Press Release

The AFT Celebrates Public Service Workers Across the Country

For Release:


James Hill

WASHINGTON—This week, Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, which represents 125,000 federal, state and local government employees, celebrates the crucial work done in the public sector as part of Public Service Recognition Week:

“Our democracy doesn’t run itself. While it’s easy to focus on elected officials who make headlines, it’s doubly important we recognize the tireless efforts of federal, state, county and municipal employees who work every day to ensure that our country and our communities run smoothly and responsively.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light not only on the work of these employees but on how difficult it would be to maintain normalcy and safety without public workers protecting our common good. When we rolled out massive COVID-19 testing, it was orderlies and medical technicians who answered the public health call. Public employees supported our infrastructure, delivered public resources and took care of citizens in need. Without them, our nation would have ground to a halt.

“We don’t need a pandemic to show appreciation for the ordinary people who do extraordinary things for us every day. Librarians, mental health professionals, public safety officers, water quality scientists and park rangers—these are the people who enrich our lives and keep us safe, and their selfless work and determination deserves credit this week and every week of the year.”

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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.