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Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

Student Debt Clinics - April 4-6

Recently, there have been significant changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) at both the federal level and state level, which significantly increase the number of folks who are now eligible. AFT and AFT-Oregon are once again offering the helpful and popular Student Debt Clinics in April.

GTFF Files Unfair Labor Practice Claim Against UO

The Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, AFT Local 3544, has filed an Unfair Labor Practice claim against the University of Oregon for unilaterally imposing new COVID-19-related workplace policies without negotiation. The UO announced through email a new recording requirement for graduate employees (GEs) who teach in-person classes, directly affecting 950 GEs who have teaching appointments. A new policy that requires employees to be recorded while working is a clear change in working conditions, and changes to working conditions are a mandatory topic of bargaining, meaning the employer cannot unilaterally institute such a policy.

2021 AFT-Oregon Presidents Conference

AFT-Oregon local leaders and supporters are invited to attend the 2021 Presidents Conference, which will be held online Saturday, November 13th from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

This year’s conference agenda includes AFT-Oregon’s first-ever “Legislator of the Year” Award, plus important updates that will affect you and your members.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Overhaul

On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced major changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, finally addressing the serious problems AFT members have faced in accessing student loan forgiveness. This is a game-changing victory for educators, healthcare professionals and public employees and will allow millions of Americans to discharge their student debt sooner, offering them increased economic mobility and access to opportunities to thrive.

Part-Time Faculty Members at Public Colleges May Now Qualify for Healthcare

During the 2021 regular legislative session, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 551, one of AFT-Oregon’s priority pieces of legislation. This bill makes employee-only healthcare benefits available to qualifying part-time faculty members at public institutions of higher education (both universities and community colleges) – giving them the same coverage opportunities that full-time faculty members receive. 

Oregon Virtual Academy Teachers Vote to Form New Union

Teachers at the Oregon Virtual Academy (ORVA) in North Bend voted overwhelmingly to form a new union, the ORVA Educators United (OEU). The National Labor Relations Board oversaw the election results on Thursday, with over 80% of ORVA’s teachers voting to form the new union.