AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions



WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has policy that enunciates our continued strong support of initiatives to strengthen career and technical education; and
WHEREAS, the AFT has made clear our positions on expanding educational opportunities that address environmental sustainability, climate change and more sound environmental policies; and
WHEREAS, the economic recovery priorities of the Obama administration are closely linked to promoting the creation of more green jobs and the use of clean energy as evidenced by the appointment of a White House advisor on green jobs, enterprise and innovation; and
WHEREAS, our members in K-12 and higher education, who will be expected to prepare students for the new green economy, feel they have not been consistently and actively involved in local, state and national initiatives on green workforce development, as they should be; and
WHEREAS, nearly 45 percent of AFT members live and/or work serving students and the public in urban areas, which are a special focus of green job development; and
WHEREAS, our members in education and public employment can bring unique expertise and experience to the discussion and work necessary to prepare the current and future workforce for jobs and careers in a green economy; and
WHEREAS, the AFT is in the position to be a convener of influential allies and partner organizations with whom we have strong relationships to join the effort to promote the development of an education and local/state government infrastructure to support green jobs; and
WHEREAS, the AFT is committed to advancing the cause of good green jobs through our participation and support of the AFL-CIO’s Center for Green Jobs:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers partner with environmentalists, labor unions, social justice and faith-based organizations, government, students and others to make certain our country creates good green jobsincluding the green jobs of our members in education , government and healthcarethat: 
1) provide wages and benefits that can sustain a family;
2) are in workplaces where employers remain neutral when workers seek to join a union;
3) are safe and healthy whether by federal, state or local statute or by employer practice;
4) where workers are provided meaningful opportunities for appropriate and sufficient training and certification; and
5) where employers and employees model sound environmental practices; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT provide our affiliates with information and research to support their efforts to ensure genuine involvement of our members in K-12 and higher education, particularly those in community and technical colleges, in the development of curriculum and programs to prepare and support studentsyouth and adultsfor careers in our emerging green economy. Such support will encompass analysis of effective approaches such as:
  • incorporation of environmental education into the curriculum at all levels so that it meshes with teacher-developed standards and best practices;
  • models for professional development that support educators and best practices in environmental education;
  • examples of models in K-12 and higher education that provide education and training to pursue careers in green jobs, particularly collaborations with trade union apprentice programs that unite skills training and academics in ways that encourage lifelong learning and career development;
  • models of community and technical college programs to build and assemble green projects, particularly in partnership with other labor unions;
  • strategies for modeling sound environmental practices in schools and colleges;
  • the role of school counselors as they assist students moving from high school to jobs and careers in a green economy; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT urge coordinated federal, state and local efforts and policies that assure adequate professional development in green technologies for career-technical teachers and instructors, beginning with establishing criteria for career-technical professional development through the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and Energy; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT monitor trends in the development and expansion of work in the public sector related to the green economy and provide support to affiliates in areas such as
  • defining what constitutes public sector green jobs; and
  • guidance on training to help members meet possible new requirements for green jobs; and
  • development of strategies to ensure the work remains in the public sector; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT support federal and state legislative efforts that enable the expansion of institutions of higher education as centers of research in green economy-related fields; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT support the development of federal, state and local legislation or policies and safeguards that ensure “green” businesses that receive tax cuts or incentives actually live up to their promises of worker training and the creation of new and meaningful opportunities for employment in the emerging green economy. (Adopted by Executive Council, 2009)