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Our History

UFT members marching for the right to vote

Class Struggles: The UFT Story

This award-winning series of articles by Jack Schierenbeck originally appeared in the New York Teacher in 1996 and 1997.

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Former UFT President Albert Shanker

Teachers Marching 1967
UFT Photo Collection, Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University

A. Philip Randolph was the founder and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and co-organizer of the March on Washington. With Shanker’s help he founded the A. Philip Randolph Institute to promote and strengthen the labor-Civil Rights coalition. He is here pictured marching in a picket line of teachers alongside Al Shanker during the Mass Resignation Rally, 1967.

Your union, then and now

March 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the union’s formation, the beginning of its remarkable growth and extraordinary power and influence. Those 50 years of triumphs and advocacy have strengthened the education profession and New York City public schools.

"From the beginning, UFT members have been making positive contributions to this city," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "We’ve moved the system forward during good times and bad. The profession has come so far in 50 years, and it’s important for people to know about that journey."

United Federation of Teachers: 50 Years - cover

View the book produced for the UFT's 50th anniversary in 2010.  (Note:The PDF file is 21MB.)


Civil Rights Movement - UFT History 4
Sam Reiss

Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin (third from right) with UFT President Albert Shanker push through the crowd at a City Hall rally in September 1968. 

Allies: Teachers, the UFT and the civil rights movement

Sensing in the civil rights movement a natural ally with shared goals and values, the early leaders of the UFT and its predecessor, the Teachers Guild, threw their support behind the movement and its fight for racial equality and individual dignity. The union forged a strong alliance with black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin.

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9-11 Courage & Strength

Reflections on 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, in the face of horror and uncertainty, UFT members were there to make a crucial and, in many cases, a life-saving difference.

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See the UFT Story