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Resolutions & Amendments

26th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (1984)

Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services

Resolution No. 96
26th International Convention
June 18-22, 1984
San Francisco, CA


AFSCME is the leading union representing employees working in institutional and community-based facilities serving mentally retarded, mentally ill and developmentally disabled people; and


AFSCME has been a leading advocate of high quality institutional and community-based services for disabled people, and has led the fight against budget cuts and attempts to weaken quality standards; and


AFSCME has continued to oppose states that abdicate their responsibility provide publicly accountable quality care by understaffing institutions, neglecting physical conditions and failing to upgrade services. By contracting out, and dumping individuals are sent into unprepared communities without planning and without providing comprehensive community-based services; and


There is considerable support among advocates and experts in the fields of mental health and mental retardation/developmental disabilities for a core institutional system as a part of a continuum of residential and treatment services.


That AFSCME's strong commitment to a continuum of publicly-operated services including both institutional and community based care would continue; and



  1. That AFSCME will try to expand its successes in the mental health and mental retardation fields (such as the development of state-run community-based mental retardation services in Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts) to other areas by providing technical assistance to Councils and Locals working on the development of such services;
  2. AFSCME will work on common goals with advocacy groups, parent groups and professional groups, breaking down past barriers and planning actions in support of quality care and against irresponsible closures and contracting out of vital services;
  3. AFSCME will continue to support the rights of employees such as the reauthorization and implementation of employee protections through federal law for major financing programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the improvement of staffing ratios, career ladders, training programs, and employee protections on the state and local level;
  4. AFSCME will work with Councils and Locals, as appropriate, to organize the unorganized in community-based residential facilities; and
  5. The International Executive Board ad hoc Committee on Deinstitutionalization will review all aspects of AFSCME's policy and practices concerning deinstitutionalization and the future status of the mental health/mental retardation industry and make a report and recommendations to the International executive Board concerning future action by the International Union, its Councils and Locals.


International Executive Board

Ronald C. Alexander, President-Elect, Delegate
and International Vice President
Columbus, Ohio