As 2022 winds down, we’re saying goodbye to a year filled with struggle and possibility. You—our members and allies—taught, healed and served our students, our patients, our communities and each other. We are deeply grateful to you and for you. And hope we live up to the faith you place in us.
This year we fought for opportunity for all, freedom for all and a democracy that works for all. As we often say in this union, we worked to turn our values into action and to help people build a better life because, together, we can achieve what would be impossible to do alone.
There’s a lot we want to accomplish next year, starting with fighting for the dignity and respect you need and the opportunity our kids and communities need to thrive.
So, as we chart our course for next year, we want to hear from you. What are your priorities, and what do you want us, as your national union, to focus on? We want to make sure your voice is heard, so please let us know.
Amid the effects of the pandemic, wars abroad, a culture war here at home, and a midterm election—and despite all the chaos and divisiveness—the AFT’s educators, school staff, healthcare professionals and public employees have demonstrated we are committed to ensuring our kids and communities get what they need.
This year, we gave out more than 1 million free books to kids and families through our Reading Opens the World campaign, to spread the joy of books and build confident readers. We helped make the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness real, so many of you could get relief from student loans. We highlighted the staffing shortages in healthcare and education and fought for the raises and working conditions every member needs. And we provided a trauma benefit that is there for everyone, given all the trauma we experience in America today—from natural disasters to mass shootings.
Our No. 1 priority will always be standing up for our members, our families and the communities we serve. Our union will enter the new year even more dedicated to fighting for our professions, for our democracy and for policies that create a better life for all. We believe in freedom, family and faith—faith in America and faith in each other.
We’ll report back to our local and state union leaders with the results of our survey. So please be sure to let us know what your priorities are for 2023.
Thank you and your fellow AFT members for all you have done for our students, patients and communities. Have a warm and safe holiday season.
Randi Weingarten AFT President
Fedrick C. Ingram AFT Secretary-Treasurer
Evelyn DeJesus AFT Executive Vice President