Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO

Resolution #21 - 38 of the 29th Biennial Convention

RESOLUTION 21

       IN OPPOSITION TO SEQUESTRATION


WHEREAS sequestration is just a fancy name for across-the board budget cuts; and

WHEREAS across-the-board budget cuts called sequestration will cost more than 1 million jobs this year and many more jobs over the next decade. There is a simple solution to make this problem go away: repeal sequestration. It is that simple, and

WHEREAS extremist lawmakers are using sequestration as leverage to get their way in Congress. They want to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits and gut essential services working people depend on, while protecting tax breaks for Wall Street and the richest 1% of Americans, now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The solution is to repeal sequestration—not replace it—so we can put these manufactured crises behind us and focus on the urgent problems of putting America back to work, raising wages and reducing economic inequality, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will ask affiliates to mobilize their members to contact members of Congress and tell them to repeal sequestration.

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Resolutions
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

RESOLUTION 22

             IN SUPPORT OF PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS

WHEREAS a project labor agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire, uniform agreement for a particular project that standardizes schedules, work rules and other terms and conditions among various crafts for the length of the project, and provides for dispute resolution procedures as alternatives to strikes and lockouts, and

WHEREAS a PLA provides stable relationships between employers and employees, between owners and general contractors, and between general contractors and various subcontractors, thus being in the public interest, and

WHEREAS PLA’s benefit everyone involved: the employer (whether public or private sector), developers, contractors, workers, unions, local and state economies, and the public. PLAs are a valuable construction management tool for project planning and labor cost reduction. They offer direct and indirect cost savings to the state and taxpayers, and

WHEREAS recent studies demonstrate that PLAs do not discriminate against employers and workers, do not limit the pool of bidders, and do not raise construction costs and that such claims by opponents are based on inadequate data and faulty methodology, and

WHEREAS PLAs require that all successful bidders — union and non-union — become PLA signatories. This practice of restrictive subcontracting does not make PLAs unfair to non-contractors but it does meet an important public interest. Restrictive subcontracting is sanctioned by the National Labor Relations Act, along with pre-hire bargaining, to accommodate the particular conditions of the construction industry and, in particular, to provide contractors with a ready access to skilled labor, help contractors predict costs, and promote labor harmony and productivity on construction job sites, and

WHEREAS there is an important difference between private and public-sector PLAs. In the private sector, PLAs can be union-only agreements with subcontracting limited to employers who are signatories to the appropriate craft agreement or agreements. Public-sector PLAs must comply with competitive bidding statutes and cannot lawfully exclude non-union contractors from bidding. Restrictive subcontracting in the context of public-sector PLAs means that all successful bidders, union and non-union, are required, as a condition of receiving the award, to be signatory to the PLA; they need not be signatory to a union area or craft agreement, and.
 

WHEREAS Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the National Labor Relations Board have all recognized that restrictive subcontracting and pre-hire negotiations are essential practices of construction industry collective bargaining.
 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will engage in educational efforts among its affiliated locals and councils, and with community allies to mobilize and win broad support for passage of legislation to require PLA’s in state building and construction contracts.
 

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Legislation
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

RESOLUTION 23

                              IN SUPPORT OF PREVAILING WAGE LAWS

WHEREAS the prevailing wage law ensures that workers on public construction projects paid for with taxpayer dollars are paid a wage comparable to the local average or "prevailing" wage.

WHEREAS state prevailing wage laws were enacted as early as 1891, when Kansas instituted the first such law. State prevailing wage laws share a common history being enacted as part of general reform efforts to improve working conditions at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Today, 31 states, Maryland the District of Columbia have prevailing wage laws of their own.

WHEREAS it was the Great Depression that energized a Republican Congress and a Republican President, Herbert Hoover, to pass the Davis–Bacon Act in 1931. The legislative history of the state prevailing wage laws and the federal Davis-Bacon Act reflects a clear desire by lawmakers to reserve jobs on tax payer funded projects for skilled local workers and to maintain local wage standards.

