One of three committees established by former UFT president Randi Weingarten as partnerships between the Unity and New Action caucuses, the Social and Economic Justice Committee helps establish union policy on a wide range of non-contractual social and economic issues. We do this by writing resolutions and submitting them to the union’s Advisory Committee, Executive Board and Delegate Assembly for adoption.
Although the committee’s roots are in the Unity and New Action caucuses, today we include members from three different caucuses as well as independents. Our members are brought together by a vision of a more just society and by our belief that our union has a role to play in bringing that society into being. Membership in the committee is open to all UFT members and our decisions are taken by consensus.
We have worked to establish progressive union policy on a wide range of issues including fair trade, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the assassination of trade unionists in Colombia, the environmentally disastrous use of plastic water bottles, discriminatory "stop-and-frisk" policing, Occupy Wall Street, progressive taxation including the state millionaire's tax and the struggle of low-wage workers to raise the minimum wage, among others. In many of these cases, we have succeeded in passing resolutions within the union.
An activist committee, we have also taken active part in many of the struggles and campaigns listed above. Our members have participated in rallies against "stop-and-frisk" and in support of raising the minimum wage and ending the lock-out at Con Ed. We were also very active in the many rallies organized under the banner of Occupy Wall Street, especially in the fall of 2011.
Past efforts also include working to end Wal-Mart’s incursion into New York City, the war in Iraq and the long and difficult strike at Stella D’oro. We have also hosted forums on Wal-Mart, housing and tenant issues and the 2008 presidential election.
The committee meets on a Thursday each month. Write to our committee co-chairs Nina Tribble and Bobby Greenberg at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively, to find out our schedule for the year.