2009 Resolutions Approved by Convention Delegates

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COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ISSUES
 
Resolution No. 2009-1
Public Employer Representation Neutrality
 

Whereas, collective bargaining representation is a right for public employees in Oregon under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA); and

 

Whereas, PECBA and all collective bargaining laws are established to further a public policy in favor of peaceful resolution of disputes; and

 

Whereas, the PECBA establishes the right for public employees to organize or refrain from organizing, as well as a framework for policing unlawful interference and other acts whenever public employees exercise that right; and

 

Whereas, that public employers enjoy a built-in advantage because of the employer-employee relationship, whenever the employer and its representatives express opinions for or against unionizing, including actual anti-union campaigns; and

 

Whereas, that advantage includes actual power and the ability, real and perceived, to affect the workplace, conditions and jobs in response to organizing; an

 

Whereas, in 1978, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that the PECBA does not bar a state agency from using state time and funds to campaign against a labor organization in representation elections in a case involving the state Department of Commerce; and

 

Whereas, use of public funds should be used on the programs supported by public budgets, and assuring that use is prudent stewardship of public monies which should not include attempts to influence public employees on whether or not to have a union; now

 

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will work to pass legislation that public employers and all their representatives and agents must remain neutral in the face of any organizing campaign among its public employees, and that no public funds will be used for opposition to or support of organizing when its public employees are seeking representation under PECBA.



 
 
Resolution No. 2009-2
Early Learning Alliance

Whereas, AFT-Oregon has a long standing goal endorsed by the AFT-Oregon convention to conduct organizing campaigns, support internal organizing, and organizing workers—including affiliating independent labor organizations—as opportunities can be generated in American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Jurisdictions; and

Whereas, the AFT organizing department undertakes organizing strategies across the country and establishes organizing projects to further organizing goals in its jurisdictions; and

Whereas, AFT is pursuing organizing early child care workers in Oregon, as it is doing in California and Washington with endorsement and support of the respective state federations; and

Whereas, the AFT objective is to organize a unique, state-wide coalition of child care center directors, owners, teachers and staff as well as parents and community leaders who have joined in a mission to improve the quality of early childhood education in Oregon; and

Whereas, achieving this goal requires advancing the interests of the key component in a quality education—the workforce that provides it; and

Whereas, these child care worker interests include:

  • professionalizing the field;
  • creating more public awareness and support for early childhood education;
  • shaping legislation that would bring greater resources to child care centers and workers throughout the state; and

Whereas, achievement of this end envisions a unified organizational voice for the early childhood workforce based in child care centers, with integration of this workforce into the AFT, known in Oregon as the Early Learning Alliance (ELA); and

Whereas, all organizing within AFT in Oregon furthers the overall goals of the organization and its members through increased presence and impact on public matters affecting all members; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon, in support of the union’s early child care worker organizing goals, will support and assist the ELA in meeting its objectives and achieving the interests enumerated above.


 
 
 
ECONOMIC ISSUES
 


Resolution No. 2009-3
Resolution Endorsing HR 676—Single Payer Universal Health Care

Whereas, unions and workers are waging an increasingly difficult struggle to win or to keep good health care coverage, almost every union at every contract deadline must battle and sacrifice merely to sustain health care benefits. The rising costs of health insurance are blocking workers’ progress in wages and other areas; and

Whereas, part-time workers, including adjunct faculty, even when they are organized in unions, are generally denied employer-paid health coverage; and

Whereas, more than 46 million people in the U.S. are currently without health insurance, more than 75 million went without for some length of time within the last two years, and millions more have inadequate coverage or are at risk of losing coverage. People of color, immigrants and women are denied care at disproportionate rates, while the elderly and many others must choose between necessities and life sustaining drugs and care. Unorganized workers have either no or inadequate coverage; and

Whereas, the Institute of Medicine has found that each year more than 18,000 in the U.S. die because they had no health insurance; and

Whereas, we in the United States spend approximately twice as much of our gross domestic product as other developed nations on health care, while we remain the only industrialized country without universal coverage; and

