AFT and NEA Local Unions Endorse HR 676

AFT and NEA local unions in New Jersey and Massachusetts have endorsed HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

In Mahwah, New Jersey, AFT Local 6308, North Jersey Skills for Technology Union, which represents instructors working at Lincoln Technical Institute, has endorsed HR 676. Lincoln Tech is a for-profit, post-secondary, career oriented training provider.

In Amherst, Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) which represents faculty and librarians at UMass Amherst has also endorsed HR 676. MSP is affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers' Association (NEA).

After organizing in January, 2005, it took AFT Local 6308 three years, 44 negotiating sessions, and a couple of NLRB victories to finally win a contract. Daniel Buckley, Local 6308 president, said: "Any worker who loses a job can end up with less health coverage at the next job. Denying coverage is a way … insurers increase profit. When employers dismiss employees, the employers and insurers work hand in hand to decrease coverage and cost."

President Buckley continued: "As employers attempt to cut cost by offering weaker and weaker insurance plans…they are shifting their cost onto American society…. I believe the employer/health insurer relationship has the net effect of reducing benefits for all American workers."