Solution-driven unionism is rooted in solving problems, not winning arguments, and many AFT affiliates are pursuing this approach with great results. It is our compass at the national union, as well. We know that this tough climate is no excuse for not having a proactive agenda; to the contrary, it demands it.
Public Services Resources
The cumulative state budget shortfall for 2010 is estimated to be more than $166 billion. States will not be able to cut their way out of a shortfall of this magnitude. There are no easy choices to solve this crisis. To be a part of crafting a solution that does not place the burden of balancing public budgets squarely on public employees, AFT Public Employees, together with the AFT research department, have created a resource guide for locals, state federations and coalition partners. State Revenue Systems: Options for the Current Fiscal Crisis provides an explanation of current revenue structures state-by-state and suggests alternatives to improve revenue stability and progressivity. The guide is available online here. For a printed copy, please e-mail Karen Schiffhauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The growing trend toward offshoring and "contracting out" of local and state government jobs is threatening the quality of many public services, costing taxpayers millions in cost overruns and waste, and robbing many communities of good jobs. (June 2004)
This report details long-term damage to education, healthcare and public services due to states’ continuing budget deficits. The national report includes case studies of three states—Washington, Wisconsin and New York—explaining how federal tax cuts and reduced revenue have devastated essential programs, services and jobs. (Feb. 2004)
Government employers are facing a crisis in recruiting and retaining quality employees. Additionally, some public sector employees have watched their pay and benefits become less competitive and have chosen to leave the public sector for more lucrative positions in the private sector. This report of the Recruitment and Retention Task Force gives information on approaches to the recruitment and retention issue to provide local unions with options to develop appropriate strategies for their unique situations. (Feb. 2002)
Digital Government and Technological Change: The Impact on Public Employees and Quality Public Services
Government workplaces across the country have changed dramatically over the past several years due to advances in technology. This rapid pace of change presents significant challenges that must be addressed if government is to meet its full potential for improving public services. The AFT Public Employees digital government task force explores technological change, and the challenges facing our members in the digital era, in its final report. (Aug. 2002)
Lower revenues affect both the quality of services provided by the states and the very standard of living of our members. These harder times come when states need to recruit and retain the next generation of public servants, rebuild hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure, and improve healthcare, education, environmental quality and public safety. This report from the Revenue and Taxation Task Force describes the importance of the federal government in providing state funds and assesses each of the major taxes states use to raise revenue. (July 2001)