State Membership Services

The Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals through its officers and staff provides a statewide system of support to member locals in the following major areas:

Labor Relations

The RIFTHP staff provides professional and technical support to locals (upon request) in contract negotiations, mediation, grievance and arbitration hearings and to individual members on matters related to professional licensure


By lobbying the state legislature and coordinating political action efforts with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, the RIFTHP helps influence public policy on issues important to its members.


The Federation staff assists presently organized local unions with membership growth and leadership development



The RIFTHP conducts union organizing campaigns to increase the union’s size and strength and provides representation at the State and National Labor Relations Boards.


Professional Issues

Through an on-going program of seminars, workshops and conferences, the Federation assists members and locals with professional development issues and economic concerns.



The RIFTHP publishes two newsletters for its members, The Federations and The Smith Hill Report.



The RIFTHP maintains a resource center at the union headquarters for use by RIFTHP locals.


In addition to the above services, the Federation’s officers and staff represent locals and members on more than 35 labor and educational boards, commissions, task forces, governmental boards and commissions, community and social service organizations and AFT organizational programs and councils.

National Membership Services

The American Federation of Teachers employs a professional and technical staff who provide a nationwide system of support to local unions and state federations through eight major departments.


Human Rights

Leads initiatives on civil rights and serves as liaison with civil and human rights organizations.


International Affairs

An active force in reaching out to other countries, providing training to help them build their unions as well as materials and resources to help them teach democracy.



Works to strengthen AFT locals and state federations by improving the union’s internal communications network, developing methods to support the delivery of union services, and organizing new local unions throughout the country.


Political Action

Lobbies Congress and organizes political activities.

Professional Issues

Provides support on professional issues affecting our varied membership. This department also conducts the biennial Quest Conference and coordinates the Educational Research and Dissemination program (ER&D).

Public Affairs

Maintains contact with the nation’s major news organizations to foster an enhanced public image for the union.


Publishes professional journals such as the American Teacher, the American Educator, The Reporter for PSRPs, On Campus for higher education members, Health wire for nurses and health professionals, the Public Service Reporter for state and local government employees, and Life Times for retirees.


Provides negotiation and collective bargaining data.

In addition to the departments summarized above, each AFT constituency has a policy council which coordinates the activities of each membership division, plans special divisional meetings and conferences, and works with other departments to make sure that each division’s priorities are addressed in day-to-day activities.

AFT also administers a comprehensive insurance and benefits program. For a complete list of members services and benefits, visit AFT Benefits Plus at the AFT National website: