AFTNJ 2022 Leadership Conference recap

Under the theme Stronger Unions, Stronger Voices, AFTNJ local presidents and members of their leadership teams gathered Aug. 17 in East Brunswick for this year’s leadership conference to expand their knowledge of union-related procedures and actions.

Following introductory remarks by AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera, attendees were presented with a series of workshops led by AFT national personnel.…

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AFT report: Supporting diversity, mentorship could revitalize educator, school staff pipeline

Developing a federal Diverse Teacher Corps fund/grant and maintaining state-funded support for mentorship programs are among the AFT Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force’s recommended implementation strategies for revitalizing the educator and school staff pipeline.

In its July report — officially named “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?” — the task force also offers strategies for creating a culture that supports all workers and for creating a system that provides them with the time, tools, trust and training to do their jobs.…

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AFT survey: 2021-22 was one of the worst years for PreK-12 teachers, staff

More than 70 percent of AFT members who participated in a recent Hart Research Associates-AFT survey described the 2021-22 academic year as one of the worst for PreK-12 teachers and staff.

Interviews were conducted June 17-21 with 2,379 AFT members. Other key findings:

• 60 percent said they probably will stay or definitely will stay in their current job in the next one to two years

• 51 percent said they were represented very well by their local union

• 44 percent said they are either fairly worried or very worried about the possibility of a mass shooting where they work

To view and download “Under Siege: The Outlook of AFT Members,” click here.…

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NAMI to use survey results for second book

The National Alliance on Mental Illness will use answers from its latest survey for a second edition of “You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Health,” which will focus on navigating the mental health needs of children and teens.

The AFT is asking its members to complete the NAMI survey by July 8 — to get started, click here.…

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Share My Lesson launches its Summer of Learning

The Share My Lesson team worked earlier this year with its leading partners to create content intended to refresh and inspire AFT members during the summer months.

SML’s free Summer of Learning offerings include the webinars “Missing Migration Narratives in American History” on July 26, “Podcast-Inspired, Solutions-Driven Climate Education” on July 27 and “Managing the Differentiated Classroom” on Aug.…

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AFT’s LGBTQIA+ task force to hold inaugural meeting in NYC

On June 24, the AFT’s new LGBTQIA+ task force will hold its inaugural meeting in New York, close to the Stonewall Inn, the acknowledged birthplace of the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ rights.

The meeting coincides with events at the Stonewall on June 24 (AFT members will gather there at 4 p.m.), the United Federation of Teachers-hosted “Unapologetically Us” educational conference that begins on June 25 and the NYC Pride March on June 26.…

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U.S. DOE shines spotlight on AFT-supported Red Hawks Rising

The U.S. Department of Education recently featured the AFT-supported Red Hawks Rising teacher academy as part of its #InnovatED online video series.

The clip focuses on Melissa De Almeida, a senior at Newark’s East Side High School, and her quest to become a bilingual teacher. Also featured in the video are Mayida Zaal, an associate professor in Montclair State University’s teaching and learning department; Erika Plumey, a teacher at East Side; and Roger León, Newark’s superintendent.…

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Speeches by Chiera and others energize MFOL Newark

Hundreds showed up June 11 in Military Park to participate in March for Our Lives Newark, one of many rallies that day in New Jersey against gun violence held in solidarity with the national march in Washington, D.C.

Before and after the half-mile march that traveled in part along Broad Street, several featured speakers graced the stage, referencing recent mass shootings in America, citing personal experiences and calling for gun legislation.…

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Vachon co-writes piece for American Educator

Rutgers University assistant professor Dr. Todd Vachon, an AFTNJ higher education vice president, is a co-writer of “Back to School for All: Helping Students Recover by Creating Safe and Welcoming Environments,” which is in the summer 2022 edition of AFT’s American Educator.

Dr. Vachon shares the byline with Kayla Crawley, a sociology Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers, and James Boyle, a master’s student in labor and employment relations at Rutgers who assists in research projects for the Vachon-directed Labor Education Action Research Network (LEARN).…

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Webinar has support strategies for educators, students in aftermath of gun violence

On June 8, join AFT President Randi Weingarten, two of the cofounders of Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence and others for the free Share My Lesson webinar “After the Shootings: How to Help Our Kids and Ourselves.”

The hourlong session begins at 6:30 p.m. ET. For more information and to register, click here.…

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Deadline for AFT Pride of the Union Award entries is June 30

AFT locals meeting certain membership criteria have until June 30 to apply for the Pride of the Union Awards, which will be presented during this year’s AFT convention, taking place July 14-17 in Boston.

Applicants must meet one of the following three requirements:

• Membership is at a level of 90 percent or more of those eligible to join

• Net membership increased by at least 25 percent in either the 2020-21 or the 2021-22 membership year (between July 1 and June 30)

• Net membership increased by at least 100 members in either the 2020-21 or the 2021-22 membership year (between July 1 and June 30)

Presidents of locals successfully qualifying for the award will be notified in advance of the convention, and accomplishments will be recognized at an invitation-only reception on July 13.…

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March for Our Lives is taking action across N.J.

The anti-gun violence organization March for Our Lives will conduct a march June 3 in Montclair, followed by several across New Jersey on June 11 in conjunction with a centerpiece march that day in Washington, D.C., and others around the country.

Here are the details for the New Jersey events (schedule subject to change):

June 3 in Montclair: St.…

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