Norfolk Federation of Teachers (NFT)

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Message From the President

It’s a new year with new things on the horizon.  I hope everyone enjoyed the two weeks off, and did as little work as possible.  As we begin work in the new year there are a couple of matters that we need to be aware of.  The first one includes collective bargaining for public employees in Virginia.  At the present time, this is prohibited in the state by law.  That means that public employees cannot sit down and negotiate for a legally binding contract.  Private company employees like Newport News Shipyard, Verizon workers, Longshoremen are free to negotiate contracts.  Public employees like Policemen, Firemen, Teachers and others cannot.  This situation exists in only 3 states in the country. 


With the results of the elections last November, we are hoping to change this law during the current General Assembly Session.  The entire community is affected by these restrictions that this law places on public employees!  The entire community will be benefited by the repeal of this law! There is a coalition, including AFT that has been vigorously working to achieve this goal since last November!  We are spending a lot of time in Richmond at the Capitol talking to legislators.  As always we will keep you posted.


The second thing is that it will take all of us to get this done.  Many of you will be contacted by AFT in the near future asking for your help.  Please send an email, make a call, or write a letter to your delegate or Senator asking them to vote for HB582.  This is our opportunity to be treated like other employees in the state of Virginia.  Let’s make this happen.


In Solidarity

Thomas Calhoun