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SUPPORT PHILADELPHIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS TO PROTECT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) and the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement that expired on August 31, 2013; and WHEREAS, since 2001, the School Reform Commission has negotiated four successive collective bargaining agreements with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, all without the necessity of intervention by any court; and WHEREAS, the SRC has filed a Petition with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania requesting permission to unilaterally implement changes to certain provisions of the collective bargaining agreement affecting, seniority, layoffs, recall, staffing levels  and subcontracting; and WHEREAS, the SRC has refused to continue to bargain over these and other matters contained in the longstanding and successive collective bargaining agreements between the Parties; and WHEREAS, the SRC is asking the Supreme Court for extraordinary relief that would undermine the process and procedure of collective bargaining and trample upon the hard won collective bargaining rights of every public employee throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and WHEREAS, this is but another attempt by a Philadelphia public employer to obtain leverage by judicial intervention to affect the collective bargaining process to the detriment of a Union and the workers that the Union represents; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO assembled at its Constitutional Convention, together with all of its affiliated organizations, who collectively represent over eight hundred thousand working men and women throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including public sector employees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its school districts, hereby condemn this cynical attempt by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia  to circumvent and undermine  the collective bargaining process between the District and the Federation; and THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Delegates in this Constitutional Convention demand that the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia immediately withdraw this flagrantly anti-union and anti-collective bargaining legal action in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; and THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO join with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and all those individuals, public officials and Labor Organizations who place historic and immediate value on unions being a voice of workers at the workplace in asking that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court deny the Petition of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and not place itself in the posture of disturbing the process and practice of Collective Bargaining. Read More


SUPPORTING COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM IN THE UNITED STATES WHEREAS, America’s immigration system is badly broken; and WHEREAS, it penalizes too many people whose only crime is trying to make a better life for themselves and their families; and WHEREAS, the current system hurts all workers as our collective strength is undermined; and WHEREAS, work is not a crime; and WHEREAS, guest worker visa programs undercut wages and working conditions for all workers, including U.S. Read More


SUPPORT FOR UPMC WORKERS ORGANIZING WITH SEIU AND THE “MAKE IT OUR UPMC” CAMPAIGN WHEREAS, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has grown from a regional hospital system into a $10 Billion global health enterprise accruing more than $1 Billion in profits over the last two years, employing over 55,000 people as the largest private sector employer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and While UPMC pays more than 20 executives over $1 Million dollars annually and provides them with amenities like a corporate chef and a $50 Million corporate jet, many UPMC service workers earn poverty wages, rely on food banks to feed their families, and go into debt to UPMC when they use its hospitals for care; and Workers at UPMC hoping to organize a union with SEIU to create family supporting jobs have faced aggressive union busting, leading to two massive complaints issued by the National Labor Relations Board alleging illegal firings, surveillance, and discipline of workers for talking about making change at work; and UPMC has the support of the National Right To Work Foundation and has encouraged workers to collaborate with Right To Work; and UPMC claims it is a tax-exempt public charity and resists paying its fair share to support public services and education in local communities; and UPMC intends to exclude patients with the Highmark / Blue Cross Blue Shield from in-network access to its hospitals and doctors, in a power play to build a near hospital monopoly which could drive up health care costs for working people across Pennsylvania; and Hospital workers have reached out to unions, community organizations, people of faith, and elected leaders to hold UPMC accountable to Pennsylvania standards of fairness, resulting in a growing “Make It Our UPMC” campaign and a rally of over two thousand people in downtown Pittsburgh on March 3-4, 2014; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO: Endorses the “Make It Our UPMC” campaign led by hospital workers to achieve a minimum wage of $15 per hour, the relief of medical debt for UPMC workers forced into debt to their own employer, and the fundamental human right to form a union without interference by management, Salutes the courage of UPMC workers standing up for their rights in the face of union busting, Recognizes the leadership of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Southwest Pennsylvania and Northwest Pennsylvania Area Labor Federations, and Allegheny County Labor Council, as well as numerous local unions across Pennsylvania, that have consistently supported the UPMC workers, Supports the goal of healthcare access and choice for working people across Pennsylvania, so that no hospital system integrated with a health insurance plan may have the power to lock out patients from access to facilities and doctors of their choice just because they hold the wrong insurance card, and Urges local unions and their health and welfare funds to patronize union friendly health systems and insurance plans. Read More