AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

PROMOTE THE AFT'S REPORT ON GENDER DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

WHEREAS, women are becoming a bigger part of the higher education landscape both as students and as faculty members; and

WHEREAS, despite making significant inroads into academia, women faculty members still find their compensation lagging behind their male counterparts in comparable fields and academic ranks; and

WHEREAS, women are still significantly underrepresented in some academic fields, especially in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; and

WHEREAS, women are still subjected to assumptions and practices that act as barriers to educational pathways in certain fields and to professional advancement; and

WHEREAS, sexual harassment remains a significant problem for women, one that impacts academic success and professional development:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will encourage its affiliates to promote the findings and recommendations embodied in the AFT higher education program and policy council's report on faculty diversity, titled Promoting Gender Diversity in the Faculty: What Higher Education Unions Can Do; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, in accordance with the recommendations of the report, will encourage local higher education affiliates to: (1) conduct an in-depth inventory of diversity activities on campus; (2) form a diversity committee to coordinate the union's efforts; (3) develop achievable plans of action for pursuing these goals; and (4) incorporate diversity activities into the collective bargaining contract; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its local higher education affiliates will engage in activities that promote the hiring and retention of women in the academic workforce. These include:

  • Working with the administration to develop and implement a campus-based diversity mission and strategic plan;
  • Educating hiring committees about promoting gender diversity within the institution, and establishing protocols—through collective bargaining when possible—for the search and hiring process;
  • Establishing collective bargaining mechanisms that will ensure equitable compensation for new hires;
  • Utilizing the AFT's Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) campaign to promote better faculty jobs on campus through political advocacy and collective bargaining;
  • Promoting the inclusion of women in union leadership;
  • Engaging college and university administrators on issues and policies that will help female faculty members succeed;
  • Promoting family-friendly policies that provide professional supports for faculty members with children; and
  • Engaging, supporting and mentoring young women who may be thinking of entering academia, especially young women who are interested in careers in the STEM fields; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will redouble its efforts to ensure that women in the workforce are given the same opportunities and equitable compensation relative to their male peers, and to educate the public about the importance of equal rights for women within the educational system and within the workplace.


(2012)