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Support AFT walkout April 16 to ‘[Re]invest In Our Colleges’

The following is from AFT Washington:

(April 15, 2019) — Did you attend the 2018 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO? If yes, you may recall the vigorous and unanimous support for Resolution 19, “Renewing the call for full support of the labor community and technical college system.”

The members and staff of AFT Washington have been working tirelessly since last fall to realize the goal of Resolution 19 – a robust investment in the CTC system. As the legislative system winds down and budget negotiations are underway, we need you to make one of the “resolves” real – we need you to “participate in the robust legislative funding campaign waged by AFT Washington, WFSE, WEA, and WPEA,” and we can make it easy for you to do so.

On Tuesday, April 16 members at AFT Seattle Faculty Local 1789 and Shoreline Community College Federation of Teachers Local 1950 will walk out in support of more funding for the Community and Technical College system; members at Bates Technical College Local 4184, Peninsula Community College Federation of Teachers Local 3439, and Bellevue College (WEA affiliated) are rallying and picketing; Pierce College Federation of Teachers Local 4821 and Edmonds Community College Federation of Teachers Local 4254 are doing tabling; Green River College Federation of Teachers Local 2195 and Highline College (WEA affiliated) will host a social media campaign. Please join us at a physical location or by Tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking – details are at Reinvest In Our Colleges website.

Our CTCs educate nearly 60 percent of all higher education students, yet they receive a little less than 40 percent of the higher education budget.

“Everyone recognizes the value the CTCs bring to individual lives, employers, and the economy,” said Karen Strickland, president of AFT Washington. “What has yet to be taken seriously is the dire need to support the human infrastructure that makes our colleges hum – the people who process financial aid, teach in the classroom, clean the buildings, provide counseling, and more – and to make sure students succeed. The economy is strong, and the need is great – now is the time to [Re]Invest in Our Colleges!”

AFT Washington members are taking action to urge our legislators, many of whom support our budget request, to find a better way. AFT Washington members are taking action because they and their students have borne the brunt of underfunding, with low pay and high tuition and fees. AFT Washington members are taking action because their students lose out when the system over-relies on adjunct or part-time faculty, who far too often have to travel to multiple campuses just to make ends meet—not for a living wage, but just to make ends meet. The students lose out because the people facilitating their education are overburdened and underpaid, leading to turnover and other systemic challenges.

When you invest in the professionals that make the college function, you invest in the students that rely on the CTCs for their education, and you invest in our communities.

Please take action by showing your support on April 16, and by contacting your Washington state legislators at 1-800-562-6000 and telling them it’s time to [Re]Invest in Our Colleges.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!