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.
Former UFT President Albert Shanker
A short biography
While always struggling to improve the lives of educators through nuts-and-bolts trade unionism, Shanker also spearheaded the drive to improve public education nationally.
A chronology of his life
Albert Shanker was born in 1928 to immigrants from Czarist Russia. He succeeded Charles Cogen as UFT president in 1964.
How Shanker saved NYC from bankruptcy
During the fiscal crisis of 1975, Shanker keeps New York City running by asking the Teachers' Retirement System to invest $150 million in city bonds.
Other history makers
Profiles of prominent UFT leaders and members.
- Abraham Lefkowitz
- Albert Shanker
- Alice Marsh
- Benjamin Mazen
- Charles Cogen
- David Wittes
- Ely Trachtenberg
- Fanny Simon
- Henry Richardson Linville
- Jeannette DiLorenzo
- Jules Kolodny
- June Temple
- Layle Lane
- Martha Straus
- Rebecca Simonson
- Rose Schyler
- Sandra Feldman
- Si Beagle
- Sol Jaffe
- William (Bill) Woolfson
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."
- Finding Common Cause: The early years
- Albert Shanker: Prophetic reformer
- The Feldman Years: From labor union to union of professionals
- The Weingarten years
- Not for teachers only
- People Power: The UFT and political action
- A collective advantage
- The UFT's work is far from finished
- The contract becomes a tool for school reform
- UFT's connection to rest of organized labor
- Teacher quality and the UFT
View the book produced for the UFT's 50th anniversary in 2010. (Note: The PDF file is 21MB.)
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.
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.