Joining me was AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel, who chairs AFT’s Democracy Committee.

Lincoln Stocks Discusses Teacher Shortage on MSNBC

Citing inadequate education funding and compensation, the overreliance on standardized tests and the undercutting of teacher voice as three reasons for the teacher shortage, Eastpointe Federation of Educators President Lincoln Stocks was interviewed last Thursday by MSNBC.  The interview followed the one week move of  Eastpointe Middle School classes to on-line because of the lack of teachers.  Thank you, Lincoln, for so eloquently discussing this most important issue.

Rader, Zuniga Appointed to AFT Committees

Eric Rader, who serves as External Vice President of the Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers and teaches political science, has been appointed to the AFT’s Higher Education Program and Policy Council. Roxana Zuniga, an activist in AAUP-AFT at Wayne State who teaches Spanish and Latin American Studies, has been appointed to the national union’s Latinx Issues Task Force. Congratulations to Eric and Roxy, and thank you for serving.

Upcoming Union-Building Workshops

Local Organizing Structures

How are well-run, sustainable, and thriving unions set up? Sign up for our Local Organizing Structure training on November 9th to learn about structural components and organizational practices that can help your union run effectively and efficiently, with attention to member participation and leadership development. This training will be of interest to union members and leaders who want to increase member engagement and create opportunities for members to grow.

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 & 18, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM

Join an AFT Michigan Working Group

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

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! 

Union-Made Halloween

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. 

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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