2012 Convention

Whereas, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) is a member of the AFL-CIO ; and

Whereas, as part of the Labor Movement, AFSA fights to protect and strengthen the rights of all workers; and

Whereas, the wages, benefits and safe working conditions negotiated by unions have translated into improved benefits for all workers; and

Whereas, schools across the country are financially burdened by unfunded mandates, and facing escalating costs to provide Special Education and other services; and

Whereas, schools often receive insufficient funding to meet the requirements, and outlays of resources at the school level for these programs often far exceeds the federal and state sources that are intended to fund these programs; and

Whereas, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, overall, a higher percentage of principals with the highest level of experience at any school (10 or more years) left the profession in 200809, compared with principals with the lowest level of experience at any school (less than three years); and

Whereas, standards for school leaders with strong educational backgrounds have changed as a result of the reform movement; and

Whereas, for decades workers have been able to achieve retirement security because their retirement income was based on mutual responsibility among the federal government as provided by Social Security, employer-provided pensions and personal savings; and

Whereas, defined-benefit plans remain the soundest and most cost-effective vehicle for building and safeguarding retirement income security; and

Whereas, the education of students with special needs is critical; and Whereas, Special Education instruction is required under the No Child Left

Behind Act (NCLB) and also in policies supported by the Obama administration; and

Whereas, instructional challenges are ever present when educating students with special needs, which calls for increased pre-service training and professional development for teachers and administrators; and

Whereas, the recent economic downturn has been especially brutal on American workers, and the economic burdens placed on working families are virtually unbearable; and

Whereas, Americans are working longer hours, have fewer benefits and enjoy less job-security; and Whereas, Collective Bargaining has always been the most effective antidote to inequality and injustice, yet, over the last several decades the right to bargain collectively has been under political attack; and

Whereas, The AFL-CIO and the Labor movement recognizes and appreciates the contribution that retirees make to their societies and the tremendous diversity within the ranks of retirees; and

Whereas, retirees are reaching an advanced age in greater numbers than ever before and are in better health than ever before; and

Whereas, AFSA retirees have a tremendous wealth of knowledge and unique experiences in public education; and

Whereas, The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) promise workers the right to a safe job; and

Whereas, unions and our allies have fought hard to make this promise a reality, winning protections that have made occupations safer, saving hundreds of thousands of lives, and preventing millions of workplace injuries and illnesses; and

Whereas, there still remain too many dangerous job hazards that are unregulated and uncontrolled, putting workers in serious danger; and

Whereas, the labor movement faces enormous challenges in sustaining membership, in organizing, in negotiations and having a strong voice in the workplace; and

Whereas, in order to be successful as unions, we need a strong, coordinated and unified voice at the national, state and local levels; and

Whereas, state federations of labor provide the Labor Movements voice in state capitols and around the country, and central labor councils are the Labor Movements community voice; and

Whereas, children and young adults are increasingly using the Internet, social media and other electronic forms of communication; and

Whereas, incidents of cyber bullying are growing more prevalent and harmful to many students; and

Whereas, problems resulting from cyber bullying often arise in schools, demanding more staff time while posing a threat to a safe and positive school climate; and