AFT - American Federation of Teachers

Shortcut Navigation:
Email ShareThis

AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the first unionization of public school teachers in the United States of America occurred in Chicago with the establishment of the Chicago Teachers Federation in 1897; and

WHEREAS, Chicago's unionized public school teachers became affiliated with the Chicago Federation of Labor in 1902, marking the first time that public school teachers anywhere had wholeheartedly embraced organized labor by locking arms with trade unionists; and

WHEREAS, unionized teachers in Chicago were given the distinction of being designated as Local 1 of the American Federation of Teachers when that organization was created in May 1916, because organized teachers in Chicago represented the largest contingent involved in the creation of the AFT and the distinction of being AFT Local 1 remains today as an identification of unionized public school teachers in Chicago; and

WHEREAS, there is a movement to undermine collective bargaining agreements by creating in states and districts non-unionized charter, contract and other alternative schools where teachers and other school staff have no collective voice; and

WHEREAS, there is no evidence to support the claim that charter or contract schools achieve better results or are more effective than regular public schools, and there is evidence to suggest they do not always serve a diverse student population comparable to their district as well as evidence that they do not always employ certified or highly qualified teachers; and

WHEREAS, teachers and staff who are unrepresented in these charter schools not only have no voice but are often paid less and deprived of benefits comparable to other teachers and staff in their school districts; and

WHEREAS, school staff in such unrepresented schools often have no control over their working hours, ironic especially for Chicagoans where one of the most significant union-related incidents in the history of organized labor, Chicago's famed Haymarket incident of May 4, 1886, was sparked by workers' demands for the eight-hour work day; and

WHEREAS, the members of the Chicago Teachers Union call upon their fellow unionists in the American Federation of Teachers to support efforts to guarantee union protection for all teachers and support personnel who are employed in tax-supported public schools in the nation:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers and its affiliates initiate and support legislation or board policies to secure representation rights for teachers and school staff in charter and contract schools and support candidates whose platforms include fighting to insure such representation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT support local and state affiliates seeking to organize charter schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT work to assure through legislation and board policies that public dollars are not diverted from regular public schools to such unrepresented schools in states and districts with collective bargaining agreements; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge state federations and the AFL-CIO to support this position.