WHEREAS the Davis–Bacon Act was amended in 1935 to ensure that contractors bidding on public works projects would not lower wages in order to achieve a lower bid; and to permit government agencies, which were required to accept the lowest bids, to employ contractors who paid a fair wage.

WHEREAS the law prevents unscrupulous contractors from low-balling bids and undercutting community wages with cheap, unskilled labor, and it makes sure work is done by skilled well-trained local workers. These requirements ensure high-quality construction work and help prevent cost overruns.

WHEREAS several published studies demonstrate states that repealed the prevailing wage law experienced lower wages for all construction workers, reduced incomes for other workers in industries located in the state (the indirect, or induced, impact of repeal), reduced health and pension benefits for construction workers and eventual increased costs to state and local communities, reduced sales tax revenues to the state and regional economies, reduced corporate income taxes increased occupational injuries and their associated costs, increased construction work done by out-of-state contractors, lower productivity of the construction workforce, and weakened system of construction apprenticeship training.

WHEREAS prevailing wage laws are under attack by corporate groups, anti-union businesses and the politicians they support,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO strongly supports maintaining and expanding the applicability of the prevailing wage laws to all state, county, local municipalities and school construction projects and to remove Maryland’s existing threshold and percentage requirements.

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Committee on Political Education
Convention Action: APPROVED

RESOLUTION 24
             IN SUPPORT OF RESPONSIBLE ENERGY AND JOB CREATION


WHEREAS energy independence and our response to global warming are inextricably related to the economic, environmental and national security interest of the United States. The production, transportation and distribution of energy are critical to the success of America's manufacturing, transportation, construction and service industries, and


WHEREAS addressing climate change is a path to a brighter future, only if it is a path to an economy that works for the majority: those who seek good jobs, economic security and healthy communities. Our unions are committed to a regulatory regime that results in healthy environment and good jobs, and
 

WHEREAS the AFL-CIO supports a comprehensive energy policy focused on investing in our
nation’s future, creating jobs and addressing the threat of climate change. It is clear that for the
foreseeable future Maryland and the country will continue to use a wide range of energy sources—including both traditional sources like coal, oil and natural gas, and newer sources like wind, solar and nuclear, and

WHEREAS as the mix of energy sources used in the world economy changes, workers in the energy and industrial sectors are at risk of bearing the full cost of that change. The emerging energy policies must provide a just transition for workers and their communities that will be harmed due to changing energy sources and technologies, and to make the investments needed to power Maryland’s long-term manufacturing competitiveness. Today, (2012 data) Maryland’s electric power comes from coal (42.7 percent), nuclear (35.9 percent), natural gas (13.1 percent) and renewables (7.9 percent). Two thirds of Maryland’s renewable energy is hydro (dams and water) with most of the rest coming from burning wood, trash and chicken litter. Slightly more than 1 percent of Maryland’s energy is from wind and solar, and

WHEREAS as new sources of energy come on line—from wind to natural gas to new oil fields—new, properly designed and safe infrastructure must be built to transport that energy to market. The manufacturing, building, construction and maintenance of new and remediated utility facilities; the design, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining pipelines and transport systems; and the economic activity that is generated by reliable supplies of energy creates thousands of jobs.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO supports measures that ensure that energy infrastructure development creates good jobs and builds our industrial base by requiring project labor agreements, Buy Union and Buy America provisions, labor peace, card check neutrality and robust training requirements for all projects.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO in facing the challenge of impacting energy policies embraces a balanced and just approach for workers, communities, manufacturers, businesses and consumers and will continue to work with community, business and environmental allies committed to recognizing the need to maintain a wide range of energy sources, traditional and newer, to secure Maryland’s and the District of Columbia’s competitiveness.

AND FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO recognizes the seriousness of these issues for our ability to maintain and create good jobs and environmental sustainability and will expand the focus of the Legislative Energy Committee to develop deeper expertise and leadership on energy and environmental issues and their broader implications for working people.

