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Working together, we’re improving the quality of services we provide, and making our institutions better and stronger.
Going Green at Work
Knowing that “going green” is healthier for patients and staff, Jane Nabors and her nurse colleagues at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Portland, Ore., worked together to get rid of products that contained latex and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), such as feeding tubes and IV bags, in its maternity department. PVC products, which have harmful toxins, are commonly used in maternity departments, especially in neonatal intensive care units. Nabors and some other colleagues—all members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals—also used their research to help guide the redesign of a special care nursery. The maternity department is now latex- and PVC-free.
AFT members in the Baltimore City Public School system teamed up with the state, city and school district to implement school improvement plans that would increase student test scores. For the first time in two decades, the majority of second- and third-graders are scoring above the national average on standardized tests, and Baltimore City has become the only district to post improvements across the board on the Maryland state assessments.
AFT support for quality teaching and for putting research into practice makes us a powerhouse in professional development. Since 1981, we have offered the Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) program, which translates cutting-edge research into concrete strategies for the classroom, and then uses the power of the union network to circulate this information to educators at all stages of their careers.
It was the AFT’s ER&D program in Jefferson County, Ala., that helped new teacher Leigh Ann Mount get ready for her first day of class. “ER&D comes from real teachers—people who are in the classroom,” says Mount.