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Resolutions & Amendments

42nd International Convention - Las Vegas, NV (2016)

Strengthening Social Security

Resolution No. 33
42nd International Convention
Las Vegas Convention Center
July 18 - 22, 2016
Las Vegas, NV


In 1935, President F.D. Roosevelt, with strong support from unions and the labor movement, designed Social Security to provide benefits to retired workers and their families, to their spouses and their dependents, and to those workers who become disabled and their families; and


Republicans and other conservatives have targeted Social Security for massive reform, including reducing benefits, raising the retirement age, reducing COLAs, and allowing investment in private accounts. In 2005, as Republicans and conservatives blamed Social Security for the nation’s economic problems, President Bush tried to overhaul Social Security and create private investment accounts, which would have drained money from the Social Security Trust Fund and worsened its solvency; and


Social Security benefits represent at least 90% of the income for a large proportion of the elderly, African Americans, Hispanics and unmarried women who receive such benefits. Overall, Social Security benefits represent 41% of the income of beneficiaries age 65 and over. The poverty rate for beneficiaries would rise from 10% to 46% without Social Security benefits. After the meltdown of the stock market, pension plans, 401(k) s, IRAs and home values, program beneficiaries, including over 3 million children, will depend more heavily than ever on Social Security's modest benefits; and


Currently, Social Security provides an average of $1,265 a month, which is not enough to cover the current cost of living expenses in most states.


That AFCSME will lobby the White House and Congress to create reforms that will help strengthen and achieve long-term solvency for Social Security (for example, increasing FICA by 1% will balance Social Security for another 75 years), increase the amount of benefits to create a strong foundation for retirement and ensure protections for those most in need; and


That AFSCME will join forces with concerned organizations to develop a common strategy that will help to strengthen, expand and protect Social Security, and work for a strategy that will allow a dignified retirement for all working people and their families.


SUBMITTED BY: Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate

Egbert Isaacs, Delegate

Sheera S. Glass, Delegate

Thomas Orawiec, Delegate

Juliet White, Delegate

AFSCME Local 154, District Council 37

New York