AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, baby boomers, the largest generation of Americans ever, numbering some 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964, are now nearing retirement; and

WHEREAS, more than 300,000 AFT members—and some 3 million union members—are projected to retire between 2008 and 2020; and
WHEREAS, since 1990, the AFT constitution has granted lifetime membership in the national union to working members when they retire; and
WHEREAS, there is not a retiree per capita payment to the national union; and
WHEREAS, the AFT promotes lifelong unionism; and
WHEREAS, some 49,000 deactivated members 55 years old and older may be eligible for lifetime membership but have yet to be reported as active members, thus limiting their opportunity to participate in AFT political action, member benefits and communications efforts; and
WHEREAS, the national AFT now maintains contact with retired members who are reported by sending membership cards, ensuring that they have access to AFT + benefits as well as other important member benefits; and
WHEREAS, the highest ratios of older union members to younger members occur in many of the states that are most critical in determining the outcome of U.S. presidential elections, such as Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California; and
WHEREAS, 70 percent of older Americans vote, a far greater percentage than the eligible American voting population as a whole; and
WHEREAS, the support of AFT retirees is critical to the outcome of such contests as the presidential, congressional, state and local elections; and
WHEREAS, the AFT retiree program has grown from some 150,000 members to more than 230,000 in the last 10 years:
RESOLVED, that all American Federation of Teachers affiliates report their retired members to the national union in a timely manner as the AFT constitution requires; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT regularly reach out to state federations, local presidents and field staff to encourage locals to actively involve retirees in our union work.