Delegates at the American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) national convention have voted overwhelmingly to re-elect AFT President Randi Weingarten for a third term. Lorretta Johnson was also re-elected Secretary-Treasurer, and Mary Cathryn Ricker was chosen to succeed Executive Vice-President Francine Lawrence, who plans to retire this year.
The biennial convention was held from 11-14 July at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The union also elected 43 vice presidents representing each of the AFT's divisions: K-12 teachers, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel, higher education faculty and professional staff, public employees, and healthcare workers.
Leaders dedicated to a just society
“Over the coming two years, we will work to achieve all these dreams—of a more just society, an economy that works for all Americans, healthcare that puts patients ahead of profits, and public education from early childhood through to 16 and more that nurtures the potential of every student in every way,” said Weingarten. “But dreaming does not mean dozing. We are leaving this convention charged up. Fired up.”
Johnson added: “Let us not waver in our commitment to make sure that every child, no matter their ZIP code, gets an amazing public education. Let us not falter in our fight to collectively bargain for wages and benefits.” Johnson has held the position of AFT Secretary-Treasurer since 2011.
Earlier in the convention, the more than 3,500 delegates passed a series of resolutions and special orders of business to increase educational and economic opportunity, including:
· Creating a Healthcare System That Puts Patient Care Above Profits
· Safe and Effective Nurse Staffing Saves Lives, Prevents Errors
· Ending the Exploitation of and the Reliance on a Contingent Academic Labour System in Higher Education
· Support U.S. Postal Workers: Boycott Staples
· Our Commitment to Fighting Back and Fighting Forward
· The Role of Standards in Public Education
· Real Accountability for Equity and Excellence in Public Education