Skip to main content

This is the 2019 Legislative tracker for AFT Utah. It is a list of bills that AFT Utah is monitoring and lobbying for during the Legislative Session. If you have any questions or comments on the bills, please email zasay@aftutah. Your input is always appreciated.


Dear Colleagues:

Millions of people are struggling to make their student loan payments, and see opportunities pass while paying down their debt. Does this sound like you or someone you know?

There are free federal programs that can may reduce their monthly payments and lead to student loan forgiveness, but these lifeline programs are significantly under-enrolled. In an effort to help our colleagues get access to these programs, AFT Utah is proud to host a Student Debt Clinic which will provide information on how to enroll.

We will be offering Student Debt Clinics at the following time and


My good friend and colleague Kim Kohlhaas, President of AFT-Wisconsin, shared a video with me from a TED Talk. While watching the short 3 minute video I learned a valuable lesson, we need to start a movement in order to build a union. 

Starting a Movement

I've been told plenty of times that I'm nuts to be a union president and that it's impossible to build a powerful union for public and higher education in Utah. Well I have to agree with the first statement, but I don't believe the second. No doubt it's difficult to unionize, but it


Dixie State University Challenges Employee's Right to Unionize!

We received a transcript of a meeting at Dixie State University. (Transcript PDF) In this meeting, Doajo Hicks, General Counsel & Chief Diversity Officer of the university, stated, "So, what you have to understand is that tenure gives you, otherwise in the State of Utah, everyone knows this, in the State of Utah every employee is at will. You cannot unionize, because it's against the law."
Obviously, Mr. Hicks doesn't know or understand national labor law or employee rights in Utah. (Which is surprising considering he is the General Counsel for DSU)
1) It is not illegal to unionize in Utah or in the United States. Every employee has the right to organize a union.
2) Not every employee in the "State of Utah" is at will. There are several thousand public employees across Utah that have contracts and unions negotiate on their behalf.
It has long been recognized that Utah Board of Regent's policy prohibits collective bargaining rights in public higher education institutions. That does not prohibit higher education faculty and staff from joining and forming unions.
Such bullying and intimidation, such as this example, unfortunately has become common in the workplace. This is why employees have formed unions and organized. We are seeing employees get fed up with such treatment as is the case in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Colorado, and now Arizona. Thousands of employees in public education organizing, protesting, and fighting back! The greatest defense we have against unfair labor practices, intimidation at the workplace, and attacks against working families is to organize! Together in solidarity, we collectively have a voice. It's time for higher education faculty and staff to organize and come together. AFT Utah stands ready. Join the cause... join the union. #AFTEmpoweringU


The most common complaint that is shared with us concerning the work environment is the amount of stress at the workplace. After sending out a survey to our union members asking what topics would they like for a workshop at our annual union conference, we were not surprised that stress related issues was #1 on the results. To address the issue, we invited Dr. LaRocque to present at our conference. 

Dr. Rosalind LaRocque​, AFT Associate Director of Educational Issues, presented a workshop entitled Managing Stress at our Annual Conference on Saturday. Dr. LaRocque stated, "Stress is imminent when