COVID-19 is triggering state and local budget crises across the
nation. State and local governments are incurring huge new costs
as they seek to contain and treat the coronavirus and respond to
the virus-induced spike in joblessness and related human needs.
At the same time, they are projecting sharply lower tax revenues
due to the widespread collapse of economic activity brought about
by efforts to contain the virus’ spread.
The AFT on April 30 released a detailed road map that, in
the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, charts a path to safely and
responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions
crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our
The 20-page, science-based “Plan
to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and
Communities” sprung from an intense collaboration
of public health professionals, union
leaders and frontline workers to prepare for
what happens next in the period between flattening the curve
and truly eradicating the virus.
Los Angeles adjunct becomes chair of California
Rusty Hicks, known to the larger California public as the newly
elected leader of the California Democratic Party, is known to
the students of the Los Angeles Community College District and
the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, Local 1521, by another
title since 2016 — Adjunct Instructor of Labor Studies.
One of the more talked about resolutions passed by the biennial
AFT Convention this July was Resolution
15, which calls for AFT to support City University of New
York adjuncts in their quest to achieve through “actions,
demonstrations, and advocacy,” a minimum of $7,000 per
The resolution, which passed with resounding support and no
opposition, also supports this minimum in “all other AFT locals’
campaigns for fair adjunct pay.”
Tina Solórzano Fletcher of the AFT Guild, which
represents nearly 6,000 employees at San Diego and
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges, was honored with the
Talking Union Award at the annual AFT Paraprofessional and
School-Related Personnel conference in April. Fletcher is a
member-organizer for AFT Local 1931.
This year, the local prioritized one-on-one contact with
non-members, and from September 1 through May 31, signed up 506
From eight local unions to 3,000 locals and 1.6 million members
World War I and the Depression: The
American Federation of Teachers was founded in Chicago, with
eight locals signing on as AFL President Samuel Gompers welcomed
the union into its fold in 1916. The union operated from one room
of AFT Financial Secretary Freeland Stecker’s five-room bungalow
in Chicago. President Charles Stillman lived next door.
You have created a mighty, mighty union with mighty, mighty
values,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told attendees of the CFT
Convention. “You bend the arc towards justice every day. Now we
have a fight like never before, a fight to the finish, and we
By the Numbers | AFT local unions
3,370 Number of locals chartered by the AFT 3,019: Locals with fewer than 600 members
(90 percent) 1,819: Locals with fewer than 100 members
One in four of AFT’s 1.56 million members belong to a small
local, and 90 percent of AFT local unions are considered
small, defined as having fewer than 600 members.
While belonging to a small local can foster a sense of teamwork,
small locals often come up short of the resources, training and
volunteers to effectively represent members, according to a new
AFT task force.
From helping pass Proposition 30, which raises billions of
dollars for education, to fighting back against Vergara v.
California, a lawsuit filed on behalf of nine student plaintiffs
which seeks to dismantle teachers’ rights, AFT President Randi
Weingarten stands up for California educators and students.