The 85th convention of the American Federation of Teachers will be held July 13-16, 2018 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA.
Registration | Housing & Meeting Space | Americans with Disabilities Act | Representation | Delegate Number | Retiree Locals | Delegate Seating | Good Standing | Credentials | Delegate Elections | Council of Locals | Constitution & Bylaws Amendments | Resolutions | Convention Committees | Important Deadlines | Travel | Tentative Program
Thursday, July 12 - 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, July 13 - 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, July 14 - 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.*
Sunday, July 15 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To be eligible to vote in the election of officers on Sunday, July 15, delegates must be registered by 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 14.
Housing information is enclosed. Requests for convention center or hotel space should be sent no later than Wednesday, June 13, to Kitty Owens at 202-879-4514 or email@example.com.
The AFT will make every effort to assist in ensuring that accommodations in the Pittsburgh hotels and in the facilities at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If a delegate anticipates a special need ensuing from a disability, the delegate should contact Kitty Owens in the AFT conventions, meetings and travel department at 202-879-4514 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 1. The AFT will attempt to accommodate any special needs to ensure that delegates can participate fully in convention activities. Early notice is necessary because some accommodations may require significant advance preparation.
The biennial AFT convention is the most important policymaking body of the federation. The vitality and democracy of the union depend upon participation in the convention by delegates from all affiliates in good standing. Important resolutions, constitution and bylaws amendments, and the election of the AFT president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president and 43 vice presidents will be in the hands of the delegates. Each affiliate should take part in the election and in all other important convention business. Plan now to ensure representation from your affiliate.
Please study the following information carefully. The constitutional provisions for AFT conventions have been adopted to ensure that AFT members are represented in their governing body. Delegates must be nominated and elected according to the AFT constitution and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (commonly referred to as the Landrum-Griffin Act). The credentialing process must be followed so that the convention officers can be sure that the will of the membership prevails. If affiliate officers and delegates comply with these requirements, they will save themselves and the convention officers time and avoid disappointment.
Please note that throughout this Convention Call, the term “member” refers to a qualified member who is in good standing, and the terms “AFT constitution” and “AFT bylaws” refer to the 2016 AFT Constitution and Bylaws.
Article VIII, Section 2, of the AFT constitution provides that “One delegate to the convention may be elected by each affiliated local having a membership of 25 or fewer. (For each 100 members or major fraction thereof, one additional delegate may be elected.)” (This formula also applies to members at large of state federations.) Therefore, each local should have representation as follows:
June 2016 through May 2018
50 or fewer..... 1 delegate
51-150............ 2 delegates
151-250.......... 3 delegates
251-350.......... 4 delegates
351-450.......... 5 delegates
451-550.......... 6 delegates
A local with more than 550 members can follow the pattern above to determine its delegate strength. Six delegates is not the maximum.
Each chartered organization of retired members may elect one delegate to the AFT convention in the manner prescribed by the AFT constitution, Article VIII, Sections 1(a) and 1(d), and shall be entitled to one vote at the convention. Such delegate shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of a delegate except that such delegate shall not be entitled to nominate any candidate for federation office, or cast a vote in the election of federation officers, unless such delegate has been elected to that position by secret-ballot vote.
1. The credential list of all elected delegates and alternates is in the national office no later than June 13, 2018, as spelled out in the section herein titled “CREDENTIALS.”
2. Per capita is paid through May 2018 and sent to the national office by June 30, 2018. Affiliates chartered from May 13 to July 13, 2018, inclusive, may secure representation by paying per capita for two months.
3. All other good-standing requirements are met no later than June 13, 2018, as spelled out in the section herein titled “GOOD STANDING.”
Any challenge or appeals will be referred to David J. Strom, AFT general counsel, who will make recommendations with strict constitutional interpretation to the AFT executive council.
Only affiliates in good standing in accordance with the AFT bylaws, Article X, Sections 1 and 2(a), shall be eligible for representation at the AFT convention. To view your affiliate’s good-standing status, go to https://convention.aft.org.
Section 1. To be in good standing in the AFT, affiliates must meet the following requirements:
(a) payment of per capita to the AFT on all members, with arrears not to exceed two months, and to the applicable state federation, consistent with its constitution;
(b) current in submission of the affiliate’s annual audit or financial review in keeping with Sections 1-3 of Article IX of the AFT bylaws;
(c) current in submission to the AFT of names and addresses for the principal executive and financial officers;
(d) current in submission to the AFT of the names and addresses of current members of the affiliate’s executive board;
(e) current in submission of a membership roster; and
(f) current in submission of a copy of the affiliate’s up-to-date constitution.
Section 2(a). Only affiliates in good standing shall be eligible for representation at the AFT convention. In order to satisfy such good-standing requirements, and in addition to the deadlines otherwise set forth in the AFT constitution and bylaws, each affiliate must provide the AFT with the information required in paragraphs 1(b)-(f) above no later than 30 days prior to the opening date of the convention.
