AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the United Nations Staff Union (UNSU) recently entered into a unity agreement with the American Federation of Teachers; and the UNSU has a delegation at the 2014 AFT convention in Los Angeles for the first time; and

WHEREAS, more than 60,000 employees of the United Nations are represented by 15 different unions representing employees in the United States and around the world; these unions serve to represent the interests of U.N. employees while advancing the goals of the U.N.; and

WHEREAS, the U.N. Charter, in its preamble, states that the peoples of the United Nations determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom; and

WHEREAS, U.N. international civil servants are engaged in incredibly important work around the globe and often find themselves in some of the most hazardous and high-risk situations; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations is charged with implementing the mandates of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization conventions protecting the rights of workers both in the United States and around the world; it is clear that labor relations and worker rights within the United Nations should serve as a model to be emulated by countries and employers across the globe; and

WHEREAS, there has been a deterioration in relations with the unions representing U.N. employees, and the administration has failed to reinstitute the consensus dispute resolution within the labor management negotiation process; and

WHEREAS, the majority of U.N. employees at the headquarters in New York are United States taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, the United States supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a landmark expression of the principles of the U.N. and a document that explicitly upholds the right of workers to form and join trade unions, and yet the United States has not taken the opportunity to support collective bargaining rights of workers within the U.N.; and

WHEREAS, the denial of bargaining rights to U.N. employees represents significant negative consequences to U.N. employees and to the advancement of collective bargaining rights for workers around the world:

RESOLVED, that the national AFT convention expresses its strong support and solidarity with the United Nations Staff Union in its efforts to maintain meaningful collective bargaining rights on behalf of the exemplary employees who make their careers working on behalf of the U.N. in the United States and around the world; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will bring attention to the struggles of the U.N. employees and their unions through labor and community alliances in the United States, in our global union federations and through our international alliances around the world; the AFT will also urge the Obama administration to support collective bargaining rights for U.N. employees; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will consult with the leadership of the United Nations Staff Union and other unions representing U.N. employees to provide expertise and assistance in advocating for meaningful collective bargaining rights for U.N. employees; only through the bargaining process can employees be provided with an effective voice at work to deal with the serious and diverse issues facing U.N. employees, and together we can work to advance the rights of employees while supporting the important and essential mission of the U.N.