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About the AFT

Learn more about the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which was founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers and is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO.


About AFT Healthcare

AFT Healthcare represents more than 70,000 members in 100 locals in 18 states and territories. The division has a very diverse membership, with members in more than 6,000 job titles working in the public and private sector in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies and schools throughout the United States. Many members are registered nurses, but the union also represents LPNs, technicians, technologists, therapists, aides, clerical personnel, service and maintenance workers, pharmacists and doctors.


Save Lives, Save Money

On May 6th, we celebrate National Nurses Day. This year, the celebration is particularly special because we now over four million Americans who have signed up for quality, affordable health care. But we need to do more. The goals of health reform--improving the quality of healthcare while cutting costs--will be best served by focusing on safe staffing levels in hospitals and other care facilities. The truth is that if reform is going to succeed, we need to find a way to address the problem of staffing.




Mandatory Overtime - Bad for Nurses, Worse for Patients

Mandatory overtime affects both healthcare workers and healthcare consumers. In the past, mandatory overtime in healthcare was used only in response to unforeseen emergencies in acute care hospitals. Since the mid-1990's, hospitals have used mandatory overtime as standard practice in an attempt to cut costs by not hiring additional nurses. Nurses and other direct care staff are being required to work double shifts, often without any advance notice, which can also put a severe strain on their family obligations.