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How Will AFT Augment UHPA?

While a national union can offer great insights and expertise, shouldn’t we also look at building our own capacity at the local level?

(This Q&A is part of a continuing series that we introduced with the “Taking a Hard Look at Our Future Starts with Asking the Hard Questions” article)

Yes, building local capacity and ensuring there is a transfer of knowledge adds another dimension to affiliation. 

AFT knows the importance of training for local unions and faculty members. AFT has conducted countless training sessions to help faculty become internal organizers who grow membership on campuses, develop campus-based campaigns, and provide tactics that can help reach even the most remotely based faculty. That’s important to reach faculty who may be employed at one of the UH campuses on the neighbor islands.

AFT Has the Resources We need

AFT affiliates have been bargaining collectively for nearly 70 years and have amassed a wealth of experience and expertise on negotiating innovative contracts that are fair for their members and good for the people they serve. AFT also has dedicated higher education staff who provide collective bargaining support—including research, developing contract language, costing out proposals, financial analysis of an employer’s ability to pay, and more.

They Work With UHPA

AFT leverages these experiences, expertise, and resources to help with collective bargaining by working alongside collective bargaining committees of local unions. This helps to give faculty a real voice on the terms and conditions of employment, as well as power to improve the higher education institutions where they work.

Featuring Formal Training Programs

Through partnership with the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, AFT also offers affiliates training on the art and science of collective bargaining and contract negotiation. Based on an affiliate’s goals, this program is designed to help bargainers at all experience levels build strategies and skills to engage membership, use leverage and build relationships.

Feedback is Always Welcomed

As always, we’re open to feedback from our members, so please don’t hesitate to email those suggestions to