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Why should I join the union?

As a union, we’re able to win improvements and higher standards in our workplaces, in our school districts, and in our communities. Our strength in numbers gives us the power to protect our rights and advocate for quality public education, higher education, and public services.

What are the benefits of belonging?

A Voice at Work

  • Input in forming contract proposals on wages, benefits, working conditions, and more.
  • Eligibility to attend negotiations and serve on the Bargaining Committee.
  • Vote on ratifying collective bargaining contracts.
  • Support from an OFT Field Coordinator, including advice, assistance, and representation on professional issues and grievances.

A Voice in Your Union

  • Participate in union meetings and events.
  • Eligibility to run for union office and vote in union elections.
  • Opportunities for training in organizing, negotiating, leading professional development, and other union leadership skills.

A Voice in Your Community

  • The collective strength of affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers (1.7 million members nationwide) and the AFL-CIO (more than 12 million members nationwide).  
  • Opportunities to be a leader in your communities through AFT’s work with First Book, Make-A-Wish, and other community partners.
  • Ability to join with your co-workers to influence public policy in your school district, in your community, and throughout Ohio.

Protection in the workplace

  • $1 million professional liability insurance.
  • Access to OFT and AFT legal defense.
  • Militancy Fund, to provide financial support if you and your co-workers vote to go on strike.

Professional Services

  • Research-based professional development through AFT’s Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) program. ER&D courses may qualify you for continuing education credits.
  • Access to student debt clinics to learn how to reduce your debt and become eligible for loan forgiveness.
  • Innovative professional resources, including AFT’s
  • Union publications, including American Educator, AFT’s quarterly magazine.

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