Public Employee Advocate
Nearly 3,000 AFT members from across the country gathered in Detroit, July 27-30 for the 82nd AFT national convention. The convention featured speeches from AFT president Randi Weingarten, Vice President Joe Biden and United Auto Workers president Bob King, among others. In addition, convention delegates adopted several major AFT policy resolutions.
AFT president Randi Weingarten kicked off the convention by advocating “solution-driven unionism,” a new vision of unionism that advances solutions focused on uniting union members, the people we serve and the communities in which we live.
In her keynote speech, Weingarten said that America’s workers face a new normal—with severe budget cuts jeopardizing public education, healthcare and other critical services; families losing more than 30 percent of their wealth during the economic crisis; and more than 100 bills introduced in state legislatures to demonize and attack public employees and undermine public services.
Across the country, the AFT is working with community, business and other partners on solutions that address economic and educational equality. Weingarten used her speech to highlight some of those efforts, including uniting communities around ballot measures, such as in California, that raise revenue and stop budget cuts by raising income taxes on the state's highest earners, and investing the pension funds of educators in projects to rebuild America's infrastructure and retrofit out-of-date buildings to make them more energy efficient and create jobs.