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Union remembers a legend

UFT members came together on Sept. 25 to celebrate the life of Abe Levine, a UFT executive board member for nearly 59 years.

November 7, 1960

The newly formed United Federation of Teachers was demanding collective bargaining rights and Superintendent of Schools John Theobald’s response was that he did not bargain with his own family.

A collective advantage

Just like a union, a professional organization represents the interests of its members. Banding together, members may be able to provide products and services to those who join — perhaps magazine subscriptions or professional development or insurance...

Allies: The UFT and the civil rights movement

In 1996, New York Teacher reporter Jack Schierenbeck, a gifted writer and labor scholar, undertook to write a series of articles detailing the history of the UFT. The result, “Class Struggles: The UFT Story,” was a vivid and insightful retelling of...

People power: The UFT and political action

Lately the media have been overrun by charges that the teachers union is the 800-pound gorilla in the room whenever education policy is discussed in the halls of power — and it’s not meant as a compliment!

The contract becomes a tool for school reform

From the earliest days of the UFT, presidents Charles Cogen and Al Shanker knew that educators could be a powerful tool for reform. Educators knew first-hand the problems that their students faced, and they encouraged educators to come up with...

Back from the brink: How the UFT saved New York from bankruptcy

A faltering national economy. Huge budget gaps in Albany and New York City. Unemployment at a peak. Homelessness on the rise. Wall Street losses. Threats of massive layoffs and service cuts. Transit and tuition increases. Demands for concessions from...

UFT connection to rest of organized labor

A basic tenet of the UFT has always been that organized labor and progressive elected officials are essential to promoting the interests of its members. Indeed, the backing of the labor movement and political allies was instrumental in the UFT’s...

Not for teachers only

Despite its name, the United Federation of Teachers is a union of 200,000 working people who are committed to improving the lives of New Yorkers in many different ways. Most, but not all, provide education, child care or health services for adults...