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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.

AFT Local 4254 Supports Teachers and Students at Lobby Day 2022

Members of the Edmonds College Federation of Teachers attended Lobby Day 2022 and spoke to legislators about legislation and budget items that will support teachers and students all over the state.  Union members Gabrielle McIntosh, Mary Whitfield, and Chuck Mueller spoke to aides for Rep. Tarra Simmons (LD 23) and Rep. Strom Peterson (LD 21) and also Sen. Marko Liias about the following topics:

N95 Masks Available on Campus

February 2, 2022

Your faculty union has recently distributed 1000 N95 masks to locations all over the campus.  If you would like to have a supply of N95 Masks in your area, please contact the president of the faculty union at aftedmonds@gmail.com.
 

 

Free COVID Test Kits

January 18, 2022

The US government is now offering 4 free at-home COVID-19 test kits per residential address.  You can find more information about these free test kits at COVIDtests.gov.  You can order test kits through the USPS at the link provided.  The tests will be shipped in late January.  Be sure to order your test kits now so that you have them when you need them.

Stay safe!

 

Welcome our new interim president, Scott Haddock!

January 17, 2022

Please join us in welcoming our new interim Federation President of AFT Local 4254, Scott Haddock.  Scott is the director of the Paralegal program at Edmonds College and has a background in contract and labor law.  He has previously served as VP of Grievance and on our contract negotiations team.  More recently, Scott has served on the Contract Administration Committee which meets monthly to negotiate issues with our collective bargaining agreement.

Please also join us in congratulating Kay Latimer, our previous Federation President, on her retirement.  In her 40 years with Edmonds College, she has helped thousands of students reach their educational goals in addition to being relentless in her advocacy for faculty. Kay's leadership was instrumental in getting the win in the ULP decision for Corrections in addition to some of the significant wins in the last contract, such as reducing the length of time to the top step from 33 years to 22 years and tying associate faculty pay to full-time faculty pay.  On behalf of our local, thank you Kay and welcome Scott!

If you would like to contact the president of our union, please send an email to aftedmonds@gmail.com.
 

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.