After a long stream of delegates shared their stories of success, counting up thousands of recommitted members and new members, it was clear that three resolutions related to member engagement and the future of the union would pass when they came to a vote on Sunday.
The educators of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., were honored with the AFT’s Heroes Award during the Saturday afternoon general session. On Feb. 14, 2018, 14 students and three educators lost their lives at the school, and more were injured.
Pennsylvania lawmakers from both houses of Congress offered their greetings to delegates on Saturday morning. Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Mike Doyle, both Democrats, thanked AFT members for the work they do every day, and encouraged them to continue living the theme of this year’s convention: Care, fight, show up and, most importantly, vote.
The opioid crisis affects all AFT members whether they are health professionals, educators, or public employees. A joint breakfast on Saturday morning brought the divisions together to address the crisis.
Convention delegates were treated to a 15-minute performance by the Dr. Manuel de la Pila Iglesias High School choir from Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Friday morning. The students were invited to perform at this year’s convention after AFT President Randi Weingarten visited the high school on one of several trips to the island to offer support. Weingarten surprised the students and their choral director, Maria Teresa Morales, with the announcement last December.
The AFT’s five membership divisions met this afternoon and discussed such issues as professional development for teachers, safe staffing levels in hospitals, threats to our nation’s democracy and attacks on public sector employees worldwide. Running through these discussions were delegates’ concerns about the quality of services for students and everyone we serve.