The AFT recently announced two new programs available to members:
1. Free College: Yes, that’s what I said — free college. Eastern Gateway Community College in Ohio is a fully accredited, nonprofit public institution that is part of the University System of Ohio. Students can enroll in the online distance-learning program with no costs for tuition, fees or e-texts. Credits earned can be transferred to a four-year college; to date, credits have transferred to 320 educational institutions in 39 states. The program offers seven associate degrees, including business administration, early childhood education, accounting, paralegal, criminal justice and two certificate programs.
Eligibility: This is open to all AFT members, including retirees, as well as their spouses/domestic partners, children, grandchildren, step-children, step-grandchildren, and legal dependents.
How does it work? Under an academic partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College, the Union Plus Free College Benefit offers grants-known as “last dollar scholarships” that fill the gap between any federal, state and employer education grants for tuition, fees and e-books for certain online programs at Eastern Gateway.
Is it too good to be true? The AFT did a thorough review of this program and the institution. Faculty and staff are represented by our colleagues at the NEA. Ohio state law doesn’t allow adjuncts to be unionized, but the college president has made a commitment to meeting the AFT’s standards for employment of adjunct faculty. So it is true. And it is good.
Education is core to our mission, so we can’t think of a better program to offer as one of our newest benefits. See the Union Plus website for more. Request a flyer to distribute by emailing AFTplus@aft.org.
2. Mortgage Program from Amalgamated Bank: We have joined with New York’s first “union bank” to offer a new home financing program. The program offers competitive interest rates and discounts on mortgages and refinancing solutions. Program highlights:
- Flexible adjustable-rate mortgages and stable fixed-rate mortgages;
- Refinance lending options;
- Competitive rates and timely approvals;
- An easy prequalification and online application process;
- $700 in discounts on origination fees for AFT members; and
- Strike protection eligibility, where Amalgamated Bank will waive up to three late-payment fees if a member’s local is on strike.
Why Amalgamated Bank? The mission of Amalgamated Bank is one we can all ascribe to as union members and public servants, “to be the financial institution for progressive people and organizations: those who are working and living to make the world more just, more compassionate and more sustainable.”
Reminder: Accidental Death & Dismemberment
As of August 1, 2017, all working AFT members have $5,000 of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. This is in addition to the optional local-paid coverage some AFT affiliates carry. The AFT purchased this coverage to encourage locals to talk to their members to provide beneficiary information and to increase the perceived value of local membership. Beneficiary cards are to be kept in a secure place at the local union, or we can help you set up a secure cloud-based beneficiary card.
Visit aft.org/ADD for information on the coverage and related resources. This coverage is for active members only, not retired members or fair share payers.