Learn more about the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which was founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers and is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO.
Learn the history of the AFT, including the union's founding in Chicago in 1916, its affiliation with the AFL-CIO, its battles for workers and human rights and its continued work to uphold the proud traditions on which the union was created.
The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.
Throughout this century, the AFT has been a major force for preserving and strengthening America's democratic commitment to public education and public service. Desegregating public schools, passing the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act, establishing collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees, and addressing the needs of disadvantaged children are just a few of the causes the AFT has championed.
AFT is the largest higher education union in the country, representing over 130,000 higher education faculty, professional staff and graduate employees. The AFT higher education department mission is to help our affiliates and their members prosper in the face of political, economic and technological forces challenging the most basic assumptions about the union's role on campus.
AFT Healthcare represents more than 70,000 members in 100 locals in 18 states and territories. The division has a very diverse membership, with members in more than 6,000 job titles working in the public and private sector in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies and schools throughout the United States. Many members are registered nurses, but the union also represents LPNs, technicians, technologists, therapists, aides, clerical personnel, service and maintenance workers, pharmacists and doctors.
AFT Public Employees is the division of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) that represents federal, state and local government employees.
The Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) division of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, represents more than 350,000 school support staff in K-12 districts, colleges and universities. Our jobs include office employees, custodians, maintenance workers, bus drivers, instructional paraprofessionals, food service workers, school nurses and health aides, technicians, groundskeepers, secretaries, bookkeepers, mechanics, special education assistants and hundreds of other job titles.