Topic: Unions

The Right Way to Innovate: Education Austin Sets an Example

The Austin American-Statesman carried a story of more than local interest this week on the start of an innovative “in-district charter” school in Austin ISD. The school is the product of a teacher-parent-community collaboration in which Education Austin, our local affiliate in the district, played a leading role. The new beginning of Travis Heights Elementary School with a focus on...

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Lobby Day Brings 3,000 Texas AFT Members to State Capitol, Fighting to Restore Funding, Reduce Testing, Stop Vouchers, Defend Pensions

Some 3,000 Texas AFT members converged on the state capitol today from all across Texas to lobby their legislators to restore school funding, reduce the state’s over-reliance on high-stakes testing, oppose private-school vouchers, and bolster Teacher Retirement System pensions. AFT members from Brownsville to the Panhandle, from deep East Texas to far West Texas spent the better part of the...

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Right Way and Wrong Way to Develop In-District Charter Schools

Austin ISD has just provided an object lesson in how not to create in-district charter schools—and how to do it right. On Monday the Austin ISD school board voted to end the in-district charter a previous board had granted to the IDEA charter-school chain based in South Texas. The IDEA charter was created in top-down fashion, despite widespread community resistance...

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Send Condolences to Counterparts in Newtown, Connecticut

Like all Americans, we are deeply saddened by the shooting rampage that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that tragically lost loved ones. We thank the teachers, school staff, first responders, and health-care workers who acted heroically to prevent more lives from being lost. Our hearts...

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Texas AFT Local in San Antonio Scores Win for Staff and Students

When custodians in San Antonio ISD faced layoffs and cuts in their hours for the 2010-11 school year as the result of budget cuts, there was a snowball effect. First, the custodians who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs soon were forced to work more hours (oftentimes uncompensated) to perform the duties of their former co-workers. Next, it snowballed...

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Texas AFT’s McAllen Local Wins Case for Higher Pay

On July 2 Commissioner of Education Robert Scott ruled in favor of the McAllen Federation of Teachers in an important decision requiring educators to be paid local step increases for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years. The commissioner relied on provisions of the state law implementing a state pay raise in 2009, which said the state raise must be in...

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Dallas teacher honored as “Champion of Justice”

Hotline readers may recall an incident in January in which a Dallas ISD teacher was yanked from his classroom and put on leave after sending a critical e-mail to one of the district's school board members. A news conference and letter campaign from our local affiliate, Alliance-AFT, helped get Drake reinstated. Now the American Federation of Teachers has the story...

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State Senate Education Panel Hears About Teacher Evaluation and Improvement

A May 18 hearing of the Senate Education Committee covered a lot of ground in just a few hours of testimony on teacher preparation, induction and mentoring, recruitment, evaluation, professional development, compensation, and retention.  Some testimony as well as comments and questions from senators foreshadowed policy debates to come next year. State commissioner of higher education Raymund Paredes cited international...

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Fair Work for Fair Pay: Aldine AFT Wins Advocacy Award

Congratulations to Aldine AFT for winning the national AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Union Workplace Advocacy Award. Our affiliate for Aldine ISD in the Houston area was presented the honor at the AFT PSRP Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 22, for its "Fair Work for Fair Pay" campaign. The campaign highlighted the story of Gloria Zavala, a custodian...

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Texas AFT Member Nominated for “Everyday Hero” Award

Each year, AFT recognizes with an “Everyday Hero” award members who inspire us all to make a difference in our chosen fields and in our communities. Semifinalists for the award have been chosen from each AFT division--representing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher-education staff and faculty, health-care professionals, public employees and retirees—and you can cast your vote online for each...

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Enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act—Aldine AFT Scores a Big Win

Aldine ISD, one of the largest suburban school districts in the Houston area and in the state as a whole, was the scene of a big win for on-the-job fairness last month. When veteran custodian Gloria Zavala reported that she was being required to work overtime without additional pay at her newly assigned school, Aldine AFT filed an associational grievance...

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