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Resolutions & Amendments

35th International Convention - Las Vegas, NV (2002)

Unemployment Insurance Devolution

Resolution No. 40
35th International Convention
June 24 - 28, 2002
Las Vegas, NV


Reform of the nation's employment security system, to make it more responsive to the modern economy, is long overdue; and


AFSCME, along with other representatives of organized labor, state agencies and the employer community, negotiated a consensus package of unemployment insurance reforms; and


The consensus reform package was a balanced one that improved access to unemployment insurance benefits for low wage and part-time workers, guaranteed adequate administrative funding based on workload needs and repealed a small part of the federal unemployment tax; and


President Bush has submitted an unemployment insurance reform plan that turns its back on the consensus reform package. President Bush's so-called "New Balance" plan really is a "No Balance" plan that gives employers a $35.5 billion tax cut and provides no improvements for workers; and


President Bush's plan also would transfer to the states the full cost and responsibility for state unemployment insurance and employment services operations. This devolution of responsibility will put pressure on state benefit policies without ensuring that states will have adequate resources to finance their administrative costs.


That AFSCME urges Congress to reject President Bush's devolution plan and to adopt, instead, a balanced reform plan that builds on the framework of the consensus reform package and provides meaningful improvements in the employment security system for workers.


Bill Fendel, President and Delegate
Kathy Hanratty, Secretary
AFSCME Council 24