AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, all working people deserve a wage that allows them dignity and the basic necessities of life; and 

WHEREAS, no employer should pay wages so low that their employees must rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs such as food, rent and healthcare; and

WHEREAS, the federal poverty wage does not take into consideration costs like child care and healthcare that not only draw from one’s income, but also are determining factors in one’s ability to work and endure the potential hardships associated with balancing employment and other aspects of everyday life; and

WHEREAS, a living wage model is an alternative market-based measure of basic needs that takes into consideration geographic location and specific expenditure data related to a family’s likely minimum food, child care, health insurance, housing, transportation and other basic necessities such as clothing, personal care items etc.; and

WHEREAS, the living wage model would draw on these cost elements and the relative effect of local, state and federal taxes to determine the minimum employment earning necessary to meet a family’s basic needs while also maintaining self-sufficiency; and

WHEREAS, a living wage model is a more accurate reflection than the federal poverty wage model of a family’s true cost of living in a given location; and

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has conducted an extensive study on living wages at the county level and created a living wage calculator based on their study; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a responsibility to advocate for workers to earn a wage that allows them to take care of their family and be self-sufficient: 

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will support state legislation or ballot initiatives that raise the minimum wage; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will provide information on metrics available to advocates of a living wage; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will offer tools, resources and support to any local whose members earn less than a living wage and wishes to undertake a campaign to raise wages to a living wage standard.

(July 16, 2022)