Our History and Our Vision
Chartered in 1974 as the Texas Federation of Teachers, the union changed it’s name to Texas AFT in 2007. Texas AFT is the state affiliate of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Our membership consists of teachers and other educational workers who have joined together to provide a strong voice for education in the community, at the state level, and at a national level.
Texas AFT has grown from 23,000 members in 1993 to more than 65,000 today. Our numbers include public school teachers, paraprofessionals and school related personnel, as well as faculty members and support staff of higher education institutions.
Texas AFT is recognized by the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers as one of the outstanding state federations in AFT today. Texas AFT can proudly boast of its leadership over the past six years in the areas of salary and health insurance improvements, increasing the TRS multiplier, as well as our work in the area of teacher certification.
Texas AFT is recognized for the implementation of a statewide leadership development program that has become the model for other state federations. The program now provides leadership training to over 1,000 local leaders each year in statewide leadership conferences and the after-school programs. Currently eight locals participate in the after-school program.
The Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers first won elected representation rights for teachers 26 years ago. Today, locals of Texas AFT represent teachers and paraprofessionals and school related personnel in elected representation arrangements in Corpus Christi, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, South San Antonio and El Paso.
Who We Represent
Texas AFT has more than 65,000 members statewide and is the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, with more than 1.6 million members. Texas AFT represents all non-administrative certified and classified public school employees in traditional public schools and some charter schools. We represent the interests of teachers, counselors, librarians, diagnosticians, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, nurses, teaching assistants, clerical employees, and the other men and women who work so hard to make our schools work. We also represent employees in universities, colleges and community and junior colleges.
A Vision For Texas AFT
Texas AFT believes in democracy in education, and education for democracy.
Texas AFT believes that an enlightened citizenry is essential to the success of democracy. Fear and bigotry flourish in the fertile soil of ignorance, and it is with fear and bigotry that dictators most often sustain their tyranny. It is axiomatic that an enlightened electorate is essential to a democratic government; it should be equally clear that an enlightened populace is a prerequisite for a democratic society.
Texas AFT believes that America can only educate its students through a strong system of public schools which are funded by the public and run by the citizens through representatives who are elected democratically. We believe that those schools should offer every student an equal opportunity to learn to the best of his or her ability. We believe the only limit on educational opportunity should be the limit that an individual student places upon himself or herself. There should be no special privileges for the rich or the well-born; there should be no special burdens placed upon those born into less fortunate circumstances.
Texas AFT believes that our students deserve a world-class education. Texas AFT stands for quality education for students, and dignity for those who provide it.
Texas AFT believes that the vision described above can best be achieved by the organization of strong locals of the American Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the AFL-CIO. To that end, Texas AFT will strive to organize the educational workers of Texas into locals chartered by the American Federation of Teachers, and to bring those locals into relationships of mutual assistance and cooperation. Texas AFT will assist locals to obtain, through collectively bargained contracts, all the rights and benefits to which educational employees should be entitled.
We will work to raise the standards of all the professions employed in the schools, and to secure for those employees the conditions essential to the best professional service. Texas AFT will work to initiate, support, and enforce state legislation to benefit all the children and school employees of the State of Texas, through a dynamic organization which builds upon the diversity of its members through a democratic governance structure.
Texas AFT will strive to build local organizations capable of winning collective bargaining for all members. We believe this goal will be furthered when we have a state organization in which locals are served effectively, leaders are informed, and members are involved in the organization. By supporting local efforts to create a deeper and broader understanding of collective bargaining, we will give school employees the vision and the vehicle needed to defend their rights and those of their colleagues,
To accomplish the task of organizing school employees in Texas, Texas AFT will position itself so that school employees, state officials and the public at large will see the Texas AFT as as the best and most effective advocate of the public schools, public school students and public school employees.