AFT 1021, part of United Teachers Los Angeles, representing over 10,000 teachers and professional education support personnel, passed the following motions at its meeting Thursday, 11/12/09.

by E Wayne Ross on November 13, 2009

AFT 1021, part of United Teachers Los Angeles, representing over 10,000 teachers and professional education support personnel, passed the following motions at its meeting Thursday, 11/12/09.

Whereas, polls show that a majority of the American people oppose continuation of the war in Afghanistan, 38% support immediate withdrawal, and only 25% favor any increase of troops to be sent there; and
Whereas, since 2001, US taxpayers have spent $ 230 billion on the war in Afghanistan, and
Whereas, military spending creates many fewer jobs than the same amount spent on infrastructure and other domestic needs (Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier, “The Wages of Peace,” The Nation, March 31, 2008), and
Whereas, the U.S. death toll in Afghanistan has escalated each year and 830 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan so far as of 9/15/2009, and
Whereas, the $65 billion to be spent in Afghanistan this year, and the hundreds of billions of dollars required in coming years for counterinsurgency there, are desperately needed for urgent domestic social purposes, including health care for all, housing relief in the foreclosure crisis, full veterans benefits, and the creation of millions of jobs, therefore be it
Resolved, that AFT 1021 call for the U.S. government to end the war and occupation of Afghanistan and end its attacks on neighboring Pakistan; close all military bases in the region; and begin to withdraw all troops, mercenaries, contractors, and weapons immediately, and further
Resolved, that AFT 1021 call for the redirection of the military budget for Afghanistan to reparations for infrastructure and social programs for the Afghani people; and to expenditures to support returning US troops, and to meet urgent human needs domestically, such as education, healthcare, housing, jobs, and other social programs and public services, and further
Resolved, that AFT 1021 will undertake an educational campaign on these issues among its membership and seek to involve the members in the political tasks necessary to implement this resolution in public policy, and further
Resolved, that AFT 1021 endorse local, regional and national mobilizations this month and into the spring that support the goals of this resolution, and finally
Resolved, that AFT 1021 will communicate this resolution to its elected Congressional representatives and affiliates (CFT/AFT, LA County Federation of Labor, US Labor Against the War) with a request that they act accordingly.


Emergency Resolution on the Current Crisis in Honduras

Whereas, following the June 28, 2009 military coup in Honduras, the AFL-CIO National Convention passed a resolution in September demanding immediate reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya, restoration of all labor and democratic rights, and an immediate halt to all U.S. aid to the coup government; and

Whereas, a U.S.-brokered deal [the Tegucigalpa/San Jose Accords] to reinstate President Zelaya by November 5th — in preparation for the Nov. 29th elections — has unraveled, and the coup regime refused to restore Zelaya to the Presidency. As a result, President Zelaya, denouncing the “bad faith” of the U.S. government, said the Tegucigalpa/San Jose Accords were “a dead letter,” and

Whereas, President Zelaya is still taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy and the Honduran people led by the National Resistance Front Against the Coup (including many teachers in the leadership) continue to mount massive daily demonstrations against the coup regime; which responds with mass tear-gassing and beating of protesters by U.S.-trained army and police in an attempt to suppress the popular will and prevent the exercise of democratic rights; and

Whereas, there is a total lack of political space for opposition candidates to campaign and for the expression of any dissident political opinion, and under the current coup regime, conditions for free, fair and open elections are non-existent; and

Whereas, the National Resistance Front has denounced the Nov. 29th elections as a scheme by “the de facto regime that is repressing the people and violating the civil and human rights of its citizens, with the goal of validating the dictatorship of the oligarchy,” and that participating in such an electoral exercise “would give legitimacy to the coup regime or its successor.” The Front also stressed that “our stance in opposition to the electoral farce will remain firm even if President Zelaya is reinstated between now and Nov. 29th, since 20 days or less is too short a time to dismantle an electoral fraud many months in the making,” and there is no time for opposition candidates to mount a campaign;

Therefore be it resolved, that AFT 1021 stand in solidarity with the heroic people of Honduras as they resist the savage repression of a military dictatorship, and fight to win real democracy and sovereignty for their country; and

