Like every other aspect of our lives, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis impacted the presentation of annual awards and scholarships at our state federation's 2021 convention. Members were last month recognized virtually for their "above-and-beyond" activism, and several weeks later educational grant winners received notice of their selection. The unorthodox celebrations were indicative of the challenges our labor family has faced and overcome this past year.
Union activists in the final stretch of the 2021 legislative session have escalated efforts to urge better choices while lawmakers and the governor deliberate over a biennial state budget. Among those leading the charge are state employees who have experienced firsthand the negative consequences of decades of failed austerity policies. They have over the past month amplified earlier demands to embrace a "recovery for all" approach by engaging in collective action.
Union members have over the past four months demonstrated the power of combining persistence and activism to make significant gains at the negotiating table. Our latest collective bargaining report showcases a local affiliate whose leaders organized high profile public actions to build support and mount pressure on their employer. Their commitment to a healthier and safer workplace paved the way for winning long overdue protections.
Local and state union activists and leaders earlier this month turned-out in record numbers to advocate for themselves and fellow frontliners impacted by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis. The occasion was a legislative public hearing held by the Connecticut General Assembly's committee that oversees employment policies and practices. Joined by members of allied labor organizations, they took a strong stand to demand restitution for their sacrifices and preparation for the next pandemic.
Labor activists earlier this year began collaborating with community organizations to help fellow residents recover from the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. That led to the formation of a new coalition, "Recovery for All," initially focused on securing a state budget in the General Assembly's 2021 legislative session that puts people first. AFT Connecticut is a full partner in these efforts, and is mobilizing members to move lawmakers and the governor to "do better."