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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.

Rally for a Thriving Wage ahead of first 2022 Negotiations Meeting

AFT Local 1789 members will gather Mon, Feb 7, 11am-1pm at Seattle Central's South Plaza to Rally for a Thriving Wage, demanding a 40% salary increase to thrive in Seattle's high-cost of living and calling for an open, democratic bargaining process.

The next day (Tues, Feb 8), the first negotiations meeting between the AFT 1789 Negotiations Team and Seattle Colleges' negotiators will take place from 3:30-5pm via zoom. The agenda includes: introductions, scheduling of future negotiation sessions, and discussing AFT's demand that joint sessions are open to all faculty members to attend.

NEWS ARTICLE: "As Strike Looms, UC Lecturers Raise the Stakes"

Here's an article about the the power of open negotiations: "As Strike Looms, UC Lecturers Raise the Stakes" (LaborNotes, 11/1/2021)

The union representing lecturers, UC-AFT, voted 96% in favor of strike authorization this summer, which gives them much needed leverage during an impasse with management. With negotiations with the university system in their final stages, the union's use of open bargaining has been especially inspiring -- nearly 400 members and supporters tuned in!

Local Candidate Endorsements from AFT 1789 for Nov 2 Election

Election Day is Tues, Nov 2. As you may remember, our union went through an endorsement process before this year's primary elections. Good news! All our endorsed candidates made it through to the general election. We wanted to remind everyone of our endorsements as we get to the final stages of what is looking to be quite a close election. We hope that everyone votes, and that you consider your fellow union members, our students, and our working conditions when you do.

American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, representing faculty of the Seattle College District, is proud to make the following endorsements in this year’s elections:

Lorena Gonzalez for Mayor

Teresa Mosqueda for Seattle City Council Position 8

Nikkita Oliver for Seattle City Council Position 9

We know that these candidates are and will continue to be strong advocates for the needs of our members, our students, our community, and our siblings in organized labor. We look forward to working with them to fight for better working and living conditions in our city.

New appointment to District Grievance Chair

An update from AFT Seattle 1789 President:

Libby Schoene has been appointed to the District Grievance Chair position. Many thanks to Libby for stepping up and bringing her union experience to the job. Libby will assist the campus grievance chairs and other officers who are contacted by faculty with concerns.  

North and Central are still looking for a grievance chair at last report. If you like the idea of assisting faculty and upholding our contract, this could be the role for you!

Local Candidate Endorsements from AFT 1789

American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, representing faculty of the Seattle College District, is proud to make the following endorsements in this year’s elections:

Additionally, we are proud to stand with Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant against the campaign to recall her from the council. 

 

We know that these candidates are and will continue to be strong advocates for the needs of our members, our students, our community, and our siblings in organized labor. We look forward to working with them to fight for better working and living conditions in our city.

Amazon fights unionization: NY Times article

"Over two decades, as the internet retailer mushroomed from a virtual bookstore into a $1.5 trillion behemoth, it forcefully — and successfully — resisted employee efforts to organize. Some workers in recent years agitated for change in Staten Island, Chicago, Sacramento and Minnesota, but the impact was negligible."

Bill Hough Jr., the machinist at the Chester warehouse who led the union drive, was fired in 2016.

"Now Amazon faces a union vote at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. — the largest and most viable U.S. labor challenge in its history. Nearly 6,000 workers have until March 29 to decide whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. A labor victory could energize workers in other U.S. communities, where Amazon has more than 800 warehouses employing more than 500,000 people.

“'This is happening in the toughest state, with the toughest company, at the toughest moment,' said Janice Fine, a professor of labor studies at Rutgers University. 'If the union can prevail given those three facts, it will send a message that Amazon is organizable everywhere.'

"Even if the union does not prevail, 'the history of unions is always about failing forward,' she said. 'Workers trying, workers losing, workers trying again.'

"The effort in Chester, which The Times reconstructed with documents from regulators and the machinists’ union, as well as interviews with former facilities technicians at the warehouse and union officials, offers one of the fullest pictures of what encourages Amazon workers to open the door to a union — and what techniques the company uses to slam the door and nail it shut."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/technology/amazon-unions-virginia.html