The Coronavirus has wreaked unprecedented havoc on the lives of the American people. Our economy, our schools, our jobs and our way of life have been disrupted. To survive and recover from this pandemic, safely reopen our schools and allow people to safely return to work to restore our economy, we have to maintain critical state and local services, such as law enforcement, education and healthcare.
The unrest unfolding across the nation is borne out of centuries of a society founded on racism, a society rooted in the notion that black and brown people have to, time and again, prove their humanity. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police is another searing example of the criminalization of blackness in America, and it is emblematic of the profound injustice that permeates nearly every aspect of our society. The story of this unrest is not the broken windows. We cannot and will not be distracted from the root cause, from the cries of pain.
Harrisburg, PA, June 2, 2020— On behalf of its 36,000 members and 61 locals, AFT Pennsylvania on Tuesday released its Principles of Racial Justice. This comes on the heels of the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers and ensuing protests and demonstrations.
“The events of the past week have greatly highlighted the inequities in our system. Not just our criminal justice system, but our systems of public education, healthcare, housing, and economic opportunity,” said Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT Pennsylvania. “Black and Brown children and their families have every right to
Harrisburg, PA, May 10, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry T. Jordan, and Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis on Sunday, issued the following statement after PA House Speaker Mike Turzai recorded a video in which he implied that Pennsylvania schools should reopen because “kids can development herd immunity” and are “not at risk unless they have an underlying medical issue” and suggested that teachers are paid enough to plan around a pandemic.
"Speaker Mike Turzai calling for schools to reopen
Harrisburg, PA, Thursday, April 9, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, on Thursday, issued the following statement after Governor Wolf and PA Secretary of Education Rivera announced the extension of school closures through the rest of the school year:
“I want to thank Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera for their decisive action in closing schools for the remainder of the school year. While this was without a doubt a difficult decision, it provides educators, staff, parents, and caregivers much-needed clarity and certainty into the foreseeable
Harrisburg, PA, Thursday, March 19, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, on Thursday, issued the following statement after it was announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is cancelling statewide assessments, often referred to as “standardized tests”:
“I applaud Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and Governor Tom Wolf for making the difficult, but correct choice to cancel statewide assessments for the rest of the school year. This continues to illustrate just how serious COVID-19 is and how serious the Commonwealth’s government is taking it.
Harrisburg, PA, Thursday, March 5, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania, along with the Scranton Federation of Teachers, on Thursday, issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s Fox News town hall taking place in Scranton Thursday evening:
“President Trump’s broken promises to Pennsylvania’s working families are too numerous to list,” said Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT PA. “But the most egregious examples of the Trump Administration’s failure are public education and infrastructure. By appointing, and keeping Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Donald Trump has already shown great
Harrisburg, PA, Thursday, February 27, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania, on Thursday, issued the following statement following an Executive Council vote to endorse Harold “Howie” Hayes for State Representative in the 18th District special election on March 17th:
On behalf of the 36,000 members across 61 locals in Pennsylvania, I am thrilled to endorse Howie Hayes for state representative,” said Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT PA. “We are especially proud to show labor solidarity by supporting a member of Plumbers Local Union 690.”
Steinberg continued, “With the upcoming special election, we have the