Press Release

AFT Celebrates Organizing Successes as Union Reaches 1.5 Million-Member Milestone

For Release: 

Friday, July 9, 2010


George Jackson

Delegates at the AFT 2010 convention reflected on two years of challenges,
victories and union growth.

SEATTLE—Music, lights and a video presentation of recent organizing victories accompanied the celebratory announcement today at the American Federation of Teachers’ 2010 convention that the union’s total membership number has officially surpassed 1.5 million, including almost 70,000 new members in the past two years. The new number represents growth in all of the AFT’s divisions, and is especially significant given the tough economic and labor environment workers face. In the past two years, the union has chartered 53 locals, won 85 organizing victories and organized staff in 150 charter schools.

“More and more people who work in schools, colleges and universities, health facilities, and government buildings want a union to provide its members with a voice, support and resources,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

The announcement came after a video presentation highlighting some of the political and economic challenges faced by local affiliates nationwide. The video chronicled how these locals, with assistance from the AFT, were able to turn their challenges into organizing successes and political victories.

The AFT’s success in organizing and mobilizing members has made it one of the fastest growing unions in the AFL-CIO.

The AFT is holding its biennial convention July 7-11 in Seattle. Coming together under the theme “Building Futures Together,” more than 3,000 delegates will vote on major union policies that address the need to save and strengthen public education, build common cause with communities, and improve the institutions in which our members work.

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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.