News

Share This

Voting for democracy and a better life

In the leadup to the midterm elections, pundits predicted a red wave, even a tsunami, based on polls, historical precedent, and steep gas and grocery prices. But I had my doubts. I spent the weeks before the elections talking to voters and traveling on the AFT Votes bus, rolling through a dozen states with more than 50 stops. In a year when kitchen table issues, democracy and our freedoms were on the ballot, many people told me that the elections came down to a choice between, on the one side, election deniers and extremists stoking fear, and on the other, problem-solvers working to help the country move forward. Many races were close, but Americans turned the tide from a red wave to a swell of support for progress and problem-solvers. Read the full column here.

Sharing more pathways to student debt relief

As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

The AFT calls for freedom to teach

AFT President Randi Weingarten today delivered a major address on the crisis hollowing out the teaching profession—massive disinvestment in public education and deprofessionalization. In her speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she called for reinvestment and freedom to teach. It was followed by two panels featuring education leaders who laid out pragmatic solutions.

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

‘Back to school’ like never before

In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.

The Faces of Unionism

The Janus vs. AFMSCE Supreme Court decision is expected to be decided this June. EdMN President Specht suggests we show our solidarity by taking selfies with the word "Union", and posting them on our social media.

Here are some examples from this weekend's training

Supporting Union Teachers (and their children)

Burnsville Teachers (District 191) have been teaching all year without a contract. We support the contract and bargaining rights of all teachers, and join them in their fight.

Seen here are WBLTA President Michael McKenzie, and his daughter Tori, a 191 middle school teacher.

Education Minnesota programs and offerings: What's new, what's different?

 

 

Once again, welcome to the new academic year! I hope your first week or weeks back have been exciting and fulfilling!

 
As we face a new environment in a post-Janus world, Education Minnesota is responding by making changes and adding new programs that will help us thrive going forward.

 

This"What's New, What's Different?" booklet outlines the major changes leaders will see in the programs and offerings from Education Minnesota and the points of contact in each area.

As always, let your field staff know if you have questions about program offerings from your state union.

 
Together,

Denise-sig

 

 

 

Denise Specht, President
Denise.Specht@edmn.org 
Twitter: @Denise Specht 
Facebook: Denise Specht 
(log on to Facebook to view)

Important Dates
Sept. 21
Early voting begins.

Oct. 18
MEA Conference, St. Paul

Nov. 6
Election Day

 

 

WBLTA Certified Negotiators

Congratulations to our newest WBLTA Certified Negotiators!

From left: Michelle Padden, Abbi Case, Becky Butters, Karin Hogen, John Forestell, Tony Walfoort, Ben Kirkham