Unions are a Democracy. Delegates from local unions make decisions for the direction of their locals, state federation, and national union.
We Love Public and Higher Ed Employees
Showing support for public school employees at a rally in Davis School District
Promotion of Student Loan Forgiveness
AFT Utah Vice President of Political Action, Rita Heagen, and Representative Sue Duckworth presenting HB 215 Promotion of Student Loan Forgiveness before the House Education Committee. AFT Utah approached Representative Duckworth as a sponsor of this great legislation that passed and informs public employees and teachers at their worksites that they are eligible for Federal Student Loan Forgiveness programs.
AFT Empowering U Campaign
On Monday, October 29, 2018 AFT Utah's Executive Board discussed and approved a unionization and mobilization campaign dubbed AFT Empowering U. This campaign will... Increase employee power at the worksite, empower individuals to share union experiences and information with their colleagues build highly effective AFT locals across Utah. Join the movement today!! https://leadernet.aft.org/webform/aft-empowering-u-organizing-campaign
Share my lesson is a free resource that is available to all teacher and PSRP's. For teachers, these resources can include free lesson plans, actvities, and videos that are alligned with the Common Core. You can also connect with a community of experienced educators for the sharing of ideas and suggestions. You can also contribute your own ideas and lesson plans to the website for the use of other teachers around the state. For PSRP's, can also receive a variety of ideas and strategies from colleagues around the world. These ideas and strategies consist of managing student behavior, understand
AFT has created on online website for free lesson plans. All of these lesson plans are downloadable for you to use at your disposal. You can also upload your lesson plans to be vetted by other teachers around the nation.
This tool is extremely helpful and anybody has access to it. According to Digital Marketing Trends in the Education Market 2013, 91% of teachers look online to creat, exchange, and access lesson plans. Sign up for this tool today. https://sharemylesson.com/
While on union business in Carbon County, I spent some time with a volunteer at the Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. This gentleman, as a young man, personally knew my great-grandfather and other members of my family that lived and worked in the coal mine located in Kenilworth. As he gave me a grand tour of this fantastic and historical museum, I caught my breath as I entered a room dedicated to unions and those leaders that protected the rights of these hard working men and women of Carbon County.
I was drawn to a photograph of miners that had just come out of the darkness after their shift into the sunlight. I recollect my grandfather telling me how he used to walk to the mine entrance by the light of his carbide headlamp before dawn only to emerge hours later to the brilliant sunlight of the afternoon. My guide shared with me the stories of my great-grandfather, a Swedish immigrant, and how kind he was to everyone in the community. How hard he worked and as a timber boss how important his job was to ensure the safety of all the workers. He also shared the dark times when the community was put under martial law by state officials who called in the National Guard to break up the union. A curfew was set and anyone having lights on after 10:00 p.m. or found outside their homes would be arrested and beat. No matter the attempts to disband their union, they stood firm as a union family. When there was an explosion and workers died, they would rally as a community to comfort and provide for the needs of the loved ones left behind. My family members lived, bled, and died to provide a life for their families in those mines, and each of them were proud, strong, and active union members and supporters.
Jump forward 76 years. I carry the blood of those union members. I am their legacy. As I gazed at a sign hanging on the wall in that museum with the words “Unions Begin With YOU! ” I could literally hear the words of my great-grandfather echoing in my mind, “It’s up to YOU to make a difference.” That’s the heart of our union. You make the difference in your workplace, in your community, in your state. Each of us have to decide how involved we want to be. No one can make that choice for us. Once we commit to be involved, we find others in order to form and unite as a union family. Just as the union members came together in solidarity to protect each other and their families in this small mining community in Eastern Utah, we as union members should come together in solidarity.
Many of our colleagues shy away from joining the union. Our opponents use the same tactics that have been employed for over a century to discourage workers from organizing. As in the past, our union is vital to protecting our rights today. In fact, unions are more important than ever in ensuring that our collective voice is heard. The more I have thought about the current condition of AFT in Utah, I have come to the realization that we have not held the course. We have tried to fit in with the status quo. We have a long proud history as a union in Utah. In 1919, the public school employees in Ogden organized a chartered AFT local. They faced extreme backlash from anti-union officials and their own district administration. Other locals sprang up for the next several decades under difficult circumstances and persecution. Yet they held up under the pressure and remained union proud and union strong. They only diminished when they moved away from their union roots and that tight knit union community.
So I propose we get back to the basics. We look, act, and function as a union! In our Annual Member Meeting and Delegate Assembly on Saturday June 24, 2017 we will start the process. YOU are personally invited by me to attend. (RSVP Here) It’s up to each of us to keep our heritage and legacy alive.
As I did that day, in that special room, in a small museum in Helper, Utah you have my commitment that I will do all in my power to keep our union alive and help you in your commitment to our cause.
Betsy DeVos visits Utah, AFT protests
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Sec. DeVos was invited to speak at the ASU+GSV Summit. During her speech, a group of protesters rallied outside the hotel speaking out against the Secretary’s aggressive anti-public education agenda. AFT Utah was proud to be numbered among that group of protesters. AFT Utah President, Brad Asay, was a scheduled speaker at the rally. Brad stated the following, “Ninety percent of our kids attend public schools yet Secretary DeVos would do all that she can to actually privatize our schools with the voucher system…[Utahns] support public schools, not privatization, not vouchers, not austerity measures” (Desert News, published May 9, 2017).
Around 100 community members and public education supporters gathered to show their displeasure for privatization and recent policies put into place by Secretary DeVos. It’s our duty as union members to stand up in the face of adversity to protect our profession and to protect our students. Without our voice as professionals, Corporate America will attempt to capitalize on our education system at the expense of our students. We MUST fight to keep business out of public education.
AFT Utah’s Annual Membership Meeting and Delegate Assembly
We are excited to announce our upcoming Annual Membership Meeting and Delegate Assembly. It will take place on June 24th at 10:00 a.m. at the Utah Labor Center, 2261 South Redwood Road, in Salt Lake City. As seen in our posts on Facebook and via e-mail, refreshments, drinks, and lunch will be provided at this meeting. There will also be door prizes and drawings for attendees. If you wish to be a delegate for your local, please contact your local Presidents, or the AFT Utah office (801)972-1974, or email@example.com.
There is a minor business portion of this meeting, but the majority of time will be focused on rebranding ourselves as a union. The theme of our member meeting is Empowering “U”. We will be discussing practices and strategies to ensure each of you are the voice and face of our Union. We’ll be discussing changes and gathering input of how we will present ourselves as a union. We need to lead out in defense of public and higher education employees, not be part of the status quo. Empowering “U”, represents protecting working families in addition to standing in solidarity with AFT locals across the nation. We are union proud and union strong, and represent the only labor union for public and higher education.
Our National Union celebrated its 100th Anniversary in Minneapolis this summer at the AFT Convention. National union staff members searched the archives for historical information about the union. As part of their efforts, it was discovered that the first local in Utah was chartered on May 9, 1919 under the title The Ogden Federation of Teachers Local #78. After this event, other AFT locals were organized throughout Utah. Dan Golodner, AFT Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University compiled this brief history of AFT in Utah