All summer long, many members have reported receiving letters and postcards from an organization called, “Free to Teach.”
Let’s be clear–Free to Teach is a project of the Commonwealth Foundation, an anti-worker, anti-public education, Koch Brothers- and DeVos family-backed “think tank” whose mission is to bust unions and feather the beds of corporate CEOs.
Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.
AFT Pennsylvania elected Arthur Steinberg president of the statewide teachers union on Sunday at the conclusion of the union’s biennial convention here. Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, was elected executive vice president.
PA legislators, college students and union leaders rallied in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday urging lawmakers to approve a plan that would provide free college education for thousands of students. PA Promise would create a grant program to cover up to four years of tuition at a state owned or state related university or community college for families who make $110,000 annually or less and it would cover tuition, room and board for students whose families make $48,000 or less.
AFT Pennsylvania has endorsed U.S. Navy Captain (Ret.) Pam Iovino for the PA Senate District 37 seat formerly held by Republican Guy Reschenthaler. Iovino is running in a special election called after Reschenthaler was elected to the U.S. Congress.
PA Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati dropped his challenge to and seated Sen. Lindsey Williams as the elected senator of the north Pittsburgh suburban 38th District. Williams was one of three AFTPA members elected to the state legislature.
Teachers and support staff at New Foundations Charter School in Philadelphia ratified their first union contract unanimously after 11 months of negotiations. The faculty and staff voted to join the Alliance of Charter School Employees, Local 6056 of the American Federation of Teachers, AFT Pennsylvania, in 2017.
The Janus decision is behind us, but some PA lawmakers want laws on the books weakening unions. House Bill 2571 would require employers to notify workers every two weeks that they can drop their union membership.