About AFT Public Employees

AFT Public Employees is the division of the American Federation of Teachers that represents federal, state and local government employees.  As the oldest public employee union in the AFL-CIO, the AFT has been a pioneer in the effort to bring meaningful collective bargaining rights to public employees at all levels of government.  

As a union of professionals, AFT Public Employees is committed to improving the quality of government services we provide to our communities. It is in that spirit that the AFT has launched a national effort to reclaim the promise of high-quality public services. One of the initiative’s goals is to fight back against those who put austerity and privatization ahead of high-quality public services that advance the common good. But reclaiming the promise of high-quality public services is more than about fighting back. It’s also about fighting forward.

Reclaiming the promise of high-quality public services is about fighting for first-rate public services that our support communities and keep them safe, healthy and vibrant. It’s about fighting to ensure that our communities’ tax dollars are properly invested back into the community, and that those resources are used responsibly and safely. Finally, it’s fighting to make sure public employees are well-prepared and supported so they can provide our communities with the high-quality services the public needs and deserves.

The AFT believes collective bargaining is the vehicle that delivers high-quality public services and builds strong communities. Whether employees have collective bargaining rights or are working to gain these rights, the AFT works to mobilize members and focus resources to gain higher salaries and better benefits for the public employees we represent.  With 1.6 million members across the country, the AFT has demonstrated that organizing and mobilization can bring about changes and improvements for professionals in public employment.  As we build a strong legislative/political action capacity at every level of the union and involve members in the activities of their union, we can secure better contracts and legislation that recognize the contributions public employees make each and every day.

While the AFT started as a union of teachers, today the AFT has five separate divisions representing nurses and health professionals, higher education faculty and staff, paraprofessionals and school related personnel, government employees and preK-12 teachers.  Together we are one union committee to effective representation of professionals in public service.