The AFT was founded nearly 100 years ago to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers. Today, we represent a broad spectrum of professionals in five membership divisions as well as early childhood educators and retirees. Each of the sections include constituency-specific news, information and resources to help you achieve your professional aspirations—and be an important part of a vibrant international union.
AFT Teachers is the oldest and largest segment of the union's growing and diverse membership, representing hundreds of thousands of teachers in school districts throughout the country. Among the major issues that the AFT Teacher division focuses on: creating and administering professional development opportunities; developing and implementing classroom and school improvements; boosting teacher quality; and promoting higher standards and better assessments.
AFT PSRP (paraprofessionals and school-related personnel)
The AFT's PSRP division represents school support staff in preK-12 districts, colleges and universities throughout the country. Members include office employees, custodians, maintenance workers, bus drivers, instructional paraprofessionals, food service workers, mechanics, special education assistants and many more. They are a proud part of the team that provides a high-quality education to students.
AFT Higher Education
The AFT represents higher education faculty (both full- and part-time), professional staff and graduate employees. The AFT Higher Education division's mission is to help 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. Among the division's priority issues are tenure, shared governance, contingent labor, teacher education and technology.
AFT Healthcare represents members working in the public and private sector, in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies and schools. Members include not only registered nurses but also LPNs, technicians, therapists, aides, pharmacists, doctors and more. The division's primary goals are to help affiliates win higher wages, better benefits and improved working conditions; to protect and enhance the professional standards of healthcare workers; and to advocate for policies that improve the quality of healthcare in our communities.
AFT Public Employees
The AFT Public Employees division represents federal, state and local government employees and is the most diverse division of our union, with more than 4,000 job titles. The division advocates for better salaries and benefits for members to ensure that all governments can recruit and retain skilled professionals for critical public service jobs. AFT Public Employees also studies government budget policy, tax and revenue policies; outsourcing and contracting out; and professional development, among other issues.
Early Childhood Education
High-quality early childhood education has been on the AFT's agenda since the 1970s as a strategy for improving educational outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged children. Today, the AFT represents thousands of early childhood workers in a growing number of facilities across the country. The union's early childhood program, which includes the AFT's Center for the Childcare Workforce, promotes education and training, better wages and working conditions, and a stronger voice for the early care and education workforce.
The AFT's Program on Retirement and Retirees serves the more than 250,000 retirees who are part of the union. The program provides information and advocacy on issues that are important to both current and future retirees, such as preserving Social Security, pensions, Medicare and healthcare insurance. It also helps locals and state federations strengthen or start retiree chapters, which can help members maintain strong ties with their union once they retire.