AFT REPORTS: AFT delegates unanimously pass resolutions aimed at correcting economic and political imbalances

Resolutions being passed at the convention of the American Federation of Teachers this weekend show the sift in the union's strategies under the pressure of corporate "school reform" attacks across the USA and the economic problems caused by the failure of the American tax systems at all levels to force the nation's wealthier citizens to bear a fair share of the tax burden for the public services needed and utilized by all.

An AFT press release issued on July 28 covered the basics of some of the resolutions that were approved, generally by large majority votes, so far during the convention.

The AFT press release said: "In addition, the delegates passed a resolutions advancing solutions to put Americans back to work, protect public education and other critical services, rebuild the middle class and address income inequality. The resolutoins include:

Raising needed revenue and protecting public services and jobs by advocating tax policies that force the wealthy and big corporations to contribute their fair share in taxes;

Opposing penny-wise, pound-foolish austerity measures that have actually hurt, not helped, our capacity to grow our economy;

Ensuring that states and localities collect all taxes that are owed;

Ensuring that public services are high-quality and delivered as effectively as possible, and giving workers a voice through labor-management cooperation on how to provide services more efficiently; and

Investing the pension funds of educators in projects to rebuild America's infrastructure and retrofit out-of-date buildings to make them more energy efficient and to create jobs.

"These are innovative, creative, entrepreneurial solutions to address the deep economic pain our families and communities face, confront the attacks on the services educators and other public service workers provide, and rebuild the middle class," said Weingarten. "Through these measures, we can put the brakes on this rampant race to the bottom and ensure economic opportunity for all Americans."

AFT delegates also considered and approved several other resolutions guiding the work of the union, including resolutions on digital learning and confronting the attacks on public employees and public services.

In addition to affirming important policy positions, AFT delegates today were addressed by United Auto Workers president Bob King; historian of education at New York University and best-selling author Diane Ravitch; Detroit Branch NAACP president, the Rev. Wendell Anthony; and others.

"Insist on the importance of public education in a democratic society, doors open to all, not by lottery but by right," said Ravitch. "It’s time to end this reign of error."

More than 3,000 AFT delegates have gathered from across the country for the AFT national convention in Detroit, 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.


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