Dennis Sousa, President, Professional Staff Association at Rhode Island CollegeMore
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.
The AFL-CIO has launched its 2012 AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch site—now called CEO Pay and the 99%—which includes the most comprehensive data available on 2011 executive pay. All the data available is searchable by industry, by state and by the top 100 highest-paid CEOs.
In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT president Randi Weingarten advises lawmakers to consider voters’ priorities as they seek solutions to the so-called fiscal cliff. “When questions were on the ballot around public education,” Weingarten writes, “voters supported public education nearly every time.” Yet public schools and students could lose vital programs and services if lawmakers allow automatic spending cuts to kick in. “Voters’ wisdom—that neither deep cuts nor preferential tax policies for the super-wealthy will strengthen our economy or our country—should guide Congress to avert the fiscal cliff.” Read Weingarten’s column.