07/31/2014

AFT convention delegates back secure retirement, pensions

Share This
Print

At the AFT's 2014 convention in Los Angeles on July 11-14, convention delegates passed resolutions affirming the AFT's support both for retirement security for all based on shared risk and shared responsibility between employers and employees and the government, and for efforts to protect pensions.

AFT retirement committee member Hene Kelly, who is also a member of the United Educators of San Francisco, spoke in support of Resolution 69, "Retirement Security for All." Kelly said the resolution is not just for seniors: "It's for every member of the AFT and everyone in America. I see how seniors live on a fixed income that is not enough. Retirement is a human right; living out your life with dignity is a human right."

Delegate Roger Boudreau, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers retiree chapter and a member of the AFT's retirement committee, agreed with Kelly. "I think one of the most pressing social issues of the next decade is going to be retirement security for all," he said.

"Most of us are fortunate enough to have a pension system that supports us or that we can count on," said delegate Anthony Casalino, a member of the McHenry County Federation of Teachers in Illinois. "Rather than let our benefits be diminished, we need to fight for our brothers and sisters who don't have strong pensions."

Delegates also passed Resolution 74, "Support the Full Restitution of Pensions for Detroit Municipal Employees," which calls for the AFT's support of the appeal of the decision by a federal judge to allow the pensions of Detroit employees and retirees to be cut as a result of the city entering into bankruptcy protection. "We must defend the people of Detroit and push Congress for a change in the bankruptcy law," said delegate William Friedheim, a member of the Professional Staff Congress at the City University of New York. "We must stand tall with our Detroit brothers and sisters in appealing the court decision there."

Also adopted was Resolution 70, "Resistance to Pension Theft," which calls on the AFT to "support research and an investigation into the true causes, motives and intentions behind the manufactured 'pension crisis.'"  [Adrienne Coles]

July 31, 2014