AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, Haiti and Chile both suffered devastating earthquakes in 2010 with the Haitian quake killing as many as 230,000 people, injuring upward of 300,000 and leaving an estimated 1,000,000 homeless; while the more powerful but less deadly quake in Chile and the devastating tsunami that followed left nearly 500 dead and 500,000 homeless; and

WHEREAS, the death and destruction in Haiti, already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, was immeasurably worsened by the lack of building standards as well as basic health and public service infrastructure; while the far lower toll in Chile was at least in part the result of that country's policy of investing in infrastructure, health and public services; and

WHEREAS, Haiti had no national system of education even before this latest disaster, depending on a hodgepodge of mostly private and church schools and leaving poor children little or no access; and

WHEREAS, in the immediate aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, the outpouring of aid from the rest of the world, both from nations and individuals, was enormous; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the outpouring of support from the American people and specifically from members of the American Federation of Teachers, especially the AFT-affiliated Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (VFNHP) and other AFT healthcare professionals, who demonstrated the most basic form of solidarity by providing much needed medical expertise in Haiti; and

WHEREAS, the Chilean government, with some international assistance, has managed to overcome much of the devastation from the earthquake that struck their nation, Haiti still needs international support, and that support must have a goal beyond simply restoring the country's infrastructure to the low level that existed before:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers encourage the U.S. government, working with the other wealthy nations of the world, to provide long-term development assistance to Haiti with the goal of developing systems of health, public services and free, universal education, the sort of infrastructure that will offer Haitians a real chance of escaping the bonds of poverty; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, in coordination with the AFL-CIO, International Trade Union Confederation and other relevant NGOs, work closely with counterpart education, healthcare and public services unions in Haiti, particularly members of Education International and Public Services International, to help them play a role in the development of their nation and of a public infrastructure that serves all of the people; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to work with our long-time partner, the Colegio de Profesores de Chile, as well as Public Services International members in Chile, to find ways to provide support and assistance in helping them deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.