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Committee on Political Education
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

 RESOLUTION 25
                  IN SUPPORT OF THE PAPER MILL INDUSTRY


WHEREAS renewable portfolio standards (RPS), also referred to as renewable electricity standards (RES), are policies designed to increase generation of electricity from renewable resources. These policies require or encourage electricity producers within a given jurisdiction to supply a certain minimum share of their electricity from designated renewable resources. Generally, these resources include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and some types of hydroelectricity, but may include other resources such as landfill gas, municipal solid waste, and tidal energy, and
 

WHEREAS renewable electricity credit (REC) trading system is structured to minimize the costs of compliance with RPS. Electricity producers who generate more renewable electricity than required to meet its own RPS obligation may either trade or sell RECs to other electricity suppliers who may not have enough RPS-eligible renewable electricity to meet their own RPS requirement, and
 

WHEREAS 30 States, including Maryland and the District of Columbia have enforceable RPS or other mandated renewable capacity policies, and
 

WHEREAS, the purpose of Maryland’s and D.C.’s original energy Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation was to:
(1) recognize the economic, environmental, fuel diversity, and security benefits of renewable energy resources;
(2) establish a market for electricity from these resources; and
(3) lower the cost to consumers of electricity produced from these resources.

WHEREAS biomass plays a critical role in our regions and our country’s renewable energy portfolio by providing low-cost base-load energy that benefits consumers and enhances the reliability of renewable energy.

WHEREAS discriminating against wood biomass will cost Maryland consumers at least $4 million in 2014 in needless increases in REC costs and much more than that in the coming years as the market absorbs the severely reduced supply of RECs and the required percentages of renewable energy more than double by 2022, and

WHEREAS electricity costs for D.C. consumers and businesses will significantly increase because electricity suppliers use Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to comply with the RPS and removing existing biomass energy from Tier I will significantly reduce the REC supply, just as the mandated level of renewable energy more than doubles by 2017. The D.C. Public Service Commission recently reported in April that wind RECs are much more expensive than biomass – 69% higher than wood waste RECs, and 38% higher than black liquor, and

WHEREAS biomass energy is not “crowding out” wind or other energy. In fact, 58% of qualified renewable energy credits in Maryland are for wind, while only 15% is for biomass and more than 99 percent of Maryland’s wind power credits in 2011 went to out-of-state sources, and

WHEREAS the paper industry has perfected the reclamation and usage of black liquor (a mixture of spent cooking chemicals and dissolved wood material used to produce biomass energy) into the paper making process in an environmentally safe and productive manner, and

WHEREAS Maryland has one paper mill employing over 800 workers represented by United Steel Workers, in Western Maryland, that is in serious jeopardy of closing if biomass is removed from Tier 1 renewables, and

WHEREAS Maryland and District of Columbia are progressive leaders on environmental policy, we should not be the first and only jurisdiction setting a policy based on false premises, raising people’s electricity costs and causing other unintended harm for no good reason, and

WHEREAS we cannot be advocating for renewable energy sources that sustain family-supportive jobs and then cut-off the legs of paper manufacturing for doing what we want all industries to be doing, and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will oppose any legislation that removes biomass as a Tier 1 renewable energy source and removes it from the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
 

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Industrial Safety
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

 RESOLUTION 26

                                    SUPPORT THE NATIONAL LABOR COLLEGE


WHEREAS it is the stated mission of the National Labor College “to make higher education available to workers” and “to serve as a center for progressive thought and union learning”; and

WHEREAS for over forty years – initially as the George Meany Center for Labor Studies and since 1997 as the National Labor College – it has served a key role in training union leadership for the unique challenges of the modern world; and

WHEREAS the College has, in recent years, worked to expand its offerings beyond the field of labor studies in order to attract and educate the broad rank and file of the labor movement through new degree programs in business administration, construction management and emergency readiness and response management; and

WHEREAS the College seeks to assist union members and adult family members to advance their level of higher education so that they may excel in their current fields of employment and develop new employment opportunities to secure their futures; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the National Labor College is hereby recognized and acknowledged as the only accredited college fully devoted to furthering the goals and ideals of the American labor movement and is saluted for its outstanding work in that cause, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will popularize the National Labor College and encourage its affiliates to support its programs and services

