by AAUP National
June 18, 2022
Delegates to the biennial meeting of the American Association of University Professors voted overwhelmingly today to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), 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.
The partnership comes against the backdrop of increased legislative attacks on teaching and academic freedom, as well as persistent underfunding of public higher ed 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 level.
“The AAUP has been the voice and conscience of higher education for well over one hundred years,” said AAUP president Irene Mulvey. “This truly historic decision builds on our ten-plus year partnership with the AFT and strengthens both organizations, while ensuring that the AAUP will maintain its independence and autonomy.”