Topic: Jobs

Deteriorating health benefits for Texas school employees are just one part of a bigger story

The April 20 Hotline reported the continuing health-care cost increases and benefit cuts facing current Texas school employees, spotlighting the damage incurred by TRS-ActiveCare participants as a result of stagnant state contributions that cover less and less of the costs. An upcoming Hotline will fill in the details of the damage, but first let’s recognize that this latest hit is...

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up—Presidential Candidate Issues Call to “Abolish All Teachers’ Lounges”

At a time when school districts around Texas and the nation are experiencing teacher shortages, you might think public officials would try to avoid giving fresh offense to educators who are fed up with being scapegoated and sick of seeing their students’ educational experience warped by the testing industry and its allies. But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a contender for...

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Media Focus on Teacher Shortage Evokes Blunt Responses from Educators

Recent front-page stories in the New York Times and elsewhere have drawn attention to the re-emergence of teacher shortages as a nationwide concern. On August 16 the Times letter-to-the-editor column featured some telling comments from educators themselves, including a strongly worded statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten. Here’s a sampling of those letters for your edification. Randi Weingarten: We applaud...

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In Case You Missed It: “The Promise of Career and Technical Education”

AFT President Randi Weingarten used her November 16 “What Matters Most” column to lay out some home truths about the U.S. economy and the rising importance of career and technical education to help Americans get ahead. We reprint her column on “The Promise of Career and Technical Education” here: On the surface, the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor is...

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Stop the Sneak Attack

Transparency is important when it comes to making decisions about our economy, jobs, safety, and the environment. Unfortunately, in the current lame-duck session of Congress, we expect corporations to push for a policy that undercuts the public’s voice on international trade agreements through what they call “fast-track” legislation. Click here to tell Congress NO to fast track during the lame-duck...

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Attorney General Abbott’s Got a Problem with Enforcing Equal Pay for Equal Work

A few days ago we reported that Attorney General Greg Abbott, as he campaigns for governor, has been dodging media questions about his views on a Texas Equal Pay Act, which would make enforcement of equal pay for equal work more effective when women encounter pay discrimination. Texas AFT supported that bill last year (HB 950), and it passed in...

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Of Misleading Comparisons and False Narratives—Debunking the “Skills Gap”

A new international survey of adult skills purports to show that American workers are slipping behind those in other industrial countries. The "Skills Outlook 2013" report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tells us that American adults are at best only average performers, badly outclassed by those in Japan and other nations. But what the report really shows,...

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AFT’s Answer to Attacks on Public Education, Public Services: “Solution-Driven Unionism”

AFT President Randi Weingarten kicked off the American Federation of Teachers national convention in Detroit on Friday with a call for “solution-driven unionism” that answers ongoing attacks on public education and public-sector workers with problem-solving policy initiatives of our own. “We need to act in innovative, creative, and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and...

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TEA Rule on Financial Exigency Delayed

The Texas Education Agency has issued a notice that it needs more time to come up with a final version of its proposed standards for district declarations of financial exigency. A school district, by declaring such a financial emergency and citing it as the reason for terminations, can break its contractual commitment to teachers and other educators, fire them in...

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U.S. Senators From Texas Let Teachers Down—Let Them Know You’re Watching

Late Thursday night, the U.S. Senate held a critical vote on the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. Your two U.S. senators from Texas—Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn—helped block an up-or-down vote on the bill, voting instead to support a filibuster. Please tell Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn you don’t appreciate their failure to look out for teachers,...

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Putting Teachers and First Responders Back to Work

AFT e-activists have sent more than 25,000 letters to Congress and made thousands of phone calls urging the passage of the American Jobs Act, and the Senate is listening. Will you join them? We need the next letter to come from you. This week the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a part of the American Jobs Act that...

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