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Resolution No. 19 - Protecting Members' Rights

Protecting Members’ Rights
Submitted by: IFT Executive Board

WHEREAS, anti-labor corporate interest groups are working under the pretext of education reform and taxpayer rights to attack unions, limit collective bargaining rights, and ultimately  dismantle all public sector unions; and

WHEREAS, the economic and fiscal constraints confronting school districts, local and state governments, and public colleges and universities create pressure to maintain services with fewer resources, erode public confidence in the quality and effectiveness of public services, and accelerate the trend toward privatization and contracting out of public services as a quick-fix solution; and

WHEREAS, it is incumbent on the Illinois Federation of Teachers to support members in organizing their communities to fight these attacks so as to defend our members, students, schools, taxpayers, communities, and the continued promise of public education and public services; and

WHEREAS, to ensure a high-quality work force, the union must play a role in developing and/or implementing quality effective recruiting and hiring practices, strong induction and mentoring programs, high-quality professional development, meaningful evaluation, and, when necessary, fair, timely intervention and dismissal procedures; and

WHEREAS, due process ensures employment-related decisions are made fairly and, during layoffs, will ensure fairness, security, and transparency by preventing employers from manipulating the layoff order to suit personal preferences or biases and to prevent employers from seeking to lay off the most senior employees as a cost-cutting measure; and

WHEREAS, unrepresented employees have no control over their working conditions, ironic especially for Chicagoans where one of the most significant union-related incidents in the history of organized labor, Chicago's famed Haymarket incident of May 4, 1886, was sparked by workers' demands for the eight-hour work day; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) aggressively promotes legislation that guarantees full representation rights well beyond the National Labor Relations Act by restoring members’ rights under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act for all employees who are employed in tax-supported public schools and agencies; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT supports candidates whose platforms include fighting to ensure such representation, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT works to maintain and improve worker quality along with enhancing our profession and protecting the rights of our profession; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the IFT continues to provide support to defend against attacks on our members in every constituency as they arise – an attack on one is an attack on all regardless of whether it is an attack on public employees, health professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and/or preK-12 educators and staff.

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