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Resolutions
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

RESOLUTION 27
                 IN SUPPORT OF DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLANS


WHEREAS a Defined Benefit Pension plan is a pension plan in which an employer promises a specified monthly benefit on retirement that is predetermined by a formula based on the employee's earnings history, tenure of service and age. Many governmental and public entities, and a large number of corporations, negotiated defined benefit plans, oftentimes as a means of compensating workers in lieu of increased pay. A defined benefit plan is 'defined' in the sense that the benefit formula is defined and known in advance.

WHEREAS conversely, with a "defined contribution pension plan", the formula for computing the employer's and employee's contributions is defined and known in advance, but the benefit to be paid out is not known in advance.

WHEREAS over the course of many years and many struggles workers and their unions have fought for and won Defined Benefit Pension Plans to help provide for their security in their senior years and retirement, and

WHEREAS the promise of a Defined Benefit Pension Plan has served as a promise by employers to encourage workers to seek employment with them, versus some other competitor,

WHEREAS unions and the workers that they represent are under fierce attack by employers and governments to retreat on promises made and takeaway this critical benefit under the misguided thinking that austerity is the road to progress, when in reality it is not only harmful to workers but also to their communities,

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will educate workers and the community as to why they should be organized and work for a defined benefit pension plan for all workers, and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will work with its affiliates to educate and mobilize workers at all levels to staunchly resist any and all attacks to takeaway workers Defined Benefit Pension Plans.

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Education and Community Outreach
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

RESOLUTION 28
                               MAINTAINING GOOD JOBS


WHEREAS Maryland’s and the District of Columbia’s economy is highly dependent on U. S. Government spending, and much of it from the Pentagon, in support of war efforts to defend our country; and the resulting jobs have often been good family sustaining jobs with good benefits, however, this spending in current areas and at current levels is projected to decrease, and
 

WHEREAS as a consequence there is a strong probability that U. S. government supported jobs in Maryland and the District of Columbia will shrink, and wages and benefits will be lost, and tax revenues for our states and local communities will decline as U. S. Government military and civilian spending is reduced, and
 

WHEREAS there is and will be a growing need for programs of economic conversion providing alternative union standard jobs to be implemented to meet needed civilian construction, replace and develop public infrastructure, develop green energy projects and 21st century manufacturing methodologies, improve transportation, enhance education, provide universal healthcare, and adequately care for veterans and their families; and
 

WHEREAS appropriate planning and foresight is needed to insure that those now employed in the military sector can be transitioned to sustainable alternative employment, and communities that are today dependent on revenue generated by military spending can create other revenue streams by planning for and promoting the development of these alternative sources of quality jobs; and
 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO recognizes the seriousness of these issues and will engage in increased education among our affiliates and community partners to expand our focus to insure that workers who are at risk of losing their employment are able to transition into new employment that will help maintain a high quality level of support for their families and communities, and
 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will encourage labor representatives on State and Local area Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) to use their voice to insure that these issues are addressed.
 

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Education and Community Outreach
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13


RESOLUTION 29
                      IN SUPPORT OF FILM INDUSTRY INCENTIVES

WHEREAS film production in Maryland was on the brink of extinction prior to the 2011 Film Production Activity Tax Credit and the crews based in Maryland and the District of Columbia were forced to follow their work to states who used funded incentives to grow the film production industry, and

WHEREAS the film crews represented by the IATSE 486 and the actors represented by the SAG/AFTRA are recognized among the best skilled film professionals in the country, and

WHEREAS the Film Industry is a highly unionized industry providing well-paying jobs with quality health care benefits and pensions and has been contributing to Maryland’s and the District’s economies for decades, and

WHEREAS the film industry is so much broader than the crew, actors and production staff. It supports hundreds of small businesses with thousands of employees. Caterers, grocery stores, lumber companies, cleaners, florists, boutiques and antiques dealers, and other businesses get a profit boost and Maryland and the District get positive public relations and tourism revenues, and