Whereas, our problem worsens each year as insurance costs increase and as gradual solutions have failed to make a dent in the problem; and

Whereas, the U.S. health system continues to treat health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to human need. Insurance companies and HMOs compete not by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding covering those whose needs are greatest; and

Whereas, economic necessity and moral conscience compel us to seek a better way; and

Whereas, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) (joined by 93 co-signers) has introduced HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, also called Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. This single-payer health care program proposes an effective mechanism for controlling skyrocketing health costs while covering all 46 million uninsured Americans. The bill also restores free choice of physicians to patients and provides comprehensive prescription drug coverage to seniors, as well as to younger people; and

Whereas, HR 676 would cover every person in the U.S. for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventative care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including substance abuse), vision care, chiropractic and long term care. HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save billions annually by eliminating high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs. The transition to national health insurance would apply the savings from administration and profits to expanded and improved coverage for all; and

Whereas, a single payer program, as exemplified by HR 676, is currently the most effective option for universal, comprehensive coverage; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon wholeheartedly endorses Congressman Conyers’ bill HR 676, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All,” a single-payer health care program; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will work with their locals and other unions and community groups to build a groundswell of popular support, lobbying, and action for a single payer universal health care and HR 676 until we make what is morally right for our nation into what is also politically possible; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will send a copy of this resolution to Congressman Conyers, to all members of the U.S. House and Senate, to AFT’s Executive Council, to the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Council, and to the news media; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will encourage other actions to mobilize our members and our community at the grassroots to specifically encourage other members of House to sign on as co-sponsors of HR 676 and to encourage Senators to support the companion bill in the Senate. 

Be it Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will continue to place a high priority on working to pass comparably effective legislation creating a single-payer health care system.


Resolution No. 2009-4
Resolution to Restore Financial Accountability in the U.S. Economy

Whereas, the recently approved American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was an urgently needed first step toward salvaging our economy by providing more than $700 billion dollars in a stimulus package; and

Whereas, that stimulus package only begins to address immediate needs to boost employment and maintain vital services, but does not address the deeper economic crisis within the financial sector; and

Whereas, millions of Americans have seen their individual retirement funds dissolve, and state retirement funds are in jeopardy and we are experiencing foreclosures at an unprecedented rate; and

Whereas, the stimulus package and efforts to stabilize the economy can only work if we succeed in reforming and re-regulating the financial system that underlies the housing market, consumer credit, and public health; and

Whereas, the U.S. Treasury department under the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) will provide roughly one trillion dollars (and some estimate this will rise to 2 trillion) in taxpayer money to rescue banks that have become under capitalized due to fraud and mismanagement in mortgage loans; and

Whereas, no provision has been made to assess the worth of the bank assets that taxpayers would acquire in this bailout; and

Whereas, bank executives have been complicit in mortgage fraud and have not been cooperative in providing an accurate and objective account of their securities; and

Whereas, it is the responsibility of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to establish the solvency of banks that are in trouble and seeking assistance and to hold them in receivership until they may prove financially sound; and

Whereas, it is the proper role of labor unions to address the fundamental economic health and well-being of the society that affects all working people and to demand accountability in all areas of finance; now

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that AFT-Oregon calls for immediate action by the FDIC to conduct a thorough audit of any and all banks seeking federal bail-out funds and that such audits are made available to the public; and

Be It Further Resolved, that the AFT-Oregon Executive Council calls upon the AFT Executive Board to make this call part of their program to support full economic recovery and accountability; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon calls upon the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board to support this resolution; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will contact Oregon’s Congressional delegation to inform them of this resolution; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will support and work in coalition with other unions and community organizations to inform our members and the general public about the importance of support for full economic recovery and accountability.

