AFT to host Public Service Loan Forgiveness webinar in Spanish

In partnership with the National Education Association, the AFT is hosting a webinar in Spanish on the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. For those who want to learn about the relief available under this program—in Spanish—mark your calendars for Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. EDT. PSLF enables public service workers—teachers, firefighters, librarians, etc.—to have the balance of their federal higher education loans forgiven after 10 years. So far, more than 175,000 people have had more than $10 billion in loans forgiven. Register 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.

IN THE NEWS: "Seattle Colleges Professors Protest Stagnant Salaries While Inflation Soars" (South Seattle Emerald)

A snippet from the article about the April 24 rally:

On Tuesday, April 24, a group of Seattle Colleges professors protested outside the Broadway Performance Hall before walking to their district headquarters, Siegal Center. Inside, union leaders, who professors say aren’t fully representing their needs, were bargaining. Their salaries for the next three years hung in the balance between the 0% raise professors say was initially offered by Seattle Colleges, the 15% raise the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Seattle Local 1789 is bargaining for, and the 40% raise they say is necessary to keep them afloat during historic national inflation in a city where the cost of living is over 50% above the national average.

Professors and some of their students chanted phrases like “Let us in” and “Work with us, not against us,” “We will win,” and “At the table, not on the menu.” They held up signs to passersby and honking cars reading “0% is not enough,” “Fund Faculty Raises,” “AFT Worker Solidarity,” and “SCD Says Faculty are Worth 0%.” 

Link to the full article: "Seattle Colleges Professors Protest Stagnant Salaries While Inflation Soars," by Ari Robin McKenna, South Seattle Emerald, April 28, 2022

AFT Wage Negotiation Update, 4/27/2022

Below is the text of an email update sent by David Krull (Negotiations Chair) on 4/27/2022 to all faculty:

All Faculty Negotiation Update

AFT met with representatives of Seattle Colleges yesterday to continue negotiating a pay raise.  AFT’s current demand remains at a 15% across the board pay increase.  SCD has offered a 0% pay increase for the entire 3 years of our current Contract.

To move the negotiations forward, AFT offered two paths forward, which SCD agreed to take back to College leadership.

IN THE NEWS: "Catholics, Colleges and Collective Bargaining" (The Spectator)

A snippet from the article:

As the cost of living in Seattle rises, collective bargaining activity amongst university faculty members is heating up across the city. 

On Feb. 7, the AFT 1789, the union representing the faculty of the Seattle Colleges system, held a rally ahead of negotiations for faculty wage increases. 

Annette Stofer, the AFT 1789 district president, underscored the grassroots nature of the rally. 

“A group of members who have been really energetic and well organized are the ones who get to take responsibility for the rally,” Stofer said. 

Link to the full article: "Catholics, Colleges and Collective Bargaining," by Myrea Mora and Andru Zodrow, The Spectator, February 16, 2022 

IN THE NEWS: "Seattle Central College teachers call for higher pay in negotiations with admin" (Real Change)

A snippet from the article: 

The first rounds of negotiations were held behind closed doors, with the rank and file members (RAF) kept in the waiting room. The legality of the practice of closed-door negotiations is ambiguous and not settled case law, Stofer said. First rounds of negotiations are held between the two negotiating parties “[p]er standing practice,” Bonaccorso wrote.

Regardless, the decision to be kept out of the room is not sitting well with many union members.

 “The most successful union actions in the last 5 years have been in open negotiations,” said Dr. Jay McLean-Riggs, a RAF member.

As RAF member Dave Ellenwood put it, “Transparency resonates with everyone unless you have something to hide.”

Link to the full article: "Seattle Central College teachers call for higher pay in negotiations with admin," Real Change, March 30, 2022