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Healthcare workers ask for assurances from experts about COVID-19 vaccines

Unions representing approximately 2 million healthcare workers have called for independent third-party experts to validate any COVID-19 vaccine before they will receive or administer it. In a joint statement, the AFT, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Service Employees International Union said, “Given [the Trump administration’s] record of politicization of public health, it is impossible for us to take or promote any vaccine without additional assurance from independent experts that the approval process has not been tainted. Once they recommend a specific vaccine or vaccines, we will be eager to work with federal, state and local bodies and with the leadership of the healthcare community and the communities we serve and live in to accurately educate the public and promote a fair and effective vaccination program for distributing this desperately needed vaccine.” Read the full press release here.

Statement on Governor Wolf’s Announcement of Charter School Reforms

Plymouth Meeting, PA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019 – Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT Pennsylvania, issued the following statement on behalf of the more than 36,000 members of the Commonwealth’s statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday:

“We are very encouraged by Governor Wolf’s announcement today that he will back legislation to address commonsense charter school reforms in Pennsylvania, including transparency requirements, a cap on cyber charter enrollment and a moratorium on new cyber charter schools.

Gov. Wolf announces millions in funding to fix environmental hazards in Philly schools

"Standing in the library of an Overbrook elementary school, Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday announced the state would spend $4.3 million to help remove lead paint from Philadelphia public schools.
 
Including the millions the state paid last year to complete such projects, that means Pennsylvania has allocated almost $12 million to fixing environmental hazards in the Philadelphia School District.
 

Strikes and shutdowns

In Los Angeles, UTLA members took to the picket lines because their schools are starved of resources. In Washington, D.C., President Trump has shut down the government to secure his border wall. In her monthly New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes that when our elected leaders fail, whether by not funding public schools or by shutting down services that provide for our safety, they strike at the very heart of what makes us a democratic republic. Read the full column.

Ted Kirsch statement on K2 exposure

AFTPA President Ted Kirsch released the following statement after a member working in a state correctional facility library was exposed to the substance know as K2.

Struggling in a ‘strong’ economy

In her monthly New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten highlights the massive gap between President Trump’s rhetoric and reality.  While the well-to-do are doing very well in the current economy, working Americans have been left behind. Weingarten demands leaders take action to benefit all Americans by ensuring accessible, affordable healthcare for all; reining in college debt; and adequately funding public education. Read the full column.