 
 
HUMAN RIGHTS and COMMUNITY RELATIONS
 
Resolution No. 2009-5
Opposition of Medicare Private Fee for Service (Medicare Advantage) Plans

Whereas, Medicare has provided quality, affordable health care for millions of older Americans since its creation in 1965 because more than half of all Americans over 65 had no health insurance and private insurers said they could not provide affordable coverage to seniors and the disabled and still make a good profit; and

Whereas, Medicare has kept its administrative costs below 3% a year for over 40 years because it is a federal program that spreads risk over 44 million beneficiaries and requires no marketing outlays or profit margins, while private insurers have administrative costs that average 14% or more; and

Whereas, in the 1980s Medicare also started covering beneficiaries in private health maintenance organizations (HMOs) because Congress thought managed care might save money for Medicare; and

Whereas, Congress expanded the program in 1997 to include additional types of managed care such as preferred provider organization (PPOs) as well as private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans; and

Whereas, the cost efficiencies of managed care plans were generally negated by the costly medical needs of older people; and

Whereas, the changes raised out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries, increased participation of private health insurance plans and negatively impacted the program as a whole, and are designed to replace the entire package of Medicare benefits (Parts A and B), not merely supplement Medicare in the way that Medigap policies and most employer-paid plans do; and

Whereas, between 1998 and 2003, private plans never signed up more than 15% of Medicare beneficiaries because the majority preferred the traditional Medicare program that allows them to go to virtually any doctor or hospital; and

Whereas, to encourage private plans to remain in the Medicare market and move Medicare toward privatization, the Bush administration and its congressional allies enacted the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003” (MMA) which undermined and privatized Medicare by creating the Part D prescription drug program and PFFS plans offered by private insurers; and

Whereas, almost 45 million Americans are Medicare beneficiaries and, because of high pressure sales tactics and unethical marketing practices by private insurance companies, participation in PFFS plans has increased to 23%; and

Whereas, PFFS plans have many drawbacks compared with traditional Medicare, such as higher cost sharing for medical, hospital and nursing home care; a reliance on the insurer’s appeals process rather than Medicare’s; a greater tendency to deny claims and fewer doctors and hospitals who accept plan coverage; and

Whereas, although these PFFS Plans were supposed to reduce costs, the MMA renamed the private plan program Medicare Advantage (MA) (formerly Medicare+Choice) and actually significantly raised reimbursement rates so that private plans now get subsidies that average 13% more than traditional Medicare, with some plans receiving as much as 50% more than what the same services would cost under traditional Medicare; and

Whereas, these big subsidies to private plans are paid with taxpayer dollars as well as with higher part B premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries, whether enrolled in a MA plan or not; and

Whereas, these overpayments will cost the government and taxpayers more than $54 billion over 5 years, rapidly rising to about $160 billion over 10 years, will hasten the Medicare trust funds’ projected shortfall and prevent benefit improvements for the majority of Medicare participants, and at this rate the Trust Fund could run out of money two years earlier than previously expected; and

Whereas, insurance companies control how the overpayments are used; they are often used for marketing, administrative costs and profit rather than strengthening Medicare and providing additional benefits; and

Whereas, private plans disproportionately benefit the healthy and often reduce benefits for sicker beneficiaries to discourage them from enrolling and they often face higher co-payments and end up paying more for health care; and

Whereas, private plans can change what they offer from year to year, adding uncertainty and confusion; and

Whereas, insurers have started marketing these plans to large employers, promising to share their federal subsidies if employers take their retirees out of Medicare and the employer’s supplemental plan and replace them with a Medicare Advantage plan; and

Whereas, the Medicare Modernization Act requires Medicare, through the “2010 Medicare Privatization Project,” to compete with private, subsidized plans in up to six markets in 2010; and

Whereas, beneficiaries in each region will receive a fixed dollar amount to spend on health care premiums and, if enrolled in a less expensive plan, can pocket some of the savings, if enrolled in a more expensive plan will pay out-of-pocket for additional costs; and

