American Federation of Teachers Reviews | Glassdoor

American Federation of Teachers Reviews

Updated September 25, 2017
25 reviews

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3.2
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Randi Weingarten
9 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Relaxed union postition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at American Federation of Teachers full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Autonomy, leadership development, supportive coordinator

    Cons

    Lack of trajectory and unity


  2. "Project Organizer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Social and Economic justice and member mobilization

    Cons

    Contingent status, union busting of staff, pay isn't great for amount of hours worked, lack of transparency in employer structure

  3. "typical labor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    has good organization structure with locals being autonomous and does keep that consistent throughout the entire organization.

    Cons

    Is staffed by underpaid project staff who they have no problem burning out. They are also basically an extension of the DNC, so things aren't really democratic, they tend to be political, as far as what happens on a national level.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people in good jobs that you fight for, rather than cheap labor that your entire organization works to eradicate. essentially: practice what you preach.


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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Not the worst union out there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. "Service Representative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. "Great Learning Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

  8. "Organizer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  9. "A varied experience..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. "Former Organizer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


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