AFT Resolution

SUPPORT, RESPECT AND DIGNITY FOR PSRPS

WHEREAS, nearly a quarter of the 1.6 million members represented by the American Federation of Teachers are classified as paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs); and

WHEREAS, the AFT first demonstrated its commitment to PSRPs and their important contributions to our students and our union in 1930, with the chartering of the Education Secretaries of Chicago; and

WHEREAS, many highly effective, dedicated leaders have come from the PSRP ranks and made contributions to our union at the local, state and national levels in organizing, political action and professional issues development; and

WHEREAS, through the leadership, actions and dedication of these highly skilled PSRP leaders and the active participation of rank-and-file PSRPs in our union, the AFT has developed a proud reputation of innovative, comprehensive and effective programs and resources for our school and college support staff; and

WHEREAS, the leadership and activism of this constituency of the AFT has put our union at the forefront when it comes to developing strategies, programs and resources to effectively address issues that affect these members, including fighting off privatization and concerns over lack of quality professional development opportunities. This constituency is leading the charge on workplace safety and health and the fight for a living wage; and

WHEREAS, PSRPs have time and again taken on important fights for dignity and respect, despite the fact that this constituency of AFT members is often more vulnerable to attempted retaliation from management and their risk of being active in our union is higher than for other AFT members due to the fact that the PSRP constituency has some of the lowest-paid positions with some of the least job security; and

WHEREAS, despite the AFT’s long track record of support and recognition of PSRPs’ contributions to preK-12 and colleges, it is important that the AFT continuously evaluate its programs, communications, resources and ways in which we include this important group of AFT members to ensure that their contributions to our union and our schools and colleges are honored and that their issues are addressed and prioritized to the same degree as all AFT members in the tradition of our great union; and

WHEREAS, the AFT, in past conventions, has developed a proud track record of bringing forward and passing resolutions in active support of the important work PSRPs do:

Resolved, that the American Federation of Teachers, on the occasion of its 100-year anniversary, celebrates its proud track record of support for school and college support staff members; and

Resolved, that the AFT will take concrete steps to re-evaluate its efforts and programs to ensure continued development of PSRP leaders and activists at all levels of our union; and

Resolved, that the AFT will redouble its efforts through its continued practices, policies and actions to recognize the highly qualified professional status of PSRPs and the many contributions that AFT school and college support personnel make on a daily basis in their union and in their workplace; and

Resolved, that in the proud tradition of our union, we will continue to encourage discussion and debate on ways to prevent divisiveness among our ranks and encourage dignity and respect for PSRP members and all AFT members in our union and our workplace; and

Resolved, that these conversations will help direct the development of appropriate programs and strategies to keep school and college support staff priorities front and center in the AFT’s work; and

Resolved, that the AFT will build off of its successful effort to mobilize PSRP members in support of paraprofessional standards in the Every Student Succeeds Act, and we will work to build on that model and seek legislation that provides recognition of school support personnel as highly qualified professionals; and

Resolved, that in our 100th year, we celebrate all of our AFT members.

(2016)

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.