Whereas, this project will create an uneven playing field benefiting MA plans, encouraging healthy beneficiaries to sign up with private insurance companies for a lower cost, forcing recipients of traditional Medicare to pay higher premiums since the program insures sicker and higher cost beneficiaries; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the AFT-Oregon, its members and affiliates support the following and contact their Members of Congress requesting them to:
  • stop overpayments to Medicare Advantage private insurance companies; and
  • ensure that Medicare Advantage funds are used to provide additional benefits and coverage to beneficiaries, not windfall profits for insurance companies; and
  • allow a choice of private plans on a level playing field, with insurance companies paid neither more nor less than regular Medicare; and
  • require private plans to provide benefit packages as strong as traditional Medicare’s, and include services such as home health care that are used by the sickest and most vulnerable; and
  • protect beneficiaries who are enrolled in private Medicare Advantage Plans: as Congress reduces overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, put policies in place to protect low-income beneficiaries against increases in out-of-pocket spending, and create a national Medicare-administered Part D plan; and
  • repeal the 2010 Medicare Privatization Project; and
Be It Further Resolved, that this resolution be suitably edited and forwarded to the Oregon AFL-CIO and the AFT for action by those bodies.


 
 
 
LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
 
Resolution No. 2009-6
Best Kicker Reform is Repeal

Whereas, Oregon’s income tax rebate as the “Kicker” is unique in the United States; and

Whereas, this singular policy has wrecked sound financial planning, budgeting and management, damaging programs, fostering uncertainty and continuously threatening basic education, health and social programs; and

Whereas, the Kicker is a rebate to both individual and corporate taxpayers in Oregon when revenue “surpluses” exist; and

Whereas, the whole concept of revenue surplus guiding the Kicker is artificial, stimulated and nurtured by opponents of government, government spending and government programs; and

Whereas, the Kicker grew from a reaction in the 1970s to rising taxes and inflation, primarily property taxes, that was popularized as a tax revolt, commonly symbolized by the best known California Proposition 13; and

Whereas, the public response spurred Legislators to craft their own reactions to calls for limiting “excessive growth,” launching in 1979 Oregon’s response limiting “excess” spending from the state’s general fund; and

Whereas, Oregon’s Kicker law was adopted by voters in 1980, requiring the Legislature to rebate any “excessive” surplus to taxpayers, along with 30 percent relief in property taxes; and

Whereas, reflective of the boom and bust cycles in Oregon’s economy, and the influence of tax-limiting ballot initiatives, Kicker payments are typically made at the peak of the boom cycle draining funds to maintain the budget because resources have been “spent” instead in the rebate, in effect robbing the government of the ability to accumulate a sufficient surplus to weather any downturn; and

Whereas, political opportunists used majorities in the Oregon House and Senate to insert the Kicker in the state constitution; and

Whereas, the Kicker has an extremely low threshold of two percent over the income forecast in one biennium for the next, after which these “excess” revenues are rebated; and

Whereas, the 2007 Legislature suspended the corporate Kicker, choosing instead to seed a Rainy Day Fund, an initial but inadequately funded gesture toward sound development of a surplus to cover needs during the ever-recurring “bust” in the revenue cycle; and

Whereas, nevertheless, Oregon kicked back some $1-billion to taxpayers in late 2007, the beginning of the current decline in revenues; and

Whereas, that $1-billion Kicker demonstrates the flaw in the Kicker and highlights its unsoundness as fiscal policy because that amount would have comfortably covered the almost $900-million needed to meet 2007-2009 state budget costs, and stem reductions, for example education funding and forestall shortened school years, cutbacks and layoffs; and

Whereas, there is strong movement in the 2009 Legislative session along with growing public awareness in support of Kicker reform; and

Whereas, AFT-Oregon took a one-time position in 1987 advising the Governor that the Kicker should be repealed; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon seek full repeal of the Kicker to allow Legislators to soundly formulate the state budget with some assurance that funds will be fully available to support programs without sudden dislocation in the unavoidable economic downturns that are a normal part of the economy; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will support progressive reforms to the Kicker as they may arise, but as interim steps toward its principle goal of repeal; and

Be it Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon align itself with other organizations supportive of repeal, and that this goal will continue until repeal is achieved.


