About AFT

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.6 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.

Five divisions within the AFT represent the broad spectrum of the AFT’s membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retiree members.

AFT represents over 230,000 of the one million full and part time non-tenure track faculty and staff in the US in over 320 locals across the country. The AFT already represents more than 6,000 faculty at private institutions–including the full- and part-time faculty at LIU-Brooklyn who, with vigorous AFT support, successfully defeated the first employer lockout in the history of academic labor. Weโ€™ve been organizing graduate employees since the 1970s and have won union recognition campaigns at 23 institutions in 9 states, representing around 25,000 graduate teaching and research assistants.

The AFT currently has grad employee locals at:

  • University of Oregon
  • Portland State University (jointly with AAUP)
  • Oregon State
  • Montana State
  • UW-Madison
  • UW-Milwaukee
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • The University of Illinois at Springfield
  • The University of Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Wayne State
  • Central Michigan University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Rutgers (jointly with AAUP)
  • Temple University
  • CUNY
  • Florida State University
  • The University of Florida
  • The University of South Florida
  • Florida A & M University
  • The University of Kansas
  • The New Jersey Institute of Technology

This makes AFT the largest and most dynamic Higher Ed union in the United States, the organization with the largest number of independent graduate employee locals, and the largest union of university faculty and contingent faculty in the country. The AFT is uniquely positioned to protect the long-threatened tradition of knowledge production and university teaching in university employment.

The AFT is already well established in New Jersey, and counts among its ranks the following locals:

  • AFTNJ Higher Education locals:
  • Academic Administrative Personnel Federation- Local 3983 at the County College of Morris Federation of Rowan College Educators Local 2373
  • Hudson County Community College Support Staff Federation Local 6026
  • Kean Federation of Teachers Local 2187 at Kean University
  • Kean University Adjunct Faculty Federation Local 6024
  • Mercer County Community College Federation of Administrative Professionals Local 2319 Middlesex County College Faculty Federation Local 1940
  • Montclair State University Federation of Adjunct Faculty Local 6025
  • Montclair State University Federation of Teachers Local 1904
  • New Jersey City University Local 1839
  • Professional Staff Federation Local 4537 at Mercer County Community College
  • Ramapo State Federation of College Teachers Local 2274
  • Raritan Valley Community College Faculty Federation Local 2375
  • Raritan Valley Community College Staff Federation Local 4143
  • Rutgers Council of -AFT Chapters Local 6323
  • Rutgers Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter Local 6324
  • Stockton Federation of College Teachers Local 2275
  • Sussex County Community College Faculty Federation Local 4780
  • Sussex County Community College Professional Staff Federation Local 6374
  • Sussex County Community College Support Staff Federation Local 6375
  • The College of New Jersey Federation of Teachers Local 2364
  • Thomas Edison College Federation of Professional Staff Local 4277
  • Union of Rutgers Administrators Local 1766
  • United Council of Academics at NJIT Local 6464
  • United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey Local 2222 at Multiple Community Colleges
  • William Paterson Federation of College Teachers Local 1796

Many well-known Americans have been AFT members, including John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Hubert Humphrey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, former Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and former United Nations Undersecretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche.