Union Talk Podcast
On Union Talk, AFT president Randi Weingarten will interview workers, policymakers and experts who are confronting the issues working families face and championing solutions. From the classroom to the bargaining table to Congress to the streets, Union Talk will look at the past, present and possible ways the labor movement and unions are vehicles to secure opportunity, justice and a voice in our democracy for all. Different episodes of Union Talk will do deep dives on great public schools and affordable higher education, healthcare as a right, unions, an economy that works for all and what it takes to maintain a thriving democracy. Union Talk will tell the stories that demonstrate that together we can accomplish for our families and communities what is impossible to do alone.
Randi Weingarten Goes One-On-One with Govs. Michelle Lujan Grisham and J. B. Pritzker
Showcasing that elections matter, AFT President Randi Weingarten joins New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker to discuss how they’ve turned their election wins into real progress for public education, healthcare and pro-democracy efforts in their states.
Reading Opens the World: Building a Nation of Confident, Joyous Readers
Randi Weingarten is joined by Cleveland Teachers Union President Shari Obrenski and first-grade teacher Jillian Ahrens to discuss the success of the AFT’s Reading Opens the World campaign, the relentless work of AFT members to bring 1 million free books to kids and families across the nation, and the comfort and joy books bring kids—as well as helping them improve their literacy skills.
How to Fix the Healthcare Staffing Shortage
With hospitals reaching capacity nationwide and a shortage of healthcare professionals, AFT President Randi Weingarten assembles a roundtable of nurses and nurses’ union leaders to discuss the most immediate and tangible solutions to prevent dangerous conditions for patients and healthcare professional alike. Listen as January Belcher (RN), Howard Sandau (RN), and David Keepnews (Executive Director/Washington State Nurses Association) get honest about what needs to be done.
2022 Midterm Roundtable with Congressional Candidates Nikki Budzinski, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jahana Hayes and Robert Zimmerman
AFT President Randi Weingarten is joined by four congressional candidates—Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jahana Hayes (Connecticut) and candidates Nikki Budzinski (Illinois) and Robert Zimmerman (New York)—during the AFT Votes bus tour to discuss what is truly at stake during this pivotal election.
Solutions to the nationwide teacher and school staff shortages
Teacher and school staff shortages can be solved. In places like Houston, Texas, districts are working with educators to raise salaries, which has hugely helped address shortages. AFT President Weingarten is joined by Texas AFT President Zeph Capo and Dallas math teacher Rosemary Curts to discuss the findings of the AFT’s teacher and school staff shortage report, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?” and dig into the real solutions to improve conditions for our educators.
White House “Back to School” Panel Discussion
Randi joins Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, White House COVID Response Coordinator Ashish Jha, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and NEA President Becky Pringle for an important discussion to help families navigate Back to School season amidst COVID, Monkeypox, a teacher shortage, and more.
2022 American Federation of Teachers Convention Highlights
This year's convention saw an amazing roster of speakers -- labor leaders, entertainers, elected officials, activists and even the First Lady of the United States -- who all took the stage to share inspirational messages of hope and power. In this episode you will hear highlights from: US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Senator Elizabeth Warren, AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler, Amazon union leader Chris Smalls, First Lady Jill Biden, Senator Ed Markey, Gun safety activists David Hogg, RuQuon Brown and Sarah Lerner, Chief Medical Officer of Cook County Health Claudia Fegan, Representative Ayanna Pressley, Ukrainian Labor Union leader Olga Chabaniuk, and Representative Val Demings.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s 2022 State of the Union Speech
This year's AFT convention kicked off with a rousing state of the union speech by President Randi Weingarten where she addressed more than 3,000 delegates, launched a landmark What Kids and Communities Need campaign and challenged the union’s 1.7 million members to fight for freedom and democracy, uphold decency and dignity, and “knit the rich tapestry of our country together … by rebuilding the essential foundations for a better life for all.” Listen to the full speech in this special episode of Union Talk.
After the Shootings: How to Help Our Kids and Ourselves
AFT president Randi Weingarten joins Dr. Pamela Cantor (Founder of Turnaround for Children), Abbey Clements (Teachers Unify), and Sarah Lerner (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher) to talk about the real steps educators and parents can do to help their children navigate and heal from the traumatizing news about school shootings.
Guns and Hate: Buffalo, Uvalde and Other Tragedies
AFT president Randi Weingarten hosts an emotional and informational episode exploring the deadly mix of hate and guns that have led to mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa and more. Parkland survivors Jim Gard, Lori Alhadeff, and historian Eric Ward join Randi to discuss what educators, parents and politicians can do and examine the deep-seated racial issues that act as a threat to our schools, our lives and our democracy.”
Social Media and Our Kids: A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen
Randi hosts a conversation with “Facebook Whistleblower” Frances Haugen, Warren Ng from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Dalia Hashad from Parents Together about the impact social media is having on our children and what we can do to help them. Later, Randi is joined by two high school students – Lola Nordlinger and Devin Lee – who bring their first-person perspective on the pitfalls of growing up on the internet. NOTE: This is a recording from an On 24 webinar.
Omicron, Boosters and Schools
Join us as AFT President Randi Weingarten moderates a discussion with the U.S. Surgeon General, Irwin Redlener, and Dr. Vin Gupta about Omicron, boosters and schools.
Teaching Honest History
Randi talks to scholars Dr. Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University and professor Peter Levine of Tufts University to pull back the curtain on what is behind the efforts to use critical race theory to divide parents and teachers, the importance of teaching honest history, how to support educators under attack, and how teachers and parents can partner to help all students thrive.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Children
Randi is joined by Chief Nurse Officer Rear Admiral Aisha Mix, AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos and two parent-teachers—Colleen McElligott-Liporto from Lynn, Mass., and Veronica Lindsey from Socorro, Texas—to discuss the Biden administration’s efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines readily available for children and the ongoing efforts to combat vaccine misinformation.
Do you have student debt? New Changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and how this can help you!
AFT President Randi Weingarten, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan and U.S. Department of Education Senior Advisor Julie Morgan answer questions about how the recent changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and settlement of the Weingarten v. DeVos lawsuit are helping to fix this program and help hundreds of thousands of educators, healthcare professionals, firefighters and other public employees become debt-free. For more information, go to www.aft.org/PSLF or check out the online resource Summer, which helps AFT members and associate members navigate the changes to PSLF and reduce or eliminate their debt load.
From the Bedside: A Conversation with Nurses Caring for COVID Patients
"Union Talk" brings you inside America's hospitals to talk to three nurses about the stress, strain and "emotional roller coaster" they've faced caring for patients throughout the pandemic and what they want people to know about vaccines, misinformation and what nurses need in this moment.
Prioritizing Student and Staff Safety in the Classroom
Take a listen to our latest AFT virtual town hall, bringing together distinguished experts and leaders from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Turnaround for Children, AASA/The School Superintendents Association and the National PTA, as well as the U.S. surgeon general, as they answer questions, debunk myths and share information about how we can reopen schools—and keep schools open—while prioritizing safety for students and staff.
Labor Day with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh
Randi talks with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh about the importance of unions, building power for working people in our economy, how the Biden administration is ensuring the freedom for all to thrive and what his Labor Day message is to the American people.
A Safe Back to School for All
Learn how one district in Lynn, Mass., is working together for a safe and successful back to school for all. As part of her national back-to-school tour, Randi sits down with the leader of the Lynn Teachers Union, a member and parent, the superintendent and the mayor to talk about how they’re working together to safely reopen schools for in-person learning and what other districts can learn from their experience.