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Urban and Rural Schools Have Much in Common

When it comes to education needs and challenges, urban and rural (and some suburban) districts have much more in common than many people realize.  This is the topic of my recent column in the Michigan Advance.

Send a Message of Support to TCCU Credit Union Employees

Did you know that we count a group of banking professionals as our union siblings in AFT Michigan? The Federation of Credit Union Employees (#4437) at the Total Community Credit Union in Taylor, Michigan begins bargaining a new contract on Tuesday, October 5th. Please take a moment to send them a message of solidarity on this padlet board! Click here to access the board – it is easy to add a message; just click the + sign on the lower right side of the screen and type your note of support. Keep in mind that whatever you write will be public and visible to whoever has access to the link.  Let’s show strong support to our fellow workers at the FCUE!

Upcoming Union-Building Workshops

Contract Enforcement 101

Are you a building rep, steward, or other worksite leader who wants to address the issues you and your colleagues deal with every day? Sign up for Contract Enforcement 101 – starting Tuesday, October 12!  This 3-session workshop covers the basics of enforcing your contract, from investigating and filing grievances up to preparing for arbitration.  After 3 sessions participants will:

  • Understand the importance in contract enforcement in a member-engaged union
  • Learn how to identify and handle grievances
  • Begin building a strong union that engages and empowers our members by identifying sources of power to resolve an issue and mobilize members.

Justice Leaders Collaborative (JLC) Core Course

The Justice Leaders Core Course is open to all AFT Michigan leaders passionate about issues of equity, inclusion and social justice. Nearly 100 AFT Michigan leaders from all constituencies have now completed the Core Course. Learning focuses on issues of privilege, oppression and inequality along lines of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Participants come to understand their own social identities, biases, and prejudices; increase their knowledge about the histories and present realities of various social identity groups; and begin considering how to incorporate this knowledge and awareness into their practice.

There are a handful of slots remaining in our next cohort, which will run 6 consecutive Wednesdays, 5:45-7:45 pm, starting October 6. To register for the Justice Leaders Core Course fill out this form: GhsHNMprbSefabPb6

Treasurer Tuesday: Tracking Payments (Cash Out)Tuesday, October 5, 20217:00 PM8:30 PM
Local Organizing StructuresThursday, October 7, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM
Contract Enforcement 101 (3 Sessions)Tuesday, October 12, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM
Contract Campaign Planning WorkshopWednesday, October 13, 20215:00 PM6:30 PM
Treasurer Tuesday: Billhighway Cleanup & AccountingTuesday, October 19, 20217:00 PM8:30 PM

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! 

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

AFT PSRP Webinar – Tuesday, October 5 

AFT will be hosting a webinar to talk about some victories for PSRPs across the country and to celebrate and lift up the important work of our leaders and members. We will be joined by AFT President Randi Weingarten, along with a panel of inspiring AFT members who have turned the lemons of the past year into lemonade for their members. Register now, share this with your members, and we’ll see you on Tuesday, October 5, at 7 p.m. ET.

Through the tireless advocacy of many support staff leaders over the years, the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees Award now exists on a national level. As you may remember, we successfully pushed the state of Michigan to reestablish our Education Support Staff Professional of the Year program several years ago. The RISE Award will hopefully push every other state to create a process to nominate great support staff for well-deserved recognition.

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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