Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rep. Reykdal named the American Federation of Teachers’ Legislator of the Year

With (nearly) one session under his belt, freshman state representative Chris Reykdal is already making a positive impact on both our state’s students and working families, according to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which named Reykdal their Washington Legislator of the Year.

The Washington Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers represents 6,000 members, predominantly in the Higher Education workforce. The national organization is an umbrella group representing, preK-12 teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; early childhood educators; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.

AFT’s choice of Rep. Reykdal as Legislator of the Year is due in large part to his sponsorship and advocacy around HB 1631 – providing consistent and predictable state funding for community and technical college academic employee salary increases. The organization’s award is not given out lightly, Sandra Schroeder, a faculty union activist for AFT Washington, explains. In fact, it’s not even awarded to a legislator every year. “But Chris did such an outstanding job this year, we couldn’t NOT give it to him!” said Schroeder.

“Our long-term success in Washington depends heavily on our commitment to educate students beyond high school,” said Reykdal. “Thank you AFT members for letting me partner with you! You folks change lives every day and I am honored to be recognized by you!”

The American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, states its mission as to improve the lives of our members and their families; to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic and social aspirations; to strengthen the institutions in which we work; to improve the quality of the services we provide; to bring together all members to assist and support one another; and to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in our union, in our nation and throughout the world.