The CFT, AFL-CIO’s mission is to be the champion for the public education system.

About California Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

The CFT, AFL-CIO is a union of educators and classified professionals affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and through it with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The CFT, AFL-CIO’s areas of focus are early childhood/K-12, classified, community college and university.

The CFT, AFL-CIO comprises 140 local unions chartered by the AFT. Each local is affiliated with its regional AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and the California Labor Federation. Through its local unions, the CFT, AFL-CIO represents more than 120,000 educational employees. You can learn more about the CFT, AFL-CIO at

The CFT, AFL-CIO’s mission is to be the champion for the public education system.

All Californians benefit when our educational system is fully funded, accessible, and equitable. Working together with students, parents, teachers, support staff, families, communities, and community partners, CFT will be the champion for the public education system that Californians deserve. We will be the trusted voice fighting against corporatization, privatization, and underfunding. Mission Statement

The CFT, AFL-CIO has little experience representing private colleges and universities and in fact represents no independent colleges of art and design.

Private university faculty is a small fraction of CFT, AFL-CIO’s membership—just five institutions total:

  • Alliant International University (for-profit)
  • Life Chiropractic College
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic West
  • University of San Francisco
  • Dominican University of California (full-time faculty voted in late April 2022 to be represented by CFT, AFL-CIO)

CFT, AFL-CIO local unions overwhelmingly represent public institutions—schools, community colleges, and non-Senate faculty and librarians within the University of California system. You can view CFT, AFL-CIO local unions here.

CFT, AFL-CIO leadership all have backgrounds in public education, mostly K-12.

Of the 27 elected officers, fewer than a third are from higher education and all represent public institutions, predominantly community colleges. None are at private colleges or universities. You can view CFT leaders here.

Educators and classified professionals represented by CFT, AFL-CIO pay annual dues ranging from $71 to $569. Union dues are post-tax dollars—taken from the employee's net income.

In 2021, CFT, AFL-CIO collected $21.3 million from its members:

  • Less than 1% of expenditures was on behalf of individual members
  • $14.9 million was spent on representational activities; political activities and lobbying; contributions, gifts, and grants; general overhead; and union administration
  • $0 were paid in strike benefits
  • Of 52 employees, 23 were paid more than $122,000
  • CFT, AFL-CIO’s president, Jeffery M. Freitas, is paid an annual salary of $182,375

You can learn more about CFT, AFL-CIO expenditures via Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report.