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Resolutions & Amendments

Other International Executive Board Resolutions

AFSCME, Public Services and the Private Sector

International Executive Board, 2012


For decades, governments at all levels have experimented with the provision of public services through for-profit contractors, non-profit agencies and a host of other entities. During difficult economic times, the push to privatize increased dramatically, with the promise of savings that never materialized; and


While savings have not materialized, privatization has frequently led to the loss of union representation, cuts in wages and benefits, or both; and


AFSCME recognizes the importance of focusing on the work our members do and not who employs them.  Public services are not public services because of who the employer is, but because the work done is for the public good.  All of our members – public, private, non-profit – provide public services; and


AFSCME affiliates have organized and utilized tools, such as successorship language, to “follow the work” wherever it went when public operations have been privatized, contracted out or sold or leased.  We recognized that the erosion of union density was our greatest enemy.


AFSCME will continue to fight to ensure that public services are operated by and for the public, regardless of whether provided by private or public employers. AFSCME will fight to ensure that any workers performing public functions are treated and compensated fairly.  We will combat any attacks on collective bargaining right or the right to organize workers who provide these services; and


AFSCME will also demand accountability, transparency and a commitment to quality services from employers that provide public services, regardless of whether they are government entities or private sector contractors. AFSCME will ensure that the people are the priority – the people who use public services and the people who provide public services.