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What unions do

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.


Town election day is Tuesday, March 14th.  For all of our locals in a “SB 2” district, any negotiated agreements will be voted on during the town elections. AFT-NH local leaders and negotiating teams have spent countless hours preparing tentative agreements to be presented to the voters. All of that hard work comes down to this one day of voting.

Please share this list with friends and allies so they know how they can make a difference and support our AFT-NH locals. We know that every single vote counts. I know those locals remember very well when a contract was defeated by one vote. Yes, it has happened. Twice as a matter of fact.

Another reminder is that folks can register to vote on election day with proper identification and proof of residence (could be a utility bill for example).

A torrent of censorship

Nearly 250 years since our country’s founding, some Americans are still attempting to restrict others’ basic freedoms. In Florida and elsewhere, censoring books is part of larger efforts to exert greater control over and undermine education.

Timberlane Teachers Achieve Last Minute Deal, School Board Continues to Engage in Union Busting

Timberlane Teachers Achieve Last Minute Deal, School Board Continues to Engage in Union Busting

 Timberlane temporarily avoids catastrophe

PLAISTOW, NH— January 9, 2023 —The leadership of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association released the following statement:

 In a final effort, the Timberlane Teachers’ Association has achieved a last minute deal for a one-year agreement with the Timberlane Regional School Board that avoids what would certainly have been a critically disastrous situation for the District. Timberlane educators are already working without a contract for this school year and have not seen any step movement or cost of living adjustments. This deal makes little headway in resolving the many issues facing Timberlane including under-valued wages, working conditions, and earned benefits.  This agreement is only a one year deal, which stabilizes the situation and brings the parties back to the bargaining table in the Spring.

Timberlane Regional School Board Walks Away from Contract Negotiations

 Timberlane Regional School Board Walks Away from Contract Negotiations

 Timberlane educators face a second year without a contract that respects their work

PLAISTOW, NH— January 5, 2023 —The leadership of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association released the following statement:

 The Timberlane Teachers’ Association, AFT #4796,  is gravely disappointed that for a second time in two years, the Timberlane Regional School Board has given up on trying to reach a tentative agreement with the Union that respects the work and dedication that Timberlane Educators have given to the children and families of the District.  The two parties have been meeting since June 2021 to try to reach an agreement that recognizes the contributions and sacrifices that the educators of Timberlane have made for the District while also respecting the needs of the taxpayers.  Timberlane educators have been working without a contract since July 2022 with no pay increases or cost of living adjustments while facing rising inflation and rising cost of living, and will continue to face shrinking paychecks for another year.  The Union has presented more than a dozen substantial proposals and counter proposals, endured two mediation sessions, and made significant concessions and compromises over the last two years. The last proposal offered by the Union constituted an increase in cost over the previously agreed upon first year in the prior tentative agreement of less than one-half percent of the proposed District’s annual budget. Sadly, the School Board has made little compromise and refused to meet the Union on common ground.  Even as of the date of this press release, the School Board continues to push forward proposals that were rejected by the Union membership for being insultingly inadequate to what Timberlane is worth instead of negotiating with the Union.

Voting for democracy and a better life

In the leadup to the midterm elections, pundits predicted a red wave, even a tsunami, based on polls, historical precedent, and steep gas and grocery prices. But I had my doubts. I spent the weeks before the elections talking to voters and traveling on the AFT Votes bus, rolling through a dozen states with more than 50 stops. In a year when kitchen table issues, democracy and our freedoms were on the ballot, many people told me that the elections came down to a choice between, on the one side, election deniers and extremists stoking fear, and on the other, problem-solvers working to help the country move forward. Many races were close, but Americans turned the tide from a red wave to a swell of support for progress and problem-solvers. Read the full column here.

Voter Registration Information for November 8th

Voter Registration Information for November 8th

It is important that all eligible persons who can vote on November 8th do so. In order to vote, you need to register. If you are newly 18 or have moved and need to register at your new address, or perhaps you checked your voting information and found that you are no longer registered, here is all of the information you need regarding voter registration. If you are all set, please share this information with friends and family.

There are two ways to register to vote.  You can do so by contacting your city or town clerk up to 10 days before the November 8 election. Please find out the specific deadline information for your town or city. Click here to contact your town or city clerk for registration deadlines and procedures and dates of town or city elections.

Sharing more pathways to student debt relief

As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.