Posts tagged AFFT

    Florida unions struggle to reenroll members

    September 17, 2023 // Recertification elections required by the new law would be the first time most union members have a direct say in who their representative is. Already, dozens of unions are expected to face recertification elections under the new requirements. AFFT reported that at least 42 Florida teachers unions are below the threshold, not including local unions like AFSCME Local 199 and CWA Local 3179.

    UFT’s new contract reminds teachers of union’s past failures

    June 27, 2023 // In 2014, UFT secured a complex contract with New York City that included retroactive back pay for teachers that would be paid out over several years. However, the contract excluded teachers who retired or left the profession before 2015. Over 4,000 teachers never received back pay, which for some could have been as much as an 8% pay bump. The affected teachers were outraged. In response, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said, at the time, “Would UFT have liked it for all—of course; but not unprecedented practice [to not pay the teachers who retired].” UFT is an affiliate of AFT. Then, in 2020, after several years of payments, New York City informed UFT that it did not have enough money in its budget to finish the retroactive payments due to a pandemic-induced budget shortfall. UFT blamed New York City for delaying the payment for all teachers, and an arbitrator ruled the city must make the payments. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “This is far from a perfect solution for thousands of our members who are still owed deferred wages that can go back as far as years.” He explained, “The decision … makes it clear that the city must find a way to meet its financial obligations to its educators.”

    How unions and employers dodge accountability

    June 26, 2023 // As it turns out, her collective bargaining agreement—with wording agreed to by both the school district and the union—allows the superintendent to make decisions “for the good of the district.” This broad language essentially allows the school to transfer the teacher as they wish and erases any recourse she has if she believes there are questionable motives behind it all. Because neither the school board nor union would address her concerns, this teacher has had to turn to her community for assistance. She is asking people such as former students to contact the superintendent/school board to make the case that she should stay in her position. No teacher represented by a union should find themselves caught in between and left without representation. With two parties in negotiations, there’s always someone else to blame. And this story serves as a reminder as to why both employers and unions often support collective bargaining for reasons that can hurt employees.

    Public Employee: My union did not represent my interests

    May 2, 2023 // “A lot of parole officers are dissatisfied with being a member of PEF,” he said. PEF has not fought to gain access to typical law enforcement benefits for its parole officers. For example, parole officers in PEF do not have the same retirement plan as correction officers or other law enforcement officers, typically called a “twenty-and-out” or “twenty-five-and-out.” Meaning, a law enforcement officer can retire with a full government pension after working twenty or twenty-five years of public service and these plans do not have an age restriction. Meanwhile, parole officers’ retirement plans under PEF require more years of public service and have age restrictions. For example, parole officers either have to work thirty years and retire at age 55 (Tier 4) or work thirty years and retire at age 63 (Tier 6) in order to receive a full retirement pension.

    PA labor unions push to expand power at hearing

    April 28, 2023 // The hearing included a panel of four supporters, a mix of union leaders and members; there was just one citizen invited for the opposition panel. Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-Philadelphia), who opened the hearing, set the tone: “We were dead set serious when we talked about this committee becoming serious about these issues. We are no longer going to ignore the elephant in the room.” He added, “We deserve better, our workers deserve better, and our workers deserve the opportunity for fair wages and fair safety standards in our communities and our workplaces.” Later, Dawkins informed AFL-CIO Pennsylvania President, Angela Ferritto, that he is on her side, “One thing I can assure you …we will not have any anti-union bills in this committee as long as I am chairman.” Rep. Nick Pisciottano (D-Allegheny) also praised unions during the hearing, claiming that unions are an example of democracy because “every single union was certified by majority vote” of union members and “every single labor official is elected by the voters that they represent.”

    Pennsylvania: Americans for Fair Treatment Releases CBA Database

    May 16, 2022 // While the database is a huge step forward in contract transparency, the database can only include contracts that have already been approved by lawmakers. Many public employees still do not have the opportunity to see their full contracts before they are voted on. Trent Bryden, a teacher in Northeastern, PA, explained in a recent op-ed that he and the public do not have appropriate access to the contract that governs most of his work.