Dennis Sousa, President, Professional Staff Association at Rhode Island CollegeMore
After nearly a decade, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion invalidating former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland's layoff of nearly 3,000 Connecticut state employees is a tremendous victory for the right of free speech. In response to a suit filed by Connecticut's State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, the court held that when a governor punishes people because of the group they belong to—whether it's a union, or a political party, or a religion—he or she violates our Constitution's most cherished provisions. Read more.
In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT president Randi Weingarten writes about the promise—and the possible pitfalls—of the new Common Core State Standards. If implemented properly—namely, by ensuring that frontline educators are prepared to teach these rigorous new standards—we can provide all children with the problem-solving, critical-thinking and teamwork skills they need to compete in today’s changing world. If not, they will end up in the dustbin of abandoned reforms. Read her full column.
In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT president Randi Weingarten talks about the accomplishments to date of the Affordable Care Act, even in its early stages. And she discusses the vital role that nurses and healthcare workers—the AFT is one of the largest unions of nurses in the country—play in enhancing patient care and improving the healthcare system. Read Weingarten's column.
The leaders of two labor organizations representing healthcare professionals announced on Feb. 14 that they have approved an affiliation agreement that will bring 34,000 registered nurses into the AFT, the largest union of professionals in the AFL-CIO.
In her most recent column appearing in the New York Times, “A Great Opportunity for the Land of Opportunity,” AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for the swift passage of commonsense, compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform. “Whether it’s the realization that a nation made great by immigrants has a moral imperative to live up to our American values of democracy and opportunity, or because it’s sound economic policy, or because it’s just the right thing to do for hardworking families,” she says, “reforming our immigration system makes sense.” Read Weingarten's column.
Gun violence is a tragic, pervasive part of American life. Assassins’ bullets have felled presidents and national icons. Americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than residents of other developed countries. Even those who had grown numb to the everyday carnage were shaken last month by the unthinkable murder of the most innocent of innocents—young children in their classrooms. In the weeks since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., more than 900 people in the United States have died from gun violence. This must end. Read Weingarten's column.