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Agenda - 2023 AFT Pennsylvania Biennial Convention

Welcome to Philadelphia, PA!

Friday, June 30, 2023

1:30 - 8:30 pm Registration
  Grand Ballroom Foyer
2:00 – 2:45 pm Retirees Meeting
  Discovery A
2:30 PM Executive Council Meeting
  Columbus Ballroom AB
  (AFT Pennsylvania Executive Council members only)
3:00 - 4:30 pm Pre-Convention Workshops
  AFT Connect Training
  Discovery A
  Member Benefits
4:30 PM Afternoon Sessions
  (By invitation only)
  Higher Education Policy Council 
  Discovery B
  Credentials Committee Meeting
  Sergeant-at-Arms Committee Meeting 
  Owner’s Boardroom
  Nominations & Elections Committee Meeting 
  USS New Jersey
  Philadelphia Federation of Teachers #3 Members Only Meeting
  Columbus Ballroom C 
5:30 PM Presidents Dinner
  Admiral’s Quarters
  (By invitation only) 
7:30 PM General Session 
  Columbus Ballroom AB
  Welcome: Arthur G. Steinberg, President, AFT Pennsylvania
  Local Welcomes and Greetings  
  State of the Union Address
9:30 PM Reception 
  Columbus Ballroom Foyer
  Delegates and guests are invited to enjoy wine, beer and snacks 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

