AFT Convention Daily: Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Convention 2022: Back in person and better than ever

Over 3,000 AFT delegates are here in Boston for our first in-person convention in four years. The energizing, inspiring program will feature AFT President Randi Weingarten’s State of the Union plus a stellar roster of speakers, including first lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III—plus resolutions tackling cutting-edge issues, from solidarity with Ukraine to canceling student debt. Stop by the AFT Activist Center for tools and ideas to engage with your members and your community!

Community celebration elevates the joy of learning

The mood was festive Wednesday afternoon, with crowds of children and their families joining teachers, paraprofessionals and AFT members from all over the country to celebrate learning as part of the AFT’s 2022 Convention in Boston. Just outside the Boston Teachers Union offices, children enjoyed everything from ice cream and sidewalk chalk to stacks of free books and readings from Run-DMC rap star Darryl McDaniels. It was a joyous way to kick off the AFT’s biennial convention.

A new appreciation for AFT retirees

The AFT Retirees Conference, held on July 13 in Boston, is the first in-person gathering of retired members since the Retirees program and policy council was established in 2020. Retirees have long fought for more power and influence because of their contributions to the union, according to Tom Murphy, chair of the Retirees PPC. The creation of a separate program and policy council provides retirees with “cache,” said Murphy.

How unions can shape the future of work

Whether it’s in the form of machine-guided hiring or robotics in healthcare, artificial intelligence is increasingly guiding decision-making and the delivery of public services, transforming how we live and work. What role should unions play in ensuring that our work and our data are used for the common good? AFT leaders and guests from around the world took up this crucial question on July 13 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Worth checking out

This daily update is produced by the AFT communications department. Photos by Pamela Wolfe and Michael Campbell.