WHEREAS Financial incentives for film and television productions are offered in 46 states and Maryland enacted the Maryland Film Production Employment Act of 2011 and at a recent hearing the DC City Council announced it is seriously considering expanding its incentive program and creating a Soundstage to increase the amount of work and time productions will spend in the District, and
 

WHEREAS, Maryland’s Film Rebate Program was a very good investment and brought instant success as reported by Department of Business and Economic Development, the 2011 Tax Credit Legislation netted $232M in economic impact, 5,629 local hires and 5,385 Maryland vendors being used by productions, and IATSE and reports their crews are back home in Maryland and membership is growing
 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will support expansion of film incentives that grow the film industry in Maryland and the District of Columbia by providing good family sustaining jobs with benefits fuels the economy, benefits thousands of small businesses and supports the hospitality, restaurant and entertainment sectors.

Submitted by: IATSE 487 Committee: Legislation
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

 

RESOLUTION 30

                    IN SUPPORT OF POWER PLANT COMPETITIVENESS

WHEREAS Maryland, along with eight other northeast states participates in the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) cap-and-trade program RGGI, which took effect in 2009 as a part of the 2006 Healthy Air Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly, and

WHEREAS we support the RGGI climate agreement, and congratulate Maryland and other RGGI states on demonstrating regional leadership in efforts to combat climate change, and

WHEREAS we also congratulate Maryland RGGI sources, mainly the seven large coal-based generating plants that recently invested $2.6 billion to comply with the Maryland Healthy Air Act, in reducing emissions of CO2 by one third, and

WHEREAS RGGI is primarily an energy tax levied on the carbon content of fuels, and a supplemental source of revenues for state energy and environmental programs. Maryland uses RGGI auction revenues to provide low-income electric rate relief, and to support a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, and

WHEREAS Maryland has agreed to reduce the RGGI CO2 cap by 2.5% per year from 2014 to 2018 substantially increasing CO2 allowance prices and auction revenues for the participating states, and

WHEREAS Maryland is geographically unique from other RGGI states due to being surrounded by states that are not part of the RGGI agreement (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and New Jersey), and that compete in the same PJM electric power market that serves Maryland generators, and

WHEREAS the competitive advantage of out-of-state generators will increase substantially with the new RGGI cap putting an estimated 4,900 direct high-wage jobs in the plants and 20,000 total direct and indirect jobs in the utility, rail, transportation and coal sectors at risk if Maryland generating plants are unable to compete, and

WHEREAS the potential loss of Maryland baseload coal generation may jeopardize the reliability of electric power in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and ensuring the reliability of electric power supplies in the National Capital region is a paramount national security concern.

THEREFORE BY IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will request Maryland Senators to request the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conduct an electric reliability assessment of proposed changes to the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) cap-and-trade program and its affect on the reliability of electric power supplies in the National Capital region, including consideration of the issuance of Reliability-Must-Run orders for affected facilities, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED should workers lose their jobs as a result of Maryland’s coal generated power plants downsizing or closing, the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will seek through legislation or executive order the funding of training and retraining and placement in comparable jobs, and extended unemployment insurance if needed.

Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Legislation
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/26/13

 RESOLUTION 31
                                     INCREASING UNION DENSITY

WHEREAS increasing union density is the primary goal of the Maryland and District of Columbia AFL-CIO, we recognize that this literally means increasing the number of workplaces where workers have collective bargaining and enjoy the benefits of a union contract, and

WHEREAS as union members our sense of solidarity and our moral obligation to one another leads us to demonstrate that solidarity in practice by utilizing union shops and services when they are available, and

WHEREAS such support must extend to supporting existing unionized government agencies and working to insure that all government agencies at all state and local levels are unionized and receive our support, and

WHEREAS our governments play critical roles in building and construction projects that improve the lives of all workers and the communities that they live in, our support extends to insuring that these building and construction projects are done union, and

