Delegates to the biennial meeting of the American Association of University Professors voted June 18 to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers, joining forces to build a more powerful and inclusive academic labor movement that will be better able to take on the challenges facing higher education as well as the threats to our democracy.
The vote brings together two organizations representing more than 300,000 higher education faculty members overall, the largest such alliance in the country. The partnership creates a strong and united higher education faculty union voice with nationwide reach and unleashes enormous potential for future organizing throughout academia.
This historic alliance comes against the backdrop of increased legislative attacks on teaching and academic freedom, as well as persistent underfunding of public higher education that has led to the explosion in student debt as well as adjunct precarity and poverty. Through the affiliation, the 44,000-member AAUP and the 1.7 million-member AFT will work hand in hand to protect academic freedom and unify faculty voices to fight back at the local, state and federal levels.