 
Resolution No. 2009-7
Exception to PERS 1039 Rule

Whereas, classified employees of school districts and community colleges retire as Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) recipients; and

Whereas, many of those retirees worked less than full time (i.e., less than 260 days and/or less than 8 hours), resulting in a lower retirement benefit than most PERS beneficiaries; and

Whereas, retirees’ investment income has been drastically reduced due to the current economic downturn; and

Whereas, Social Security retirement age has increased to 67; and

Whereas, many classified employees are encouraged to retire before reaching Social Security retirement age; and

Whereas, this early retirement results in classified employees living at a level of poverty; and

Whereas, this poverty level prevents retirees from purchasing medical insurance coverage; and

Whereas, employers often request retirees to return to work, often because of particular learned skills the retiree possesses; and

Whereas, the return to work in many cases compromises the retirees’ PERS benefits because the so-called “1039 Rule” will not allow a PERS recipient to work for a PERS employer for more than 1039 hours in a calendar year without the loss of benefits; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon, its members and affiliates support legislation that would allow a retired PERS member to be employed by the same participating school district or education service district or community college that employed them at the time of retirement, being retained in the same bargaining unit, as other than a faculty member or management employee, without loss of pension or limitation on the number of hours employed.


Resolution No. 2009-8
Resolution for Gaining Police and Fire PERS for Community College Employees at Corrections Institutions

Whereas, Portland Community College employees work at Coffee Creek Correctional Institution; and

Whereas, the employees who work at Coffee Creek share the same risks as other employees who work at the Correctional Institution; and

Whereas, in the event of an emergency at the Coffee Creek institution all employees including Portland Community College employees working there would be subject to the same security measures as all employees; and

Whereas, all State of Oregon employees working at Coffee Creek Correctional Institution, in recognition of their risks at work, receive as their retirement plan, Police and Fire PERS; and

Whereas, Portland Community College employees who regularly work at the Coffee Creek Correctional Institution do not receive the Police and Fire PERS retirement plan; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that Oregon AFT members in coalition with others support and will dedicate funds and legal resources to pursue, through the legislative process the inclusion of employees who regularly report to and work at Correctional Institutions into the Police and Fire PERS retirement plan of the State of Oregon.


 
 
 
RESOLUTIONS
 
Resolution No. 2009-9
Encourage Union Members to Seek Elective Office

Whereas, AFT-Oregon has achieved a significant number of current, former or retired members, now counting at least six, serving in the Oregon Legislature; and

Whereas, at least 18 Senators and Representatives of the 90 Legislators are affiliated with unions ranging, in addition to AFT-Oregon, from the Communications Workers, to Laborers, to Nurses Association, to Education Association, to police and firefighters; and

Whereas, Legislators with union background and experience have a connection to the problems and issues of workers and the workplace; and

Whereas, participation in civic affairs is a classic role of unions and their members, that should be returned as an important focus for AFT-Oregon and all unions; and

Whereas, such participation led to many of the hallmarks of union achievements that are now taken for granted; and

Whereas, civic participation includes city and county boards, school and community college boards, and a wide range of special districts; and

Whereas, the voice of working people can be championed through increased participation and greater density of participation by union members at all levels of elective office; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will assist and participate in development of programs across the Oregon labor movement to encourage and support union members to seek public office; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon will include such efforts within its own leadership development and political action programs.


 
 
Resolution No. 2009-10
Boycott Businesses Opposed to Employee Free Choice Act

Whereas, AFT-Oregon has organizing as a long standing goal, which would be furthered by enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA); and

Whereas, AFT in 2004 endorsed and continues to support the Employee Free Choice Act setting it as a policy goal of the Union; and

Whereas, AFT-Oregon achieved with others, enactment in 2007 of majority sign-up, commonly known as card check, for public employees in Oregon; and

Whereas, EFCA is about achieving the same objective for all private sector workers under the National Labor Relations Act; and

Whereas, EFCA speaks to abuses by employers who, often without penalty, flagrantly violate the current federal labor laws that are meant to protect the rights of workers who work to form a union; and

Whereas, opponents argue that it will take democracy away; and

Whereas, the battle for passage is shaping into one of organized labor’s biggest legislative battles in recent memory; and

