AFT membership has risen to 1.6 million members, the union said, but those increases are largely in fields other than K-12 classroom teachers.
According to documents provided by AFT, the union has increased by 64,000 numbers since the 2012 convention.
Here’s a look at some of where the growth has happened:
- About 30,000 nurses in Montana, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington state;
- About 19,000 home-based early childhood workers, in New York City;
- 7,000 members through the recent North Dakota NEA/AFT merger;
- 1,200 charter school teachers;
- 11 new higher education bargaining units;
- 1,200 workers at the United Nations.
Members pay different dues based on categories. The largest increase is in the category of members who are working, laid-off or on unpaid leave, with about 45,000 new individuals. But growth in the retiree category represents about 23,000 retired members, or about a third.
Finally, what interesting about this is that most of the growth is not in AFT’s K-12 division, but in other ones representing other public employees. The NEA has continued to lose members, in part because it has had a harder time organizing in other areas. That union now stands at slightly below 3 million members.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.