All affiliates will be sent a credential packet in mid-March containing detailed instructions for reporting elected delegates and alternates to the convention. Affiliates are strongly encouraged to use the AFT’s online credential registration system, which is convenient, secure and environmentally responsible. Paper credential forms will also be available.
Online system: Presidents of affiliates using the online reporting method may access the system at https://convention.aft.org. The credential packet will include detailed login instructions. Online reporting must be completed no later than June 13, 2018.
Paper forms: Presidents of affiliates using the paper reporting method should pay particular attention to the signature requirements. The blue delegate list and the yellow alternate list must bear the signatures of (1) the president and (2) either the secretary or treasurer of the affiliate. All delegate and alternate lists must be returned to the national office no later than June 13, 2018, by registered or certified mail or any other reliable means, including electronic transmission, that provides proof of receipt.
Delegate and alternate credential (pink) cards: Approximately three weeks prior to the convention, the AFT will mail a personalized credential (pink) card to the address of each reported delegate and alternate. Delegates and alternates must present this pink card to the credentials committee at registration in order to be seated at the convention. We strongly recommend that each delegate bring photo identification to the convention.
As a national union, the AFT is subject to the provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act. This federal law, as well as the AFT constitution, requires that:
1. Each member shall have a reasonable opportunity to be nominated as a delegate.
2. Each member shall be given notice of the right to make nominations, either individually or through a notice placed in the local publication or on work bulletin boards.
3. Notice of election of delegates shall be mailed to each member at least 15 days in advance of the election.
4. Election shall be by secret ballot.
5. Results shall be published and records (including ballots) kept for one year.
It is not necessary to nominate and elect the full number of delegates allotted, provided that the local passes a rule prior to the nominations setting the number to be elected.
Example: A local is entitled to 30 delegates. The local wants to elect 10 delegates. The local passes a rule prior to the nomination stating that only the 10 candidates receiving the greatest plurality will be elected.
Although many affiliates divide expense allocations equally by common practice, the Labor Department has ruled that expenses need not be distributed equally among the delegates, provided that the rule for allocating the expenses is passed before the nomination of candidates, and provided further that the rule is reasonable and can be uniformly enforced. Using the example previously cited, the rule could provide that the five delegates receiving the highest votes would receive expenses; the remaining five would not. It cannot be left to the discretion of an affiliate officer to decide which five of the 10 would receive the expenses.
The president or other elected union officer may serve as a delegate without a special election provided that:
1. He/she was elected to office by secret ballot according to provisions of the Landrum-Griffin Act; and
2. The affiliate constitution or bylaws state that one of the duties of office is to be a delegate to the national AFT convention.
Locals with fewer than 100 members each may form a council for the purpose of sending one delegate to the AFT convention representing all locals within the council. The total number of members in the council must be fewer than 300. Locals in the jurisdiction of one employer may form a council without size limitation.
Locals that choose to form councils must provide a nomination and election procedure that conforms to the AFT constitution and to the Landrum-Griffin Act as stated above. In addition, they must:
1. Adopt a common resolution no later than March 13, 2018. The resolution may be worded as follows:
(Name and number of local), at a regular meeting on (date), 2018, has voted to join the (name of council) for the purpose of sending a delegate to the AFT convention in Pittsburgh on July 13, 2018.
2. Hold the election of the council delegate no later than April 13, 2018.
3. Send to the national office no later than May 13, 2018: copies of the above resolution, a list of locals within the council, the AFT credentials from each local in the council naming the elected delegate, and certification of these credentials, which may be worded as follows:
(Name and number of local) elects the following member for the office of delegate from the (name of council). In submitting this form, we certify that we have followed the applicable provisions of the AFT constitution and the Landrum-Griffin Act, and that we are the officers duly authorized to submit this form.
Name of the elected delegate: ________________________________________________
City: ________________________________State: ________________ ZIP: ___________
Signature of president of local
Signature of secretary or treasurer of local
AFT state federations or locals may submit proposed amendments to the AFT constitution and bylaws to the convention as provided in Article X of the AFT constitution and Article XI of the AFT bylaws. All proposed amendments should include both the current wording and the proposed change. The proposed amendment must be signed by at least two elected officers of the affiliate, certifying that it has been approved for submission to the convention by the executive board or membership of the local, or by the executive board or convention of the state federation, or by the executive council of the AFT. Properly signed proposed amendments may be mailed, emailed in PDF format or faxed to the president, and must reach the national office by March 15, 2018. Send proposed amendments:
- by email, to email@example.com;
- by fax, to 202-879-4545; or
- by mail, to AFT, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20001, Attn: President’s Office–constitution and bylaws amendments.
To be adopted at the convention, constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote, and bylaws amendments require a majority vote.
For 2018, all proposed resolutions:
• Shall be submitted postmarked no later than June 1, 2018, so that all resolutions can be sent to delegates and affiliates prior to the convention.