Whereas, members and the general public should be informed about who the opponents and major financial supporters are, including big corporations, who have publicly pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to hire slick corporate lobbyists, to smear unions and to scare workers; and

Whereas, among these opponents are Starbucks, Burger King, Bank of America, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, FedEx, and Goldman Sachs; and

Whereas, Goldman Sachs is one of the big banks taking for itself some $10-billion in taxpayer bailout money, then using it to pay a reported $6.5-billion in bonuses to highly paid traders, brokers, and bankers; and

Whereas, to demonstrate the scale of Goldman Sachs’ bonuses divide the amount of bonuses by all of the Burger King employees in the United States they would have each received $18,000 easily exceeding their average annual salary of $14,000, demonstrating the cynical position of opponents; and

Whereas, three days after receiving $25-billion in bailout funds, Bank of America led a conference call of conservatives and business leaders to organize opposition to EFCA, with some calling it “the demise of civilization,” while urging “large contributions” to help defeat the labor law changes; and

Whereas, among the call participants was AIG, the international insurance giant that received some $150-billion in government bailout funds; and

Whereas, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), among the leaders of the opposition, on its website conveys the myths about organizing in urging opposition by writing to:

“Tell your Senators to oppose ‘Card Check’ legislation or the deceptively named ‘Employee Free Choice Act.’ Card check would eliminate the long-protected and democratic principle of private-ballot elections. Instead, a union could be organized simply if a majority of employees sign cards, leaving workers vulnerable to misinformation, intimidation and coercion by union advocates. It also intentionally keeps employers uninformed about an organizing drive;” and
Whereas, some 42-million U.S. workers say they would join a union if they could; and

Whereas, when workers try to get a voice on the job by forming a union, employers respond with intimidation, harassment and retaliation from these same opponent-employers, often spending millions of dollars to thwart the legal rights of workers to organize a union; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that AFT-Oregon should boycott businesses identified as opponents of EFCA like Starbucks, Burger King, Bank of America, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, FedEx and Goldman Sachs, and any additions to the list of opponents as they become known; and

Be It Further Resolved, that all AFT affiliates and members in Oregon are urged to join in boycotting these opponents; and

Be It Further Resolved, that AFT-Oregon submit and urge that the names of business opponents of EFCA be included on the Oregon AFL-CIO “Do Not Patronize” list, and that all AFL-CIO affiliates join in boycotting EFCA opponents.  
 
 
 
 
Resolution No. 2009-11
The Employee Free Choice Act

Whereas, today’s union members and retirees built a great America including a middle class and a labor movement that ensured all people willing to work could afford to support their families; and

Whereas, in that nation good health care and real pensions were the rule instead of the exception; and

Whereas, that America is under attack and our children and grandchildren may never reap the benefits we fought for; and

Whereas, more than 60 million workers—half of the U.S. workforce—say they would join a union right now if they could; and

Whereas, when workers try to organize in the private sector, they are intimidated, harassed and someone gets fired 25 percent of the time, and current labor laws do not protect them; and

Whereas, the average CEO makes more before lunch Monday morning than an average worker makes in an entire year, yet 78 percent of private employers require supervisors to deliver anti-union messages to the workers whose jobs and pay they control; and

 Whereas, only 38 percent of the public says their families are getting ahead financially, and less than one-quarter believes that the next generation will be better off; and

Whereas, unions protect retired workers—when corporations try to cut retirees’ pensions and healthcare benefits, active workers can strike to protect them; and

Whereas, collective bargaining gives workers the opportunity to prioritize their pensions and retirement benefits; and

Whereas, according to the Census Bureau, one in ten seniors live in poverty, subsisting on $9,000 a year or less; now

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the AFT-Oregon stand side by side with our brothers and sisters in America’s union movement, stand up for today’s workers and tomorrow’s retirees, stand up for our children, our grandchildren, and our nation, and tell Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act so that the America we built will stay a reality, not a memory; and

Be It Further Resolved, that the AFT-Oregon encourages its members and affiliates to send letters to their members of Congress asking them to fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.