American Federation of Teachers Reviews | Glassdoor

American Federation of Teachers Reviews

Updated February 21, 2017
22 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Randi Weingarten
9 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Service Representative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Austin, TX
    Recommends

    I have been working at American Federation of Teachers full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, vacation and sick leave, family friendly, nice supervisors and team spirit. There is training, sharing of ideas and group consensus.

    Cons

    The job is solving problems for school employees in bad situations. All calls are about job complaints and in Right To Work, Anti-union state it is difficult to find solutions for employees.


  2. "Focus on the real work --- in the field"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Federation of Teachers full-time

    Pros

    The best work is in the field, helping members and workers gain power on the job and in the community.

    Cons

    The headquarters has an often toxic culture of petty jealousies and long-simmering grievances.


  3. "Not the worst union out there"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Organizer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Project Organizer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Federation of Teachers full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Overall working hours, benefits and salary are much better than some other unions. I live and work in the Chicago area and have been fairly comfortable. My position is unionized, though, so we get to negotiate over salary and benefits.
    - General quality of coworkers is pretty good. AFT gets to be a little selective about who they hire because they pay & treat people a little better, and it shows.
    - Our members do some really cool things and care a lot about their students and their union.

    Cons

    - If you are project staff, you will almost always be subcontracted out to a "project" - in my case the Great Lakes Region Organizing Project. All of my managers, supervisors and HR staff work for AFT, but my paycheck comes from GLROP. This makes it more difficult to organize a national staff union.
    - Travel is sometimes absolutely bonkers. I know some entry-level project staff who are theoretically assigned to a home project but travel a majority of the time despite only getting paid $45-55k. We get a per diem if we travel, but some folks only get $35 per day plus hotel/car/flight. (I get $60 because that's what's in our staff union contract at my particular project.)
    - Favoritism is rampant. Office politics are sometimes terrible.
    - If you have to work with a local or state affiliate in addition to your project, good luck - sometimes the resulting bureaucracy is a nightmare. You will see campaigns run into the ground and members thrown under the bus. Unfortunately, there's only so much AFT national can do about this, and it just kinda comes with the territory, but it's still emotionally draining.
    - Some AFT National Representatives are awful to work for. They mistreat their staff and fire them for petty reasons, or are just generally incompetent. Mine isn't bad, but I've worked for better ones while on travel assignments.
    - Working hours are inconsistent. Sometimes you will be bored to tears (and then they have an excuse to send you on a travel assignment!) Sometimes you will be overworked and have to plead for more help.
    - Training is inadequate unless you get assigned to a particularly good National Representative.
    - Turnover is relatively high and job security is minimal for most projects. You get hired for a certain project and then get dumped or transferred once the project is completed (ie, a union local gets its first contract) or abandoned/defunded.

    Advice to Management

    Less travel! Better training and more provisions for job security/decent transfers would go a long way. Fire some of your terrible Nat Reps.


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  5. "Great Learning Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hands on experience, great employees and management, many opportunities to hone skills, approachable and hands on senior staff.

    Cons

    Limited upward mobility, they want you to intern forever

    Advice to Management

    Look into providing more entry level opportunities for interns


  6. "Organizer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great benefits and salary schedule

    Cons

    Too many bosses, heavy workload


  7. "A varied experience..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at American Federation of Teachers full-time

    Pros

    Depending on where you end up, and with what National Representative, it can be a supportive and good experience, doing meaningful work with (mostly) good people.

    Cons

    There is a strong culture of "getting along" and deference for management and leadership which may or may not be deserved.

    Advice to Management

    Try to be principled.


  8. "Former Organizer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Federation of Teachers full-time

    Pros

    You work hard to help other people earn a living.
    Great organizational history.
    Travel
    Learning from several campaigns

    Cons

    You work for the labor right of others all while the labor union doesn't respect the labor rights of its own organizers.

    Advice to Management

    Provide at least two weeks notice for travel longer than two weeks.
    Reimbursements take two long


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Well paid and great benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Federation of Teachers full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Unreal Benefits package - hard to believe

    Cons

    Very political - many high-level management folks do not have the needed experience to do their job well.

    Advice to Management

    Better balance of focus on the employees vs. focus on the mission of the organization


  10. "Intern - American Federation of Teachers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Open community, group mentality, strong community feel

    Cons

    Office politics negatively effect worker morale, it can be hard for other employees to fight for themselves when they feel as though they have to sacrifice themselves (aka money, time etc;) in order to fight for the current greater cause of the union


  11. "Organizer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organizer
    Former Employee - Organizer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Federation of Teachers full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you work in one of the unionized offices (NEROP) the salary and benefits are excellent for the title.

    Cons

    The culture of the AFT is so broken that the National Reps and even their directors (your supervisors) joke around about never landing in a city without locating the first liquor store. It struck me as odd that a union that represents teachers would a) be so dominated by males and b) threaten repeatedly to crush any other staff unions who try to organize within the AFT. There is rampant verbal abuse, unabashed sexism and racism, and all varieties of corruption depending on which local you get housed in. There's endless in-fighting and bureaucracy that really just destroys any opportunities to be creative or to actually accomplish the goals of the organizing staff. Be aware of being "project staff" outside of the NEROP contract- it's just a way for them to drop you or move you without recourse.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be a complete overhaul of leadership. many of the middle and upper middle management are cruel alcoholics who couldn't organize their way out of a bucket.



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