American Federation of Teachers [AFT] Law and Legal Definition

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is an education labor union in the U.S., established in 1916. The AFT represents higher education faculties, nurses working in private-sector hospitals, state public employees, school nurses, school librarians, and educational paraprofessionals. The AFT was formed with the idea that an organization of teachers should follow the model of a labor union, rather than that of a professional association. The AFT works for members' reasonable wages, establishment of a grievance process, reduced workloads, and more funding for public education. The AFT promotes collective bargaining for teachers and other educational employees. The AFT conducts research on teacher stress, special education, and other education-related issues. The AFT presses the governing bodies to pass legislation relating to the importance of education.