WHEREAS the healthcare industry is a major source of employment in our communities and oftentimes receives government dollars for their operation; our support and solidarity extends to helping insure greater unionization of hospitals and healthcare facilities, and

WHEREAS a growing employment sector of our economies are business engaged in tourism and hospitality and they too, oftentimes receive public dollars for development and expansion, our support extends to helping to insure that workers in these sectors gain the benefits of collective bargaining, and

WHEREAS union density in Maryland and the District of Columbia is at an alarming level and can only be increased with more organizing, now
 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will prioritize organizing the unorganized by supporting affiliates engaged in organizing campaigns and encourage elected leaders to lend their support for such efforts, and
 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIOI will increase its efforts to support organizing by convening an Organizing Roundtable to better inform all of us of organizing efforts and opportunities, and
 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will permanently place on its website a listing of unionized workplaces, and
 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will strongly encourage candidates and elected officials that we endorse to utilize unionized establishments and all services for their fundraisers and other events, and unionized crews and actors for their ads and commercials catering halls and hotels for their fundraisers and other campaign events.
 

Submitted by: 1199SEIU, NNU, Unite Here Local 7 Committee: Organizing
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

RESOLUTION 32

                                 RECLAIMING THE PROMISE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

High-quality public education is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right. Without the foundation a strong education provides, our other rights can never be fully realized. We believe in and stand ready to fight for public education because it is the means by which we help all children dream their dreams and achieve them.

All children—those who have abundant advantages, and those for whom every day is a struggle; those who worry about getting into a good college, and those who worry about their parents getting deported—deserve the opportunity to succeed. The people who work in schools—teachers, support staff, administrators—help students build lives of great purpose and potential by instilling essential knowledge and skills, including critical reasoning, problem-solving and the ability to work with others, and by promoting civic participation.

We are at a critical moment when we must reclaim the promise of public education—not as it is today or was in the past, but what public education can and should be if we are to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed. Americans across the country are waking up to the fact that decades of top-down edicts, mass school closures, privatization, attacks on collective bargaining, high-stakes student testing with sanctions instead of support for teachers, and other “market-oriented” education experiments haven’t moved the needle—at least not in the right direction. Reclaiming the promise of public education means fighting to ensure that neighborhood schools are safe, welcoming places for teaching and learning—and for the students, families and people who work there. Reclaiming the promise means ensuring that teachers are well-prepared, supported, and given time to collaborate with their colleagues.

Reclaiming the promise means enabling educators to teach an engaging curriculum that includes art and music and the sciences. Reclaiming the promise means making sure that kids have access to wraparound services that meet their emotional, social and health needs. We need to ensure that schools are accessible to families, and that parents are welcomed and supported as partners in the education of their children. Finally, we need to ensure that we keep the “public” in public education, and support schools as fundamental components of our communities’ infrastructure.

Taken together, these actions reflect our prescription for ensuring that all kids have the opportunities they need and deserve. This vision may look different community by community, but it has a few common elements. Reclaiming the promise will bring back the joy of teaching and learning. It’s the way to make every public school a place where parents want to send their kids, teachers want to teach and children want to learn. It makes our public schools the center of the community and fulfills their purpose as an anchor of our democracy and a propeller of our economy.

Our movement can be the centerpiece of this vision for our children. Not only are the individuals who work in schools and the education system members of AFL-CIO affiliated unions, but union members are also parents, grandparents, school volunteers and active participants in their communities. In short, all of us are connected to public education. The AFL-CIO is uniquely positioned to join with our affiliates, parents, community and civic leaders.

