Dennis Sousa, President, Professional Staff Association at Rhode Island CollegeMore
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.
The AFT is mourning the deaths of 26 children and educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and has begun transforming our grief into comfort and support for the community, as well as advocating for saner national policies on guns and mental health services.
Sequestration used to refer to locking away valuable property for safekeeping while a dispute over ownership was resolved. But Congress has commandeered the term and applied it to the federal budget. We’re hearing more about sequestration now because of the threatened $1.2 trillion sequester—automatic cuts that will take place over a 10-year period—brought about by the failure of the so-called supercommittee (the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction) to achieve the savings required by last year’s debt ceiling law.
Part-time faculty at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan gave their overwhelming consent to union representation earlier in May, when they voted 162-38 in favor of certifying the KVCC Federation of Teachers as their collective bargaining agent. KVCC-FT is affiliated with AFT Michigan.
Two longtime union activists and education reformers are assuming new roles in AFT's leadership, AFT president Randi Weingarten announced on Sept. 9.