The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), is a 1.2 million member union. Our membership is primarily K-12 school employees but also includes state and local government employees, health care, colleges and university employees. The internship is in the organizing and field services department. We have approximately 400 employees and five regional offices.
Each intern will have the opportunity to work in the department's Center for Collective Bargaining, supervised by the Director of Research or his Deputy Director in the significant activity related to a current priority in bargaining. Recent interns have completed work on the development of wage surveys for classified school employees based on the national compensation survey, cost programs and bargaining language strategies to use when low performing schools are taken over by the state or district; web site development for a limited access site for negotiators, and work on strategies for bargaining health insurance during times of rapid increase. The work and projects are to be significant works in which the intern will play a key role while working with professional staff. We describe it as suitable for inclusion on a resume. In addition, we expect each to acquire a skill useful in their career. This could include individual web site development, presentation skills, corporate and fiscal analysis, and similar craft related activities. Finally, the intern will learn to work in a union research environment, shadowing and assisting staff in their work on behalf of members. We describe this as a front row seat on current issues at a national public sector union.