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AFT Affiliate United Educators of San Francisco Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000524
Part I:

Series I, Boxes 1-2 Executive Board Minutes: The series includes financial reports, membership committee reports and miscellaneous correspondence as found in the original files of the local. The files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of August 2, 1949 to May 19, 1950 and June 18, 1956 to February 10, 1969.

Series II, Boxes 3-4 General (or regular) Meeting Minutes: The series includes membership committee reports. The files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of June 13, 1949 to May 5, 1952 and June 4, 1956 to June 3, 1968.

Series III, Box 4 General Office File: The series includes a wide range of material reflecting issues and problems of the local over more than a decade. The files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of 1954 to 1970.

Series IV, Box 5 Union programs and Salary Proposals: The series includes local membership information on bargaining. goals and salary proposals made to the Board of Education. The files are arranged by type of material, issued in the period 1944 to 1971.

Series V, Box 6 Bargaining Team File: The series contains loose material on union operations not found in the minutes files, including salary statistics, bargaining team reports, correspondence, election information propaganda leaflets and strike information. The files are in chronological order.

Series VI, Box 7 Teachers Political Activity Issue: The series contains material from the period 1950 to 1955 relating to the campaign to lift Board of Education restrictions on teachers' political activity.

Series VII, Box 7 San Francisco Board of Education Documents

Series VIII, Box 8 Union News Publications: SFFT "Reporter" and "Newsletter" (many issues are missing from the years indicated).

Series IX, Box 8 Newspaper Clippings: The series contains information on the union's bargaining demands and strike action as covered in the San Francisco area press for the years indicated.

Series X, Box 9 Miscellaneous: The series contains materials on the California Federation of Teachers, the San Francisco Teachers Association and AFT locals at the San Francisco State College, in Oakland and in Los Angeles.
Part II: AFT Affiliate United Educators of San Francisco Records, Part II consist of records prior to, during, and after the merger of the SFFT and SFCTA. Included are correspondence, minutes, newsletters, news releases, leaflets and flyers, membership and dues ledgers, grievance files, salary schedules, contracts, constitutions and bylaws, chronological files, and photographs. The San Francisco Federation of Teachers Local 61 and the United Educators of San Francisco created most of the material, but some material from the San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association is also included.

Series 11: San Francisco Federation of Teachers, 1942-1989 Series 11 is comprised of the records of the AFT affiliate San Francisco Federation of Teachers as well as some materials from the NEA affiliated San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association, created prior to the merger of the two unions. Records include meeting minutes, grievance files, fliers, publications, newsletters, news releases, financial records, membership records, correspondence, constitutions and bylaws, contracts and related bargaining files, and chronological files. Much of the correspondence is between SFFT or SFCTA and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Correspondence with AFT and CFT is also included. Additional subjects include elections of SFFT and school board leadership as well as San Francisco mayoral and other political candidates, strikes, especially 1968 and 1977, substitute teachers and paraprofessionals, special education, class size, preparation periods, and bilingual education. Files pertain primarily to teachers including substitutes and paraprofessionals, and employees of the union itself.

Series 12: United Educators of San Francisco, 1989-2013 Series 12 consists of records created after the merger of the SFFT and the SFCTA. Files include executive board and assembly meeting minutes and other related material, grievance files, correspondence, contracts. This series also contains material from the San Francisco Substitute Teacher Organization. Also included are materials from the AFT and CFT Executive Councils meetings in 1989 and 1990, as well as COPE (Committee on Political Education) meetings, attended by SFFT/UESF president Joan Marie Shelley.

Series 13: Audiovisual Material, 1968-1993 Material in Series 13 includes of photograph prints, negatives, one VHS tape, one audiocassette tape, and buttons and pins. Images depict union leaders, rank and file members, school board members, students, and events such as meetings, conventions, strikes, and rallies. The majority of the material dates prior to the merger, and was created or commissioned by the SFFT.

Dates

  • 1942 - 2013
  • Majority of material found within 1956 - 2009

Creator

Language of Materials

Material primarily in English. Some materials are in Spanish or Chinese.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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.

