Union Affiliation

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UFA is affiliated with University Professionals of Illinois, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of University Professors, and the AFL-CIO. 

Each member has the backing of more than 103,000 IFT members and 1.4 million AFT members. The AFT-IFT will help our union negotiate and enforce our collective bargaining agreement and give guidance in other areas as needed.

The IFT and AFT are resource centers that provide services such as professional development programs, leadership training, grievance and arbitration assistance, contract negotiations, lobbying, and personal services. These help the union run effectively and efficiently.


Most faculty at public colleges and universities in Illinois are represented by unions. The IFT represents faculty at two year colleges and research institutions such as the University of Illinois. Within the IFT, many higher education employees belong to the University Professionals of Illinois, Local #4100. In addition to UFA, Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University (NTT faculty), Chicago State University, Governors State University, and University of Illinois – Springfield (TT faculty) currently have chapters within UPI.

UPI has mastered the difficult task of drawing together the collective strength of public higher education's faculty and staff while protecting and enhancing the distinctive features of each university. UPI's campus leaders are effective advocates for UPI's 3,200 members.


The AAUP is the American Association of University Professors.  Founded by John Dewey, the organization has focused its work on higher education exclusively since 1915. It was founded in response to administrative overreach and disregard for faculty rights, including the rights to academic freedom and meaningful shared governance.

For the past century, AAUP’s exclusivity of focus on the higher education workplace has allowed it to define, assert, and protect the rights and working conditions of individual faculty when under attack because of their political beliefs. AAUP has also set standards for best practices for administration/board/faculty interaction, all of which can be accessed in the Redbook, which is available online at aaup.org/reports-publications/aaup-policies-reports.

Many member campuses have incorporated AAUP principles and best practices into their collective bargaining agreements and are members of the Collective Bargaining Congress of the AAUP. Information about AAUP union campuses can be found at www.aaupcbc.org. These include those units have organized jointly with the American Federation of Teachers, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Wayne State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Vermont.