Take action today to celebrate FMLA

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The AFL-CIO and the Coalition of Labor Union Women are today commemorating the 23rd anniversary since President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act. Actions include a thunderclap, social media buzz  and a legislative push for up to seven days of paid sick leave. Forty percent of private-sector workers do not have any [...]

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Coalitions create opportunity

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How do you build advocacy? A coalition joins with another coalition, and so on, and so on, until you have a chain strong enough to wrap around tires and take on winter ice and snow. In the Capital Region, two coalitions met last week for their first joint event with a single goal: “To build [...]

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Vet tells his story: from Pearl Harbor to the classroom

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Nineteen-year-old Alvin Peachman was playing pingpong when he heard about the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His heart might have skipped a few beats, like a ping-pong ball skittering across the table. But it didn’t take too many heartbeats after that for him to enlist in the Navy. “We heard the [...]

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World AIDS Day: Education and treatment vital

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Today is World AIDS Day. It’s worth paying attention to. Because that disease is still with us. You know — the one no one wanted to talk about. Two people I loved died of AIDS in the 1980s and early ’90s, when AIDS was first being discovered and then shushed here in America. David and [...]

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Labor history stays alive through resources and recognition

At least two avenues are providing traction for our ability to teach students about labor history and the labor movement. The first: A lot more information and resources are available digitally now, which is especially beneficial since the role of labor is often tamped down in many history textbooks. “There  is loads of information available [...]

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World Food Day harvests opportunity to help

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An apple is often the symbol of teaching. Many students bring them forth — shiny and polished — to give to their teachers. But, for many teachers, that piece of fall-harvested fruit often means something else now: It is a symbol of how many hungry children sit in front of them in class, or in [...]

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It’s all about the bus

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They’re back. Those bright yellow school buses are on the roads, ferrying students from sidewalks and street corners to the front door of school. “It’s GREAT to be back. I love seeing how much the kids have grown every September,” said Long Beach bus driver Joanne Rea. All drivers are urged to heed laws forbidding [...]

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Can’t take the August heat? Bold the cold: ICE ALS

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The unstoppable Chris Pendergast — who maneuvers life and roads with his wheelchair, his headgear, his supportive family and his keen intellect to keep on keeping on — is at it again. He’s hosting an ICE ALS event this week. The retired teacher, and 22-plus year survivor of ALS, is using ice cubes to help [...]

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Peace moving through a mountain town

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There was a different kind of beauty in the summer night last night in the Adirondack Mountain village of Saranac Lake. It was more than the river, the July evening or the grassy park. It was a beauty that came with care, and with candles. The Saranac Lake Teachers Association, together with the social justice [...]

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Step out on Monday for wages

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The food may be fast, but the cash is not. Flipping burgers and filling drinks for fast-food chains is a starter job for some; longtime employment for others. It is a tough way to make a living. You can support these workers in several ways. The Fast Food Workers Wage Board meets Monday to hear [...]

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