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AFT Local 698: East Detroit Federation of Teachers Records

Identifier: LR000256

Scope and Content

The East Detroit Federation of Teachers Collection covers the period from 1953 through 1964.

Among the Correspondents are: Cleveland Bailey; Mary Ellen Riordan; David Denman; Harold Ryan; Charles Goetz; August Scholle; Henry Linne; Robert Smiley; Carl Megel

Important subjects covered are: American Federation of Teachers Certification Collective Bargaining Gains Grievances History, Policies, and Constitution as of May, 1964 Insurance Legislation Mediation (Legal Matters) Merit Rating Michigan Federation of Teachers Retirement Supplementary Contract Information Tenure

Series Description: Series 1: Union Material Series 2: East Detroit School District


  • 1953 - 1964


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


The first step toward organization of teachers in East Detroit began in 1935. In that year a group of teachers, with the assistance of some parents, unsuccessfully attempted to achieve an increase in sala¬ries. After this, a Teachers' Club was organized to discuss possible courses of action. Between 1935 and 1942 Mrs. Frances Comfort and Mr. Arthur Elder came from the Detroit Federation to help organize a local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. The Macomb County Federation of Teachers, Number 698, was chartered as a local of the A.F.T. on February 18, 1942. In 1947 the teachers went on strike in a protest of school board policies. The strike was effective, and a raise in salaries was obtained. In the years following the strike, teachers received many more benefits as a result of unified action. Membership has grown steadily since the early 1950's.


4 Linear Feet (8 MB)


Teachers of East Detroit, Michigan, were first organized into the American Federation of Teachers in 1942, as members of the Macomb County Federation of Teachers, Local 698. The papers of the EDFT, beginning in 1953, include correspondence, minutes, constitutions, school board policy papers, and material on collective bargaining, co-ops, financial statements, conferences, grievances, merit rating, millage campaigns, strikes, mediation, insurance, retirement, and other matters of interest to teachers. Correspondents include Henry Linne, Carl Megel, Mary Ellen Riordan, Harold Ryan, and August Scholle.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-5), and Series 2 (Boxes 6-8). Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder, or purely chronologically depending on the box.


The papers of the East Detroit Federation of Teachers were deposited with the Labor History Archives on November 16, 1967 by the East Detroit Federation of Teachers.

Related Materials

AFT collections

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by EH during April-June 1968.
Guide to the AFT Local 698: East Detroit Federation of Teachers Records
Processed by EH.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA