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United Academics History

Picture of newspaper from 1976 with front page headline about ACCFT members voting to strike.

In 1973, the first faculty union in what's now the University of Alaska system was formed by professors at Alaska's former community college system. The union, Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers, ACCFT, ratified its first contract in 1976, after going on strike.

In the early 1990s, ACCFT changed its name to University of Alaska Federation of Teachers, UAFT, due to the merger of Alaska's public Community College and University systems.

ACCFT professors went on strike or threatened to strike several times after that, most recently in 2003.

ACCFT/UAFT helped lay the ground work for the further faculty unionization in the UA system.





Picture of a person holding a large sign that says "UNAC Faculty: An Investment in Alaska"

In 1996, the University of Alaska system's second faculty union was certified and United Academics, local 4996, was created.

United Academics (UNAC) represented all UA faculty working over 51% FTE who were not already part of ACCFT. UNAC ratified its first contract in 1998. For twenty-two years, UAFT and UNAC co-existed as two complimentary unions for different types of faculty, but the distinction caused recurrent confusion and strife.

In 2018, UAFT (formerly ACCFT) and UNAC agreed to merge the two unions into United Academics.

Since 2018, United Academics has represented all UA faculty working more than 51% FTE at every UA work site, approximately 1,100 members. This transition reduced friction between colleagues working under different sets of rules and created more opportunity for solidarity among faculty .

The end result is a stronger union and better learning conditions for our students!


Picture of historical union buttons for ACCFT/UAFT and UNAC

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