THEREFORE we resolve as a labor movement to meet the needs of all children and working families by:
• Fighting to ensure that all children have the opportunity to attend great schools that provide a safe and welcoming environment in their own neighborhood, and uniting local labor bodies with parent groups and others to oppose mass school closings that seem to target our most impoverished communities. We will stand together to oppose the failed strategies of so-called market-oriented reforms of privatization, de-professionalization and profit seeking, and instead stand in support of efforts to fix, rather than close, schools; work for safe schools and communities by backing initiatives to reduce gun violence and prevent bullying; and advocate for environmentally healthy buildings that are equipped to support the integration of technology in instruction.
• Educating union members and working families about the importance of engaging curriculum by promoting a greater understanding of the Common Core State Standards and what they mean to their children’s education; mobilizing our members to advocate for implementation of the standards in a way that is fair and fully supported at the federal, state and local levels; raising awareness around the obsession with high-stakes testing and test preparation and the negative effect it is having both on students and on the quality of the overall curriculum; and expanding existing union programs that provide curriculum supports, such as Share My Lesson and First Book.
• Advocating for investment in the teaching profession to ensure that teachers are well-prepared and supported—by working for comprehensive teacher development and evaluation systems that do not deny teachers their due process; increased opportunities for ongoing professional development so they can improve their skills; and provide fair compensation systems.
• Educating our members about the role of community schools and joining with education unions and others to increase the number of community schools—places that bring together wraparound services to help meet the social, emotional, health and nutrition needs of students and families.
• Advocating for a comprehensive, multi-provider system that ensures voluntary access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education and care from birth forward, so our youngest children are ready to succeed when they enter school; and advocating for equitable wages for the early education workforce.
• Mobilizing our members to fight for federal, state and local legislation, policies and funding that ensure our children have the great public schools they deserve.
• Encouraging all unions to seek contract provisions that enable parents and guardians to participate fully in their children’s education, including family and parental leave to attend school meetings and to volunteer in schools.

Submitted by: AFT-MD, Baltimore Teachers Union, Washington Teachers Union
Committee: Education
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

RESOLUTION 33

                     RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE DERUGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

WHEREAS one of the main goals of the Public Service Commission is to protect the consumers of Maryland; and

WHEREAS Verizon and other telecommunications companies continue to seek to weaken and even end the regulation of telecommunications services; and

WHEREAS Verizon is attempting to replace phone line service with wireless service; and

WHEREAS wireless service to the home is not as dependable and doesn’t have the many of the features of a wired connection to the home; and

WHEREAS this could result in the loss of hundreds of union jobs in Maryland;

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO oppose all attempts weaken the regulation of telecommunications

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO oppose the replacing of wire line services with wireless services including Voice Link devices.

Submitted by: CWA Committee: Organizing
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

RESOLUTION 34

                                 REPEAL OF THE U.S. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS TO CUBA
                                            AND OF THE U.S. ECONOMIC EMBARGO

WHEREAS: The U.S. government does not prohibited its citizens from travel to Iran and North Korea, while U.S. Government requires it citizens to have a special license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department for any American who wants to travel to Cuba; and

WHEREAS: Congressman Jose Sarrano. D-NY, has introduced HR 214 into this 113th Congress calling on the U.S. government to lift the trade embargo, and where Congressman Charles Rangel has introduced HR 871 into the 113th Congress calling on the President and Congress to allow free and open travel by Americans to Cuba without restrictions, and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO request that the AFL-CIO call upon congress to initiate legislation that would repeal the economic and political embargo against the Republic of Cuba and broaden diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO call up Cuban government to release all political prisoners, including trade unionist and that the U.S. government release the Cuban Four being held in the U.S. and enter into a dialogue with regard to broadening human and workers’ rights.

Submitted by: Metropolitan Washington Council Committee: Civil and Human Rights
Convention Action: REFFERED TO EXECUTIVE BOARD

RESOLUTION 35

             PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY TAXI FAIR ACCESS LAW TO PROVIDE STANDS AT

              MAJOR HOTELS, LARGE SHOPPING MALLS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS

WHEREAS, there are more than 1,000 licensed taxi drivers providing a valuable transportation service to county residents and tourists alike; and
 

WHEREAS, The National Taxi Works Alliance and the National AFL-CIO have been working with the local TWA of Prince George’s County to organize the taxi drivers of Prince George’s County; and
 

