The AFT Convention was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
There were 2654 delegates in attendance representing 784,851 total election votes with 467 locals in attendance including Citrus College Adjunct Faculty Federation and 24 state federations. Some of the highlights include Randi Weingarten’s state of the union speech, speeches from U. S. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchner, Minnesota Governor Mark Dalton, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Congressman Keith Ellison and Rashad Robinson. Complete speeches can be found at http://www.aft.org/aft-convention-2016.
AFT celebrated its centennial and had speeches in memory of the last one hundred years. AFT former executive vice president and Secretary-treasurer Nat LaCour recalls the issues and challenges of unionization of teachers in the south during the 1960’s and 1970’s. AFT Contingent Caucus member Jennie Shanker recalls memories of her father Albert Shanker who was the first to be nominated for president of the United Federation of Teachers and is a founder of AFT in a generation to generation theme. Richard Kahlenberg who wrote Albert Shanker’s biography commented that the AFT stands between public education and the trade union movement. Francine Lawrence president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers and AFT’s former executive vice president talked about the transformation of the union when collective bargaining came into being. Ninety-eight year old Beatrice Lumpkin recalls her 83 years of union activism as peace, unity and struggle. AFT Secretary-treasurer Loretta Johnson talked about traveling with Al Shanker to learn about labor in other parts of the world. Former AFT President Edward McElroy reminisces about how the AFT pushed for collective bargaining. Our own CFT vice-president Robert Chacanaca who is a member of the AFT Task Force on Professionalism talked about working conditions and asking for an end to the exploitation of part-time workers.
Forty-five resolutions passed including resolutions on condemning the repression of teachers in Turkey, support for the Mexican teachers’ civil rights, resolution against deportation, pushing back on the global movement to privatize education and public services, an attack on economic inequality, racial equality and justice, immigration and islamophobia putting an end to out-of-control prescription drug prices, safe schools, student loans and debts, reining in abusive medical billing practices and debt, and for contingent labor; a resolution for a legislative initiative to rectify unfair and detrimental employment practices in higher education. The complete list of resolutions and their content can be found at http://www.aft.org/aft-convention-2016.
We re-elected Randi Weingarten as President, Mary Cathryn Ricker as Executive Vice-President and Loretta Johnson as Secretary-Treasurer. There were 43 vice presidents elected of which six are new first time vice-presidents.
Daily synopsis can be found in the downloadable “afterwords” newsletter at http://www.aft.org/aft-convention-2016.