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Furlough/seniority changes become law

The omnibus school code bill, Act 55 of 2017, became law on Nov. 5, 2017. Despite concerns about the furlough provisions, Governor Wolf allowed the bill to become law without his signature to ensure that state funds would be paid on time to public schools and to protect other provisions in the bill, including extending the moratorium on Keystone exams, requiring opioid abuse education and ending “lunch shaming” of students. AFTPA opposed the school code bill because it changes the way layoffs are conducted, places emphasis on a flawed evaluation system and interferes with collective bargaining rights.

Unions chastise US Supreme Court ruling

The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions. The forces behind this case know that by joining together in strong unions, working people are able to win the power and voice they need to level the economic and political playing field.

Graduate assistants at private universities can unionize

In a decision that could reshape working and learning conditions for thousands of college workers and their students, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that graduate assistants have the right to unionize, even at private colleges.

Momentum builds for graduate workers' unions

As it gathers momentum, the movement to organize graduate assistants could well overturn old policies barring private college and university graduate workers from unionizing, and pave the way for guaranteed workers' rights in the future.

Hedge funds are bankrupting higher education

Many universities across the United States are cash-strapped because they have prioritized paying high fees to hedge funds—largely unregulated, high-cost investment vehicles run by the ultra-wealthy—while asking students, faculty and staff to pick up a bigger part of the tab, an explosive new report shows.

Temple University adjunct faculty vote to join the AFT

Adjunct faculty at Temple University have voted overwhelmingly to join the AFT's' faculty affiliate at the school, the Temple Association of University Professionals. This was a hard-won victory for adjunct educators, as Temple's administration ran an aggressive anti-union campaign.

AFTPA: Repeal Act 82 evaluations

AFT Pennsylvania Convention delegates called on the state legislature to repeal the state’s teacher evaluation law, which teachers maintain has been implemented inconsistently, produces unreliable rankings, promotes teaching test-taking instead of critical thinking and punishes teachers whose students have special needs.

Weingarten takes on critics of due process

AFT President Randi Weingarten appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" television show to make the case for teachers' due process rights, to correct widely held misconceptions about the teaching workforce, and to clarify that problems tied to evaluation are often mislabeled as due process issues.

The need for seniority

Seniority has less to do with teacher placements and promotions and has everything to do with fairness and objectivity in hiring decisions, says Lisa Haver, a retired Philadelphia teacher and active PFT member, in a recent op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News.