8:00 - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast
  Grand Ballroom Foyer
8:30 am - 3pm Registration
  Grand Ballroom Foyer
9:30am - 10:45am Plenary Panel Discussion: Culture Wars Impact on Public Education: Protecting academic integrity.
  Grand Ballroom CD
10:45 am - noon Committee Meetings
  Political Action 
  Discovery B
  Constitutional Amendments
  Grand Ballroom B
  Discovery C
  Educational Issues
  Grand Ballroom A
  Discovery A
12:15 PM Luncheon
  Grand Ballroom CD
  Keynote Speakers: AFT President Randi Weingarten, PA Governor Josh Shapiro
2:00 PM Credentials and Nominations & Elections Committees Joint Meeting 
  (By invitation only)
  USS New Jersey
2:15 - 3:30 pm Workshops
  From Organizing to Leading: Cultivating a Culture of Collective Action  
  Columbus Ballroom A
  Facilitator: Shelly Wen, AFT PA Union Organizer
  Explore practical strategies and delve into the realities of member organizing, activist development, collective action and leadership progression. Gain insights into effective communication, relationship-building, and training approaches. We will address challenges faced by our locals in engaging their members and nurturing their leaders. Together, we will explore evidence-based practices to help overcome these challenges and foster a culture of active participation and effective advocacy. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow educators, organizers and leaders in an effort to empower our members, foster a culture of involvement, and develop leaders who can guide and advocate for the needs of our profession and the future of educators in Pennsylvania.
  Navigating Grievances and Arbitrations: Strategies for Success  
  Grand Ballroom B 
  Facilitator: Jim Rihel, AFT PA Staff Representative
  Delve into the world of grievances and arbitrations. Equip yourself with the knowledge and strategies necessary to effectively navigate workplace conflicts and secure fair treatment. Explore the purpose and procedures of the grievance process, learn how to initiate and navigate a grievance, and discover winning strategies for arbitration. Through real-life examples and practical tips, participants will gain insights on building strong cases, communicating concerns effectively, and maintaining professionalism during challenging situations.
  Union Strong: Building and Sustaining Meaningful Member Engagement   
  Discovery B
  Facilitator: Walt Michalski & Carol Mintus, AFT PA Staff Representatives
  Explore strategies for engaging members, energizing your union community, and sustaining meaningful involvement over time. Through interactive discussion and real-life examples, participants will analyze barriers that hinder member engagement and develop routes to overcome them. We will examine the design and implementation of strategies like clear communication channels, opportunities for involvement, feedback mechanisms, social events, and tailored professional development programs. We will address challenges faced in sustaining member engagement and share insights for creating actionable plans for long-term success.
  Power to the Paras- AFT Pennsylvania PROUD
  Discovery C
  Facilitator: Sarah Robbins, AFT PA Executive Director
  "Power to Paras: AFT Pennsylvania PROUD" is an inclusive and interactive workshop designed to empower paraprofessional members and leaders of all experience levels. Discover the PROUD acronym - Paras Ready Organized Unified and Determined. Through discussions and activities, we will explore strategies and skills we utilize to thrive despite challenges. This workshop recognizes the wealth of knowledge and expertise already present among our paraprofessional members. We want to hear about the specific challenges you've faced, the achievements you’ve had, the value of supported mentorship, the skills you wish to acquire, and the qualities you admire most in exceptional paraprofessionals. Join us for a collaborative experience that celebrates the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our AFT PA paraprofessionals. Together, let's cultivate an environment of growth, support, and professional evolution. Be a foundational part of the PROUD movement and shape the future of paraprofessional excellence in Pennsylvania.
  Holding Your School Board Accountable  
  Discovery A
  Facilitator: Krisann Selbst, AFT PA Staff Representative
  Discuss strategies and tools for holding your school board accountable to safeguard principles of equity and quality education. As local teacher union leaders and members, your role in advocating for your colleagues, students and communities is crucial. Explore communication channels, data utilization, community mobilization, coalition building, global examples of accountability and advocacy. Together, let's ensure that harmful and hate filled agendas do not undermine equity in schools and the quality of education for our students. Join us to learn, share, and strengthen your ability to create positive change.
  Treasurers’ Training for Effective Union Management: Financial Stewardship, Fiscal Responsibilities and Maintaining Compliance 
  Columbus Ballroom C
  Facilitators: LeShawna Coleman, AFT PA Treasurer
  Mario DeClerico, PFT Local #3 Controller
  In this workshop, we will provide treasurers of AFT Pennsylvania locals with the essential tools and knowledge to effectively manage union finances while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. This session aims to empower treasurers by preparing them with practical skills and strategies to maintain financial integrity within their respective affiliates.
  Key topics to be covered include:
  •    Understanding and implementing financial best practices for union management.
  •    Navigating compliance requirements and reporting obligations.
  •    Basics of understanding dues reports and making per capita payments
  •    Efficient record-keeping and bookkeeping practices.
  •    Maximizing transparency and accountability in financial transactions.
  Storytelling for Intergenerational Union Organizing: A Film Screening and Discussion
  Grand Ballroom A
  Facilitator: Pat Collangelo 
  Film screening and discussion of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Retiree Chapter documentary, “Get Off Your Knees”. This documentary recounts the dynamic history of the PFT400 and the establishment of public sector collective bargaining in Pennsylvania. We know that we have many retired members of AFT and AFT PA that have many stories to tell of union victories that have led us to the progress in working conditions that we have today. This film screening and discussion is also an opportunity for our retirees to build community, share stories, and organize. We are taking this opportunity to come together at convention to support retiree organizing as the state federation.
  3:45 pm        Statewide Elections (If necessary)
3:45 - 4:30 pm Regional Vice President Elections
  Grand Ballroom A
  Grand Ballroom B 
  Columbus Ballroom A
  Discovery A
  Discovery B
  Discovery C
  Columbus Ballroom B
7:00 – 11:00 pm     Special Evening Activity: 
  AFT PA Education Champion Awards Banquet
  Grand Ballroom 

Sunday, July 2, 2023

8:00 am - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast
  Grand Ballroom Foyer
8:30 am – 9:30 am Vice Presidential Address:
  Nina Esposito-Visgitis
  Grand Ballroom CD
9:30 am - noon General Session 
  Columbus Ballroom AB    
  Committee Reports
  o   Credentials Committee
  o   Nominations & Elections Committee
  o   Political Action
  o   Constitutional Amendments
  o   Resolutions Committee
  o   Retirees
  o   Educational Issues
  o   Legislation
12:30 PM Convention Concludes
  (AFT Pennsylvania Executive Council will meet immediately after adjournment)
  Grand Ballroom A
  *The work center is available USS Olympia

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