July 25, 2012

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UUP delegates head to Motown


Vice President Joe Biden is singing our praises.

The vice president—an outspoken proponent of public education and investing in public services—will address more than 3,000 education, healthcare and public employee professionals from across the country, including nearly 60 from UUP, during the AFT Convention in Motown July 27-30.

Biden will be joined in Detroit by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who is a community college teacher, when he addresses the biennial convention Sunday afternoon at the Cobo Center.

UUP delegates are also headed to Detroit to debate dozens of proposed resolutions that will set the stage for the national federation, and to elect AFT officers and board members. Atop the agenda: engaging with students to address college affordability issues and the disinvestment of states in supporting higher education.

AFT President Randi Weingarten will kick off the convention with a keynote address Friday morning. Her comments will center on the challenges facing educators, health care providers and public employees amid anti-worker attacks and budget cuts that have led to layoffs and loss of services.

The UUPers will ask their union colleagues to back five UUP-sponsored resolutions that call on AFT to:

  • Join NYSUT and UUP in protecting jobs and services at SUNY Downstate;
  • Urge the NY Board of Regents and the State Education Department (SED) to work with union, university and education leaders regarding teacher certification exams, curricula changes, and additional faculty training;
  • Work with SED to develop a fair preK-20 data collection system;
  • Send letters to members of Congress urging them to reauthorize the 2011 Violence Against Women Act; and
  • Oppose any U.S. military action against Iran.

Other notables scheduled to speak are best-selling author and education historian at New York University Diane Ravitch, New York Times columnist Charles Blow, United Auto Workers President Bob King, Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony, and activists Betty Dukes and Sandra Fluke.

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