June 27, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Launch of Worldwide Quality Public Services Campaign
AFT President Randi Weingarten returned today from Egypt, where she met in Cairo with leaders of Egyptian unions that were instrumental in the recent political and governmental changes there. She noted that the AFT, as part of its recognition of the vital role of public employees around the world, has joined with the Council of Global Unions in the worldwide “Quality Public Services—Action Now!” campaign. That effort was launched last week on United Nations Public Service Day.
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers joins with workers around the world to launch a new campaign aimed at advancing quality public services in every nation.
The AFT is proud to be a full partner in the Council of Global Union’s “Quality Public Services—Action Now!” campaign to support investment in the services that create jobs and provide the foundation for long-term economic growth. The council is highlighting and supporting essential public services that keep our communities strong and help build sustainable, healthy economies.
From Wisconsin to Cairo, citizens have been fighting efforts to keep workers silent. As public employees in Wisconsin continue their struggle to maintain collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin has been selected as a pilot site in the “Quality Public Services—Action Now!” campaign, through the AFT-affiliated Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals and AFT-Wisconsin.
Defending public services and the workers who provide them is a worldwide challenge, and the AFT is standing with allies around the globe to maintain those services and the rights of public employees. That’s why I led an AFT delegation that visited Egypt to meet with the independent Egyptian unions whose efforts proved decisive in bringing down the corrupt regime that ruled their country for decades.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.