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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

AFSCME’S Unity Agenda for 2009

Resolution No. 86
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

In January 2009, with the prospect of Democrats in control of the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in almost a generation, and of increasingly progressive leadership in the states, AFSCME will have an historic opportunity to advance a visionary agenda for our members and all workers; and

Recognizing this historic moment, the union has prepared a comprehensive federal legislative, executive branch and regulatory agenda for 2009; and

One key element of AFSCME’s agenda is supporting the vital public services our members provide by restoring fairness to our tax system, restoring and increasing the federal government’s investment in those public services and by eliminating the “shadow government” created by the privatization of essential federal, state and local services during the Bush administration; and

Another key element is making the economy work for workers by creating jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits and ensuring that trade agreements contain strong and enforceable human rights, labor, safety and health and environmental protections and that these agreements do not infringe on the ability of state and local governments to set their own policies on subsidies and procurement; and

We must also insist on the appointment and confirmation of government officials who respect workers’ rights and who will enforce labor laws, undo the damage done to those laws in the past eight years, including erosion of the Fair Labor Standards Act, limits on the right of state employees to take labor law violations to court, inaction on emerging workplace safety and health issues, and distortion of tax laws that enable employers to exploit workers; and

Our success in preventing the privatization of Social Security in 2005 laid the groundwork for a broader effort in 2009 to protect and strengthen that essential safety net and make it fair for public sector retirees by reforming the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, and for our fight to protect and expand defined benefit pension plans and prevent their conversion to less secure defined contribution plans; and

2009 is also our chance to, finally, win quality, affordable health care for all by ensuring universal coverage, controlling costs, preserving patients’ right to choose their doctors, expanding and improving public programs and ending unfair subsidies to insurance and drug companies; and

To ensure that we never lose the gains we make, we must make sure that all workers have the right to organize and solidify our political freedoms so that every vote counts, public service workers have full political rights and unions and their members are able to participate fully in the democratic process.
That in order to realize this vision, AFSCME and its affiliates dedicate ourselves to the election of a Democratic president and progressive officeholders at the federal, state and local level; and

That AFSCME and its affiliates seize the historic opportunity we will have in 2009 to move from a defensive posture to bold and creative action and to undo the damage that has been done to working people and to our country as a whole; and

That we embrace the Unity Agenda for 2009 and dedicate our resources and mobilize our members to making it a reality.