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50,000 Stronger and Beyond

WHEREAS:

      AFSCME leaders came together in January to assess AFSCME’s position for the future. They concluded that we must build on previous efforts to grow the union, build political power, strengthen our affiliates, and build partnerships with allies. Our leaders recognized that these goals are achievable only with a strong local union foundation of leaders and activists.  They launched the 50,000 Stronger internal organizing campaign; and

WHEREAS:

      The 50,000 Stronger campaign set the following goals:

  • Each AFSCME council and local will sign up at least 30 percent of current represented non-members by the convention. We will sign up at least 50,000 new members in all.
  • We will train 800 Volunteer Member Organizers (VMOs) to get the job done.
  • We will take full advantage of technology to communicate with activists and engage those who are not active in our struggles.
  • We will bring the urgency of what’s at stake to the worksites, communities and kitchen tables of workers we represent.
  • The national union will coordinate and support these efforts with VMO training and sharing of best practices; and

WHEREAS:

      Our ability to fight for and protect jobs that sustain our families and provide basic respect and dignity in the workplace is directly related to the size and activism of AFSCME membership.  We understand that a larger, active membership will dramatically strengthen our power at bargaining tables, in city halls, in state capitols, and in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS:

      The threats to our collective bargaining laws from anti-worker politicians and from court cases, particularly Harris v. Quinn, prompted this unprecedented union-wide internal organizing effort; and

WHEREAS:

      Leaders across the country rolled up their sleeves and embraced the goals of the 50,000 Stronger campaign. They provided an example of what solidarity, commitment, and unity of purpose can achieve; and

WHEREAS:

      In less than six months, AFSCME activists signed up tens of thousands new members, knocking on more than 100,000 doors. We visited workers at their worksites and we built workplace committees that are ready for whatever challenge we face next. AFSCME councils and local unions refined their membership lists to communicate more effectively and implemented data systems that provide the best information for effective workplace organizing; and

WHEREAS:

      This work tapped into an acknowledgement that working families are falling behind and must unite to stop the race to the bottom. The delegates to the 2006 AFSCME convention charged us with internal organizing standards in the Power to Win plan. These include 90 percent membership for locals with collective bargaining rights, 70 percent membership for locals with collective bargaining rights hampered by right-to-work laws, and majority membership for locals without collective bargaining rights.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

      We will continue this unprecedented mobilization and use what we have built to achieve our goals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

      We will turn our efforts to organizing our membership and the unorganized like never before; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

      Local unions will develop annual plans to meet and maintain the membership levels set forth in the Power to Win; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

      Local unions will organize unorganized workers within their jurisdiction and continue to recruit Volunteer Member Organizers for council and national organizing and political campaigns; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

      Councils will support local union organizing efforts and grow by 3 percent annually; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

      The national union will support the training and development of council staff and local union leaders with the best practices identified during the 50,000 Stronger campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

            The national union will use Volunteer Member Organizers to achieve the two percent growth goal established in the Power to Win.

SUBMITTED BY:

Patrick Moran, President and Delegate
AFSCME Council 3
Maryland

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