At the biennial meeting, the American Association of University Teachers votes to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers

Delegates to the biennial meeting of the American Association of University Teachers voted today to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers, joining forces to build a stronger and more inclusive university labor movement that will be better at even to meet the challenges that higher education also faces. as threats to our democracy.

The vote brings together two organizations representing more than 300,000 higher education faculty members in total, the largest such alliance in the country. The partnership creates a strong, united voice for the union of higher education teachers with national reach and unlocks enormous potential for future organizing across academia.

This historic alliance comes against a backdrop of increased legislative attacks on academic and academic freedom, as well as persistent underfunding of public higher education that has led to soaring student debt as well as than to precariousness and poverty. Through this membership, AAUP’s 44,000 members and AFT’s 1.7 million members will work together to protect academic freedom and unify faculty voices to fight back at the local, state, and federal levels. .

“AAUP has been the voice and conscience of higher education for over 100 years,” said AAUP President Irene Mulvey. “This truly historic decision builds on our more than 10-year partnership with the AFT and strengthens both organizations, while ensuring that the AAUP will retain its independence and autonomy.”

“Working together, we will be much better equipped to meet the challenges facing higher education – anti-intellectual attacks on history teaching, legislative intrusion into the academy, disinvestment and chronic underfunding of higher education. public higher education and the resulting casualization of university workers,” Mulvey added. The AAUP board had previously recommended the partnership with AFT in March.

“This partnership is a game-changer for the promise and potential of higher education. It brings together members and the work that AFT and AAUP do on campuses nationwide,” said the president of the ‘AFT, Randi Weingarten. “Through this affiliation, we redouble our efforts to make colleges and universities excellent places to teach and learn, and join forces to fight persistent threats to academic freedom and democracy. We Join forces to better fight for the resources needed for post-secondary education to thrive, and we will organize to make college jobs more sustainable and the promise of higher education more accessible to all.AFT and AAUP believe firmly to the fundamental principle of higher education as a public good and look forward to this membership as a new frontier for American academia.”

Since 1915, AAUP has defined core professional values ​​and standards for higher education. It has always been at the forefront of the profession – advancing the principles of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance, and promoting the economic security of academic workers to protect the teaching and research that guarantees the contribution of higher education to the public good and support American democracy. .

The AFT has been instrumental in organizing faculty and other academic workers at a wide variety of colleges and universities. The union pioneered collective bargaining in higher education and is committed to organizing faculty across the United States. It represents faculty at community colleges, major research universities, liberal arts schools, and historically black colleges and universities.

AFT and AAUP, in their New Deal for Higher Education, are fighting for dedicated federal funding streams that prioritize teaching, research and student success, as well as cancellation of student debt from borrowers who unfairly shouldered the burden of financing higher education. last 40 years.

AFT and AAUP have a history of collaboration and joint organization, including dual AAUP/AFT affiliates currently representing over 20,000 faculty and staff. The organizing partnership has resulted in several victories at research institutions, colleges and universities where past organizing efforts have failed.

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