AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

DEVELOPING AND DISSEMINATING A "STRONGER TOGETHER" MODEL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AFFILIATES WITH MULTIPLE CONSTITUENCIES

WHEREAS, many American Federation of Teachers higher education affiliates represent workers in multiple job classifications, among them tenure-track faculty, part-time/adjunct faculty, full-time nontenure-track faculty, graduate employees, professional staff and classified staff, among others; and

WHEREAS, sometimes workers in particular job classifications are, to a greater or lesser extent, isolated from the work and the concerns of their colleagues in other job classifications; and

WHEREAS, it is not unusual for different categories of workers to pursue different bargaining and legislative priorities within their locals, and sometimes may perceive their interests as conflicting with those of others of the union; and

WHEREAS, the constituencies in the union may have different levels of involvement in union activities, sometimes because of their varying conditions of employment and partly because of the history and representational practices of the local; and

WHEREAS, employers will often seek to exacerbate differences within and between bargaining units in an effort to weaken the local union; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary for local unions to be able to resolve issues among their members and unite on common goals in order to be effective at the bargaining table, in grievance hearings and in legislative offices; and

WHEREAS, the AFT higher education division, in collaboration with the Union Leadership Institute, has begun modeling a program called "Stronger Together" in a number of locals; and

WHEREAS, the "Stronger Together" program is designed to help higher education affiliates make their communications, leadership development and mobilization structures more inclusive and responsive to the full range of the membership by:

  • providing a mediated forum for members from different constituencies to meet and discuss differences openly; and
  • instituting a continuing process for resolving differences and formulating priorities that attract wide support within the union:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers continue and expand efforts to develop "Stronger Together" models on local campuses; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT employ these models to develop "Stronger Together" training programs that can be applied to a broad number of higher education affiliates and to different circumstances and constituencies; and

RESOLVED, that the "Stronger Together" program be assessed to determine the extent to which it can be applied to AFT affiliates outside higher education.


(2010)