AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour for three years, while actual costs of living have continued to rise; and

WHEREAS, in the world's wealthiest country, millions of full-time workers continue to earn poverty-level wages, putting their children and themselves at a lifestyle risk for health and education concerns, including, but not limited to, poor nutrition, unsafe or inadequate housing, lack of access to medical aid when needed, and challenges to children's learning abilities and therefore to their success in school; and

WHEREAS, studies show that an increase in the minimum wage corresponds with an increase in jobs and has little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers, regardless of the strengths or weakness in the economy, and that an increase in the minimum wage could generate billions of dollars in new consumer spending, adding a needed stimulus to the American economy; and

WHEREAS, polls also show that the majority of Americans support raising the minimum wage, including polls such as the 2012 study by Lake Research showing that 73 percent of Americans favor it, including 74 percent of independents and 50 percent of Republicans, crossing all demographic, regional and political categories; and a 2013 Pew Research Center poll with similar findings; and

WHEREAS, many of America's leading economists support an increase in the minimum wage for the good of the country, basing their support on sound research, and

WHEREAS, a national movement of workers is demanding $15 per hour as a minimum wage; and

WHEREAS, political entities such as Seattle and the Los Angeles Unified School District have voted for $15 per hour as a minimum wage, and many other entities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are considering a $15 per hour minimum wage:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will support an increase in the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, where full-time employment generates a living wage; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support annual increases to the federal minimum wage equal to the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will strongly encourage the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations to use its resources to advocate for legislation at the federal level that would increase the federal minimum wage and index for inflation.