Local 1650 President John McDonald, Treasurer Stacey Buchanan, and External Vice President Eric Rader attended the AFT-Michigan Leadership Summit at the University of Michigan-Flint on January 14-15, 2017. The summit focused on how AFT-Michigan can reimagine itself and succeed at a time of steep challenges for the labor movement and public education in our state and nation. Participants spent most of the first day identifying the challenges facing our Locals, then identifying concrete commitments they would fulfill once they returned home. Local 1650 leaders, as well as the leaders of other higher education Locals, identified the need to continue supporting Board of Trustees candidates who pledge to address the concerns and interests of our faculty and students.
On the second day of the summit, participants met within their specific professional subgroups to discuss unique challenges and issues in their areas. In the Higher Education caucus, leaders focused on the need to continue member-to-member engagement and mobilization in the face of legislative and administrative attacks on our members. In the final session of the summit, participants discussed AFT-Michigan’s support for establishing Sanctuary Campuses and schools around the state. Local 1650’s leadership on this issue and our January 19th community forum were highlighted in this final session. Going forward, AFT-Michigan will continue to engage members around the state on how the Union can better serve us while proactively addressing the many political and administrative challenges facing the labor movement.