A Toolkit for Affiliates
For far too long, our public schools, colleges and children have been shortchanged with respect to our nation’s wealth. The Great Recession decimated school funding, and 25 states still spend less on K-12 public education than before the recession. Similarly, in higher education, 41 states still spend less.
Today, more and more Americans are rejecting the Trump-DeVos agenda to pauperize America’s public schools and to destabilize them by diverting resources to market-based, unaccountable charters and vouchers.
Years of disinvestment in our public schools and colleges has hurt our students and faculty and led to overcrowded classrooms as well as schools without nurses, librarians, social workers, sufficient guidance counselors and supports to ensure children’s well-being. The testing fixation, coupled with austerity, has meant the loss of instruction in the arts, music and other programs; this has robbed children of the joy in learning and programs that promote student engagement. Deteriorating school buildings with outdated teaching materials, technology and unhealthy, unsafe environments have undermined teaching and learning. We see similar disinvestment in public colleges and universities with huge increases in tuition and student debt as well as fewer course offerings and full-time tenured faculty.
Enough is enough. It’s time to make students and public education and public higher education a priority at the local, state and national levels. It’s time to Fund Our Future.
Go here for resources and tools to promote our national campaign message.
AFT affiliates around the country are launching a comprehensive campaign of local, state and national actions under the Fund Our Future banner. Go here for resources and tools to assist in preparing and promoting your local campaign.
Contingent Faculty Campaigns and Resources
No trend has changed the face of higher education more than the shift away from a corps of full-time, tenure-track faculty to an underpaid and under-supported contingent instructional workforce. This workforce includes part-time/adjunct faculty; full-time, nontenure-track faculty; and graduate employees. Together these employees now make up nearly half of faculty today. Below are campaigns AFT and our affiliates and locals are running, and resources to support those campaigns, to better the lives of millions of workers.
National Day of Action in Defense of Grad Rights
On November 14th graduate workers and their allies in higher education, the labor movement, and their communities will gather in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. to protest the National Labor Relations Board’s attack on their rights. Ahead of this day of action we are aiming to collect 3000 comments to the NLRB. Encourage friends and colleagues to submit comments on this page.
NLRB comment period organizing toolkit
The resources below are provided by AFT Academics to help you plan and carry out a successful campaign around the NLRB comment period on your campus. Click on the preview to open a downloadable PDF of each document. If you have questions about any of this, have ideas for other resources that would be helpful, or would like help organizing on your campus, let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.
- NLRB comment period campaign plan guide
- NLRB comment period campaign flyer
- NLRB comment period social media tips
- Union commenting tips
- Official NLRB commenting tips
- Official NLRB rule change proposal
Survey Results: One pagers from our Contingent Faculty Quality of Work Life Survey
From May – June 2019, the AFT and our locals circulated the first national survey of contingent faculty since 2013. We received more than 3,000 responses that highlight the grave harm contingency does to both teachers and students. Below are one-pagers on the results of the survey about the employment and treatment of contingent faculty, which can be used when lobbying at the state or federal level, or advocating for better working conditions on your campus.
- Contingent faculty members are struggling to keep up with their bills.
- Contingent faculty need better health care.
- Contingent faculty face low salaries.
- Contingent faculty face a lack of job security.
- Precarious working conditions are preventing contingent faculty from retiring.