AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, more and more state and local government workers are retiring or quitting their jobs in larger numbers than ever before; and

WHEREAS, during the Great Recession older workers postponed retirement, but now state governments are starting to report higher worker retirements; and

WHEREAS, public sector workers on average tend to be older and have more education than the private sector; and

WHEREAS, cuts to retirement benefits and healthcare, the attacks on collective bargaining in the public sector and threats of layoffs push public workers to choose retirement; and

WHEREAS, these public sector workers, eligible for retirement, are some of state and local governments’ most experienced workers and are needed to train and mentor the next generation of public servants; and

WHEREAS, retirements and high turnover of older workers will negatively impact the ability of state and local governments to attract, retain and develop the skills of young workers; and

WHEREAS, many state governments are ill-prepared for the coming tsunami of retirements and risk losing years and years of expertise and threatening the quality public services provided in our communities:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will gather information to determine how increased public sector retirements or workers quitting their jobs affect state and local governments; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will document best practices for determining the needs of the public sector workforce due to these increased retirements and addressing recruitment and retention, succession planning and public employee professional development; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its affiliates will advocate for and support policies that protect the quality work that is done by public employees at every level of government.


Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.