FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2019—Professional union membership grew to 6.18 million in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual report on union membership released today. This is an increase of approximately 28,000 professional union members from 2017.
“Our affiliated unions continue to work hard to demonstrate the value of joining together in union, and professionals are responding,” said Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) President Jennifer Dorning. “Professionals see that with a union they are able to earn higher pay and better benefits, as well as preserve their professional expertise and standards.”
DPE affiliate unions saw numerous professional organizing victories in various parts of the economy in 2018. Digital journalists, graduate employees, college faculty, charter school teachers, healthcare professionals, nonprofit employees, broadcasters, actors, musicians, utility employees, and many other professionals made the choice to join together in union. The reasons for organizing ranged from increasing pay and improving benefits to preserving a collaborative and innovative workplace.
The 2018 professional union membership gains continue the decade-long trend of professionals choosing to unionize. In 2017, unions of professionals gained 90,000 members and professionals in unions hit a new high of 6.15 million members. Over the last 20 years, unions have seen an over one million professional member increase.
“Professionals are growing the labor movement. The more they learn about how coming together in union can improve their lives, the more they want to join together,” said Dorning.
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) is a coalition of 24 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.