• Shall be introduced by locals, state federations or the executive council of the AFT.
• Shall be approved for submission by the executive board or the membership of the local, or by the executive board or convention of the state federation.
• Shall bear the signatures of at least two elected officers of the affiliate introducing the resolution, certifying that the procedure has been followed.
• Shall bear a title.
• If properly signed, may be mailed, emailed in PDF format or faxed to the AFT president no later than June 1, 2018. Send proposed resolutions:
- by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- by fax, to 202-879-4545; or
- by mail, to AFT, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20001, Attn: President’s Office–convention resolutions.
Review the AFT’s existing policy resolutions on AFT LeaderNet at: http://leadernet.aft.org (Governance & Administration/AFT Resolutions). Direct all questions to the president's office at 202-879-4400 or email@example.com.
Affiliates will receive committee choice cards for indicating their delegates’ committee choices. Presidents who submit their delegates’ committee choices online do not need to return the committee cards to the AFT. Whether you are using the online system or the committee cards, first, second and third choices of committees should be indicated. Affiliate presidents may submit their delegates’ committee choices online, or may mail or have delegates mail their committee choice cards to the national office, no later than June 13, 2018. The executive council will be guided by these selections in its assignment of delegates to the committees.
Each delegate who wishes to serve will be assigned to one convention committee and should attend the meeting of that committee. A delegate may request to testify on resolutions, especially those submitted by a delegate’s local, that have been assigned to other convention committees. In order to ensure completion of work, however, only assigned members of a committee may debate and vote on resolutions before that committee.
Thursday, March 15 Deadline for submission of proposed constitution and bylaws amendments.
Mid-March Credential packets mailed to affiliates.
Friday, June 1 Deadline for submission of proposed resolutions.
Thursday, June 7 Housing deadline.
Wednesday, June 13 Deadline for convention center or hotel space requests.
Wednesday, June 13 Credential lists of all elected delegates and alternates must be submitted.
Committee choices of all elected delegates must be submitted.
All good-standing requirements, with the exception of per capita, must be met.
Saturday, June 30 Per capita must be paid through May 2018
Special Travel Discounts
The AFT is pleased to offer discounts from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines for the 2018 AFT convention in Pittsburgh.
American Airlines will provide an 8 percent discount on applicable coach fares for flights to and from Pittsburgh (PIT only). These discounts are valid for travel between July 9 and 20, 2018. To purchase your ticket online, visit www.aa.com and enter your origin and destination cities and travel dates. At checkout, enter promotion code 4878DW. To purchase your ticket by phone, call American Airlines Meeting Services at 800-433-1790 and provide authorization number 4878DW. A $25 service fee applies when booking by phone. There is no fee for online booking.
Delta Air Lines will provide a 2 to 5 percent discount on applicable coach fares for flights to and from Pittsburgh (PIT only). These discounts are valid for travel between July 10 and 19, 2018. To purchase your ticket online, visit www.delta.com/booking, enter meeting event code NMR9E and continue with the booking process. To purchase your ticket by phone, call Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Central time), Monday through Friday, and refer to meeting code NMR9E. There is no fee for online or phone booking.
Other airlines serving the Pittsburgh area include:
Alaska Airlines 800-426-0333 www.alaskaair.com
JetBlue Airways 800-538-2583 www.jetblue.com
Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792 www.southwest.com
United Airlines 800-241-6522 www.united.com
The AFT hopes you can benefit from these arrangements. If you have questions, please call the AFT conventions, meetings and travel department at 800-526-0859.
Subject to change. Activities will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, July 11 PRE-CONVENTION ACTIVITIES
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. AFT executive council
Thursday, July 12 ARRIVAL DAY AND PRE-CONVENTION ACTIVITIES
Time TBD Community service event—details to follow
10 a.m. – noon Credentials and elections committee meeting
1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Convention registration and exhibits open
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. AFT Retirees conference
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sergeants-at-arms meeting
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Orientation for new delegates
Friday, July 13 CONVENTION DAY 1
9:30 a.m. Opening session
Noon Constitutional amendments committee
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Divisional meetings
3:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Convention committee meetings
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Reception for AFT delegates and guests (location TBD)
Saturday, July 14 CONVENTION DAY 2
7:30 a.m. AFT Higher Education & AFT Public Employees breakfasts
8 a.m. AFT Nurses and Health Professionals & AFT PSRP breakfasts
9:30 a.m. General session
12:30 p.m. AFT Human Rights luncheon
2:30 p.m. General session
Sunday, July 15 CONVENTION DAY 3
7 a.m. AFT Early Childhood Educators breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Procedures for nominations and elections:
Nominations of candidates for AFT president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president and vice presidents
10 a.m. General session
2 p.m. General session
4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Elections
Monday, July 16 CONVENTION DAY 4
7:30 a.m. AFT Women’s Rights breakfast
9 a.m. General session
2 p.m. General session to adjournment