Press Release

Statement by Randi Weingarten on "The Union Advantage for Women"

For Release: 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Anna Oman

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the release of the Institute for Women's Policy Research's report "The Union Advantage for Women":

"This report makes clear what we in the labor movement know in our bones: Being in a union helps women access the American dream and raise their own and their families' standard of living.

"In every state, for all occupational groups, and across all racial and ethnic categories, women covered by a union contract earn more than women who aren't and have a significantly reduced gender wage gap. Having a union contract makes an even bigger difference for working women of color.

"Whether it's leading the charge for policies like paid sick and family leave, helping close the wage gap by minimizing pay secrecy, or seeking similar pay for similar skills and responsibilities, unions champion fairness and in doing so benefit all working women and American families.

"On Women's Equality Day, our union, which represents two professions that are disproportionately female—preK-12 educators and nurses—recommits to fighting for full equality for all women. We'll continue to organize more women (and men) to bring the union advantage to more workers, and we'll continue to work in our communities for fairness and opportunity for all."

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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.