You are the political power.
Being part of a 1.5 million-member union—a respected organization representing professionals—means that our legislators listen to what we have to say.
Pink Hearts, Not Pink Slips
What started as an effort by San Francisco parents to challenge the layoffs of 1,100 school employees became a national campaign, as pink heart buttons were worn by hundreds of thousands of members who engaged in grass-root activities across the country. More than 15,000 people signed an online petition supporting legislation that would provide funding to help school districts avoid layoffs in K-12 schools and higher education.
Making an Impact
Our political action has made the difference in both national and state campaigns to elect candidates and pass laws that help us all. For example, Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT member Karen White was one of many who worked to win passage of the Family Leave Insurance measure in New Jersey that guarantees all workers six weeks of partial pay to bond with a newborn or to care for a seriously ill family member, including domestic partners.
Tony Reeves, a member of Wisconsin’s Professional Employees in Research, Statistics and Analysis, and an Army reservist who spent 10 months in Afghanistan, says he realizes that “decisions we make in this country have a real impact on the rest of the world.” That’s why Reeves, and some 5,000 other AFT volunteers like him, participated in union-organized campaign activities, including canvassing and phone banking, that meant huge success in the 2008 elections.
Fighting for Democracy
Thousands of our members and allies rallied in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and other states to tell antiworker governors and legislators that destroying collective bargaining will never be the solution to state budget deficits and is, in fact, a blow to democracy. With legislation being forced through despite the will of the public, members did not give up and continued to fight.