PSRP Reporter

Winter 2015–2016

Feature Story

THE AFT TASK FORCE on Professionalism continues refining what it means to be a professional, identifying our members’ professional needs and considering what we must do to eliminate barriers to being a professional. The task force met in October after a series of listening sessions in which it gathered members’ ideas, all toward the goal of drafting a resolution to put before our union. Activists from every sector of the AFT, including AFT PSRP, are represented on the task force.

During its first meeting earlier this year, custodian Sonia Chavez spoke to the need for a living wage. The second meeting in New Orleans this fall immediately preceded the AFT’s annual Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Conference, emphasizing how tightly linked our basic rights are to being treated with dignity and respect at work.

As task force chair, AFT Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker welcomed members, who then examined aspects of professionalism such as a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in knowledge and skills, as well as autonomy, authority and respect.

Ricker summed up the feelings of many school and college support staff this way: “I just want the dignity of my work recognized.”

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