During Teacher Appreciation Week, AFT/PFT Give Solidarity

The American Federation of Teachers represents teachers and healthcare workers on the frontlines. As more parents are taking on the task of homeschooling, we are all reminded of the extraordinary work our educators do every day. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO thanks each and every one of our educators, nurses, and public employees for the extraordinary work they do. And we are so proud of the solidarity they have shown to their fellow union sisters and brothers across our Labor Movement.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Local 3 has begun fundraising for personal protective equipment for the sisters and brothers of AFSCME 1199C, National Union Of Hospital and Health Care Employees.

Read 1199C President Chris Woods’ letter here.

Nationally, AFT brothers and sisters have marked Teacher Appreciation and National Nurses Week by donating nearly $3 million in personal protective equipment for its members. This is what solidarity is all about!

“The American Federation of Teachers—which represents nearly 200,000 nurses, respiratory specialists, health techs, physicians and other professionals in the healthcare industry, as well as food service workers, bus drivers, custodians, child care workers, rec center workers, and countless other educators and public employees on the frontlines of the pandemic—has purchased life-saving personal protective equipment for its members. In response to those members’ steady cries since mid-March, pleading for the personal protective gear necessary to keep them safe as they protect, feed, educate, engage and care for the American public, the AFT has launched numerous lobbying, advertising, petition and demonstration efforts to protect them. But the need is still urgent, as a nurse tried to explain to President Trump in the Oval Office yesterday, despite his objections.

‘To meet this need, over the last six weeks, the union has purchased 500,000 N95s, 50,000 face shields, and more than 1 million surgical masks from 3M and additional overseas manufacturers to help protect its members fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The items, totaling a nearly $3 million investment by the union, will be distributed over the next several weeks to healthcare providers in facilities across the country, including in New York, Washington, Oregon, and New Jersey, in consultation with leaders from each state and using a formula to get the PPE to the highest-need areas. The union will also distribute nearly 100,000 of the surgical masks donated from the U.S. Heartland China Association to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers in South Dakota.” 

Read AFT’s Full Statement Here