Press Release

AFT Celebrates the Dedicated Work of Public Service Workers During Public Service Recognition Week

For Release:


James Hill

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement to mark the start of Public Service Recognition Week, May 5-11. The union represents 125,000 federal, state and local government employees across the country:

“Our democracy doesn’t run itself. And while it’s easy to give credit to the elected officials who make headlines, it’s frankly more important to honor the tireless efforts of state, county and municipal employees who work every day to ensure that our country and communities fulfill their duty to serve and protect the American people.

“This past year has seen public service employees stepping up when we needed stability the most. When some of the country’s infrastructure literally collapsed, first responders, engineers and inspectors sprang into action to ensure not only our safety but a more secure future for our roads and bridges. Library staff across the country not only helped people find their favorite books and the resources they needed, but also, in states plagued by extremist policies, fought to make sure all books are available to read. Whether it's ensuring access to high-quality education, safeguarding public health, fighting fires or ensuring public safety, the contributions of public service workers are invaluable and deserve recognition, not just this week but every week.

“Today, let us take the time to express our gratitude and appreciation for the vital work that all our public service employees do. Your dedication does not go unnoticed, and we are immensely grateful. Thank you for your hard work, sacrifice and commitment to making our communities and our nation stronger.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.