Be it further resolved, that AFT 1021 send official letters to Congressional representatives, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and President Obama demanding that the U.S. government take strong measures against the repressive coup government in Honduras — and whatever government may succeed it as a result of the “electoral farce” scheduled for Nov. 29th. These measures should include: 1) Immediately break off all political and economic ties with the coup government and its successor; 2) Recall the U.S. ambassador; 3) Establish an economic embargo on all trade and aid to Honduras; 4) Freeze the U.S. bank accounts of the coup plotters and deny them visas for U.S. travel; 5) Shut down U.S. military bases in Honduras; and

Be it further resolved, that AFT 1021 demand that the U.S. government denounce and refuse to recognize the results of Nov. 29th elections or any electoral process organized under the repressive coup regime; and

Be it further resolved, that AFT 1021 will submit this resolution as an emergency resolution at the Delegate Assembly of the County Federation of Labor on Monday, November 16, 2009 and further encourage its other affiliates, such as CFT and AFT to adopt similar resolutions; and
Finally be it resolved, that AFT 1021 make common cause with other labor and community organizations, to develop a reliable support network for the National Resistance Front against the Coup, and for the labor unions, especially the teachers union, that are at the center of the Resistance movement in Honduras.


Call for Statewide Day of Action to Support Public Education
Whereas, California public education from pre-kindergarten through college and adult ed, is facing its most dangerous crisis in years; with funding cuts, tuition increases, reduction of college seats available, furlough days for educators and support staff, and layoffs of employees and outright closures of entire departments; and
Whereas, new registrations for anti-union referenda have been introduced in order to further damage education workers and their unions, and
Whereas, the official national, state and, in many cases, local agendas for public education will result in increased class size, increased testing, teacher accountability measures which do not take into account many factors, and the creation of tiered categories of employment based on such measures, and
Whereas, following successful statewide events at CSU, UC and community college campuses in September, 2009, a conference is being held on October 24 in San Francisco to explore the possibilities of statewide actions to “Save public education! No budget cuts, fee hikes, or layoffs!
For state-wide student, worker, and faculty solidarity!”; therefore, let it be
Resolved, that AFT 1021 join the call for a statewide day of action to be held March 4, 2009, to include the demands of 1) restoring full funding of all public education, 2) assuring all of our students their right to a safe and free public education, 3) maintaining the rights of education employees to guaranteed pay, benefits and safe working conditions, and 4) ensuring adequate funding for the health, housing, jobs and safety of all working people; and further

Resolved, that AFT 1021 will organize within United Teachers Los Angeles (including bringing this resolution or a similar one to the House and Board of Directors of UTLA) its own internal education campaign, and mobilize support for an action locally, building coalitions with other education and affiliated unions, teachers, students, and community organizations to further the goals of this resolution, and finally
Resolved, that AFT 1021 will carry this resolution to CFT and to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor for their concurrence and support.
Support the Call for Solidarity DAy III March and Rally in Washington, DC next spring

Resolved, that AFT 1021 call on the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to organize a Solidarity Day III march on Washington D.C. in the spring of 2010 to demand jobs, housing, health care, full funding for public education and social services, and peace.


Community Input on military academies and opposition to charters

Whereas, the forces of educational privatization and charter companies are making strong attempts to convert existing public school campuses throughout the country, and

Whereas, the forces of educational privatization and charter companies are seeking to convert new publicly-funded school construction projects to charters and other types of schools, and

Whereas, community, parent, faculty, labor, and youth voices are not part of the dialogue that allows for these charterizations and privatizations, and

Whereas, existing collective bargaining agreeements are being circumvented and ignored in this process, and

Whereas, many of these schools may be initiated or converted by private companies into military-style academies,

Therefore, let it be resolved, that the CFT insist that any new military and military-style academies in public school districts thaqt utilize school district resources conduct community forums where community stakeholders can provide input and vote on the militarization of the local school,

Be it further resolved, that the CFT discourage charterization and privatization of public schools in any form if community, labor, and parent voices are not included in the formation of these charter or private schools, receiving public dollars, or using publicly financed construction projects,

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT publicize this stand to all CFT locals and affiliates, and forward to the AFT for ratification at the 2010 AFT Convention.