Jerry T. Jordan
AFT Vice President
Jerry T. Jordan is president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Educated in Philadelphia public schools, Jordan came from a family of public school teachers, with his grandparents, an uncle, aunts and cousins teaching in the South and in Philadelphia.
Jordan received his degree in education and Spanish from Temple University and began teaching high school Spanish and English as a Second Language in the Philadelphia school district.
Jordan recalls the pre-collective bargaining, pre-civil rights era of his youth when teachers were not treated as professionals and African American teachers were barred from teaching in white schools, in high schools or becoming principals. As a result, Jordan became active in the PFT and was elected the PFT building representative at University City High School.
In 1987, he joined the PFT as a district staff representative, representing teachers and support staff in 50 schools and school district offices. He was elected legislative representative on the PFT’s executive board and in 1989 was appointed special assistant to the PFT president and was elected general vice president by the members.
A year later, he was appointed director of the PFT staff, a position he held until June 2007, when he was elected to serve the unexpired term of the previous PFT president. He was elected to a four-year term as PFT president in February 2008.
Jordan has been a member of the PFT's negotiating team since 1992 and has been chief negotiator since 2000.
Jordan also is a vice president on the AFT executive council, chair of the AFT standing committee on civil and human rights and a member of the AFT constitutional amendments and convention committee. He has served on the AFT Teachers program and policy council, the AFT urban schools initiative and the AFT task force on No Child Left Behind.
He is a vice president of the Philadelphia Central Labor Council and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. He was appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to the board of the mayor’s office of community services.
Jordan has built effective coalitions with parents, education advocates and civic leaders to transform Philadelphia’s schools, improve graduation rates and expand educational opportunities for all of Philadelphia’s children.