July 27, 2012
American Federation of Teachers Convention Kicks Off in Detroit
AFT President Randi Weingarten to Deliver Keynote Address
Before Rally at Detroit Public Schools Headquarters
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers 2012 convention will begin today, July 27, at Cobo Center in Detroit, where more than 3,000 delegates will gather from across the country representing preK-12 teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; early childhood educators; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.
The convention opens with AFT President Randi Weingarten’s keynote address introducing “solution-driven unionism,” a redefinition of unionism that advances solutions focused on members, the people they serve and the communities in which they live. Solution-driven unionism will advance creative solutions to unify members and their communities around issues important to all working people.
Weingarten also will announce that the AFT’s 1.5 million membership number held steady since the last convention, with the union organizing 79 new units in 18 states since the last convention. The AFT organized new members in every constituency—college and university faculty and staff, graduate assistants, PSRPs, healthcare professionals, early childhood educators, state and local government workers, and teachers in public school systems and in charter schools.
After delivering her keynote address, Weingarten will lead delegates to join the Detroit Federation of Teachers and other Detroit AFT members as they gather at the New Center One building to demand that Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts return to the table to negotiate a contract that invests in Detroit’s public schools and students. Roberts has agreed to Weingarten’s request for a meeting, and the two will discuss the issue during the rally.
To request media credentials, please contact Carolyn Fiddler at firstname.lastname@example.org. To pick up media credentials, media should go to the AFT press office in Cobo Center’s Macomb Hall.
Friday, July 27
- AFT President Randi Weingarten delivers keynote address
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.