Federal Sector

List of Unions in the Federal Sector

  • AFL-CIO: The AFL-CIO is a parent union to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and all but the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).
  • AFGE: AFGE is the largest federal union. It represents 600,000 federal workers and some 4,500 DC government workers and monitors issues that impact the federal workforce personal and professional lives such as funding, working conditions, and health care benefits. Agencies with the highest concentration include the Defense, Social Security Administration, and Justice. Workplace inspectors, border patrols, VA medical staffs, and certain Environmental Protection Agency staff also make the membership list.
  • NTEU: The NTEU is the largest independent non-postal federal employee union representing some 155,000 workers in 24 government agencies. The NTEU represents the Customs Service and Border Patrol workers, employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The NTEU was first established in 1938 as the National Association of Employees of Collectors of Internal Revenue (NAECIR). The organization sought to improve working conditions, secure fair wages, and ensure job security for federal revenue officers. Over the years, the union has undergone name changes and expansion efforts. It took on its current name in 1975 and now includes members in Treasury, the FCC, ATF, and EPA. NTEU tries to ensure and expand federal worker protections, rights, and benefits.
  • NALC, NRLCA, and APWU: Postal employees are very familiar with and belong to unions. To them, the initials National Association of Letter Carriers (NACL) and American Postal Workers Union (APWU) are household names. The National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) also represents U.S. postal employees.
  • AFSCME: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the fastest growing and largest union for public employees, reporting a whopping 1.3 million members. AFSCME represents a cadre of state and local workers and a small percentage of federal agencies and private and not-for-profit organizations. Public health, law enforcement, education, and public works employees comprise the bulk of its membership. Women account for a majority of the membership.
  • NAGE: The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) was formed in 1961. The organization assists government workers in collective bargaining and by lobbying for workplace safety, fair pay, and workers’ benefits. Its President, Kenneth Lyons, has been at the helm since the union organized. NAGE represents 150,000 federal, state, and local government workers nationwide including emergency medical technicians, nurses, custodians, police officers, and scientists. NAGE is affiliated with a diverse set of smaller unions including the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO), the National Association of Nurses (NAON) and the Army/Air Technicians Union (AATU). It is also affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the Services Employee International Union (SEIU).
  • NFFE: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) represents federal and DC municipal employees. It was first organized in 1917 and is the oldest independent union for federal and DC government workers.
  • AFT and NEA: The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association also represent public employees.

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