The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.
Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.
Remarks at First Step Plan Press Conference as prepared – Thursday, March 2, 2023
Good afternoon. I’m Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT Pennsylvania which represents 36,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, school staff, higher education faculty and staff, and state workers across 64 local unions, including the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, where I also serve as an officer.
I want to thank Senator Vincent Hughes for his consistent advocacy for the needs of our schools, our students, and our educators over many, many years.
On Tuesday, along with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and March for Our Lives, we held a vigil in front of Senator Pat Toomey's office to demand commonsense action on gun safety policies.
Below is a round up of the coverage we received. Special thanks to AFT PA Executive Vice President Nina Esposito-Visgitis, March for Our Lives Co-Founder David Hogg, Allegheny/Fayette Labor Council Chaplain Reverend Torrey Johnson, and PFT400 VP for Middle Schools, Robert Mitchell for assembling our group and speaking so powerfully.
Plymouth Meeting, PA, January 7, 2022—On behalf of 36,000 educators, paraprofessionals, and school staff across Pennsylvania, AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg issued a statement on Friday imploring the Pennsylvania Department of Education to mandate enhanced COVID-19 mitigation or pause in-person learning until the current surge subsides.
“This week, the United States set a world record for number of COVID-19 infections recorded in a 24-hour period. Here in Pennsylvania, our number of daily cases has tripled in the past two weeks. School District across the Commonwealth face staff
Testimony to the PA House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on Toxic Schools
Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Virtual
Thank you, Chairman Bizzarro, Vice Chairperson Fiedler, and distinguished members of this committee for allowing me to testify today.
I am Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. I am proud to appear today on behalf of our 36,000 members and 61 locals to discuss one of the gravest topics in our Commonwealth, the safety of our schools.
In addition to my role in our statewide union, I am Chief Trustee of the
Education Justice Event | April 5, 2021 | Martin Luther King High School | Philadelphia
As many others have said and will say today, we continue to struggle to provide what Dr. King called “genuine equality” on all levels, including in education.
While segregation has been legally dead for decades, it has taken many different forms, including how we educate our kids. I have been an educator and a labor leader here in Philadelphia for more years than I care to admit, and now President of AFT Pennsylvania for two years. Year in, and year out, we face the same barriers to the education of our
AFT PENNSYLVANIA URGES CAUTION ON REOPENING SCHOOLS
Plymouth Meeting, PA, January 8, 2021—On behalf of its 36,000 members and 61 locals, AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg on Friday released the following statement urging the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health and Department of Education to use caution after new guidance issued by Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine encourages districts to resume in-person learning.
“It is troubling to see Pennsylvania’s chief public health official, and someone whom I greatly respect, issue guidance encouraging
Plymouth Meeting, PA, December 21, 2020—On behalf of its 36,000 members and 61 locals, AFT Pennsylvania on Monday released a webform for educators, staff, students, parents, and community members to report non-compliance with the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health’s November 24, 2020 Order Directing Public School Entities in Counties with Substantial Community Transmission to Attest to Health and Safety Protocols.
“While Pennsylvania’s largest school districts have responsibly moved to a fully remote instruction model, it is imperative that districts continuing in-person