What is the prize?
We have created the Prize for Solution-Driven Unionism in partnership with the Albert Shanker Institute and the AFT Innovation Fund. It recognizes members' outstanding collective work to create solutions that improve their workplaces and communities. The prize is awarded for extraordinary accomplishments that exemplify the AFT's mission of reclaiming the promise of high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, families and communities.
Who is eligible?
State and local affiliates of the AFT, across all constituencies, are eligible to apply. So are groups of AFT members in the workplace (such as a school, university, hospital, or state or local government office). Individuals are not eligible. There will be at least one prize winner.
How will this be judged?
A group of judges (selected by the Albert Shanker Institute and the AFT Innovation Fund) will read applications and identify the most promising ones. Final decisions will be made by the AFT.
How much is the prize, and who will get the money?
The prize is $25,000. It must be awarded to a nonprofit organization. (This can be a local or state AFT affiliate, if applicable; winners can also elect to donate the prize money to a nonprofit group closely associated with their solution-driven unionism work.)
Composed of 39 public high schools, the consortium has developed, refined, and implemented curriculums and assessments that serve as an alternative to high-stakes testing. The organization, which has invested heavily in professional development, has led students to higher graduation and college acceptance rates, and lower suspension and dropout rates, when compared with the rest of the state.
Faced with threats from the governor's office of layoffs and deep benefits cuts for public workers, AFT Connecticut worked as part of a statewide labor coalition to implement a new health plan for the state, ultimately saving $1.6 billion and the pensions of state workers.
2013 Honorable Mention:
The Charlotte County Support Personnel Association, in close collaboration with Charlotte County Public Schools, designed and implemented a professional development program to attract, train and retain employees. The voluntary program, called the Charlotte Academy of Support Employees, has been praised by participants for increasing job satisfaction and enhancing their skills.