WHEREAS, some of our County’s largest employers and most important tourist destinations restrict or deny employees and visitors access to licensed Prince George’s County taxicabs; and
 

WHEREAS, taxi drivers in Prince Georges County work 60 to 70 hour weeks with no guaranteed income and a profession rated by the US department of Labor as one of the most dangerous in the United States; and
 

WHEREAS, taxi drivers are currently harassed, ticketed, and threatened with arrest by police if they attempt to pick up passengers at major shopping destinations by cruising or stopping by the entrance; and
 

WHEREAS, the “Taxi Fair Access Law” would guarantee drivers have equal access to passengers – both visitors and county residents - in a safe and lawful manner; and
 

WHEREAS, the “Taxi Fair Access Law” would ensure that passengers at the County’s most important destinations can easily access licensed Prince George’s County taxis, be it
 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Maryland State AFL-CIO endorses and supports the efforts of the TWA of Prince George’s County to ensure the establishment of taxi stands at major retail locations, entertainment centers, and hotels through the passage of the Taxi Fair Access Law.

Submitted by: Metropolitan Washington Council Committee: Resolutions
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

 
RESOLUTION 36

          INCREASE VOTER PARTICIPATION IN OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS:

                            SUPPORT VOTE-BY-MAIL LEGISLATION

WHEREAS: The United States Postal Service, misleads the American public, by mis­stating its financial condition, by incorporating the word "bankruptcy" in all of its media "sound bites" and

WHEREAS: The United States Postal Service its friends and N.A.L.C.'s enemies, in Congress, continually misstates the role that taxpayers play, in the financing of the United States Postal Service and

WHEREAS: Only monies derived from Postal services and actual postage, support the United States Postal Service and

WHEREAS: The United States Postal Service is losing major financial support through (facsimiles, e-mail and the like)

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO and all its affiliates continue to stand in support of all National Association of Letter Carriers' (N.A.L.C.) sponsored Vote-By-Mail legislation


Submitted by: NALC Local 176 Committee: Resolutions
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

 RESOLUTION 37

                                      OUR ECONOMY


WHEREAS the economic growth of the 1990s came to an abrupt halt, and we entered the Great Recession of the early 2000’s, we now appear to be in a state of perpetual slow growth, frequent economic downturns of uncertain depth and duration; and,

WHEREAS the manufacturing industry in this country continues to exist in a deep and long-lasting crisis that has already cost us millions of good jobs; and the capitalists and the government officials that do their bidding still find it more profitable to produce goods overseas and ship services off-shore with little regard for the consequences on our communities

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will educate and mobilize to insure that all government supported projects will include incentives for companies that manufacture needed products and goods in Maryland and/or the District of Columbia, but in any case in the United States.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO will support efforts to reform our tax system so that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share; and, strongly opposes any further unwarranted tax cuts for the richest among us or for corporations.

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO supports a federal tax on Wall Street transactions.


Submitted by: Executive Board Committee: Legislation
Convention Action: ADOPTED 10/27/13

RESOLUTION 38

                              OPPOSING MAYOR RAWLINGS-BLAKE’S
                                  DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLAN

WHEREAS the Baltimore Council AFL-CIO and its member affiliates such as AFSCME Council 67, believe strongly that retirement security is vital to all workers, and

WHEREAS 401k type retirement plans have been a failed experiment, which grew out of a tax break for the wealthy that went viral, and

WHEREAS the current traditional defined benefit plan provides more value for each tax dollar spent, and

WHEREAS Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s plan increases cost to Baltimore taxpayers, now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO and its member affiliates strongly oppose the actions of the Mayor in attempting to harm the economic security of future workers by implementing a defined contribution plan, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO, its member affiliates and coalition partners in the Baltimore Families First Campaign will ask the Baltimore City Council to not pass a defined contribution plan for future City workers and instead negotiate in good faith with City Workers and put Baltimore Families First

Submitted by: AFSCME Council 67, City Union of Baltimore Committee: Resolutions
Convention Action: APPROVED 10/27/13

 

 

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