Extent

102.5 Linear Feet (97 SB, 11 MB, 1 OS)

Abstract

The United Educators of San Francisco formed in 1989 after a merger of the local American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association chapters. The Union represents teachers and paraprofessionals in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Prior to the merger, membership was split between the two unions - AFT Local 61 San Francisco Federation of Teachers, and the NEA affiliated San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association - and a large number of teachers opted out of membership altogether. Neither union had the numbers to establish a stable leadership position. Once the Rodda Act granted bargaining rights in California, the SFFT and SFCTA fought for control of SFUSD collective bargaining for teachers, alternately winning elections. This divisiveness hurt the unions’ bargaining position with the school board. For many years, beginning with SFFT President James Ballard in the 1970s, the two unions held discussions on a potential merger. It wasn’t until 1989 under SFFT president Joan Marie Shelley and SFCTA President Judy Dellamonica that the two San Francisco unions finally reached an agreement, which the membership approved by vote. Part I of this collection contains material from the San Francisco Federation of Teachers, including minutes of the Executive Boards (1951-52, 1956-68) and general membership meeting minutes (1956-68); clippings, bulletins, memos, and photos concerning the 1968 strike and negotiations; clippings from the 1971 strike; reports and correspondence of the Bargaining Committee and various other committees; and newsletters. Part II consist of records created before, during, and after the merger of the SFFT and SFCTA. Included are correspondence, chronological files, minutes, newsletters, news releases, leaflets and flyers, membership and dues ledgers, grievance files, salary schedules, contracts, constitutions and bylaws, chronological files, and photographs.

History

The San Francisco Federation of Teachers was chartered as Local 61 of the American Federation of Teachers on April 7, 1919. On May 21 of 1919 the local was affiliated with the San Francisco Labor Council.

During the years covered in Part I of the collection, the number of union members ranged between 1000 and 2000 public school teachers. The chief goals of the union included increased teacher salaries, lower class sizes and teaching loads, better testing and remedial programs and improved community relations.
The United Educators of San Francisco formed in 1989 after a merger of the local American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association chapters. The Union represents teachers and paraprofessionals in the San Francisco Unified School District.

Prior to the merger, membership was split between the two unions, and a large number of teachers opted out of membership altogether. Neither union had the numbers to establish a stable leadership position.

California did not have collective bargaining rights until 1976. Prior to that, under the Winton Act, unions and school boards could meet to discuss issues, but could not produce binding agreements. Both SFFT and SFCTA representatives attended the meetings with the school board of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) until the Educational Employment Relations Act, also known as the Rodda Act, established collective bargaining rights for California public school employees. The act also resulted in exclusive bargaining representative rights. For over two decades, the SFFT and SFCTA fought for control of collective bargaining rights for teachers, alternately winning elections. This divisiveness hurt the unions’ bargaining position with the school board.

SFFT won the first election and negotiated the district’s first contract in 1977. In 1979, as a result of budget difficulties from Proposition 13, the SFUSD laid off about 1200 teachers. The layoffs and poor treatment of paraprofessionals caused the SFFT to lead a strike that lasted for six weeks. The SFFT succeeded in forcing the district to rehire many, but not all, affected teachers. The SFCTA took over control of bargaining rights in 1981, though the SFFT remained the bargaining agent for paraprofessionals. The SFFT challenged the SFCTA unsuccessfully twice, and finally regained control in 1989. At that point the SFCTA faced likely dissolution.

For many years, beginning with SFFT President James Ballard in the 1970s, the two unions held discussions on a potential merger. At the time, the only successful local teachers union merger was the United Teachers Los Angeles. It wasn’t until 1989 under SFFT president Joan Marie Shelley and SFCTA President Judy Dellamonica that the two San Francisco unions finally reached an agreement, which the membership approved by vote. Under the agreement, members of the United Educators of San Francisco would belong to both state teacher union chapters – the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association – and the AFT and NEA, in addition to membership in the local chapter. This differed from the merger in Los Angeles, where members chose which national organization to join. The United Educators of San Francisco was the first of its kind. In the years since, several locals and even state chapters have merged their AFT and NEA affiliated unions.

Arrangement

Part I:

Series I, files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of August 2, 1949 to May 19, 1950 and June 18, 1956 to February 10, 1969.

Series II, files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of June 13, 1949 to May 5, 1952 and June 4, 1956 to June 3, 1968.

Series III, files are arranged chronologically and cover the period of 1954 to 1970.

Series IV, files are arranged by type of material, issued in the period 1944 to 1971.

Series V, files are in chronological order.

Series VI, arranged in chronological order.

Series VII, files are arranged by type of material, issued in the period 1951 to 1969.

Series VIII, arranged in chronological order.

Series IX, arranged in chronological order.

Series X, files are arranged by type of material, issued in the period 1968 to 1971.
Part II:

Arranged in 3 series – Series 11 (Boxes 10-95, 106-108), Series 12 (Boxes 95-102) and Series 13 (Boxes 102-105). Folders are arranged chronologically and thereunder alphabetically by subject, which reflects the original order of the majority of the files. However, an addition to the collection (boxes 106-108) were simply added to the end of Series 11 and are not arranged.

Acquisition

Part I of the papers of the San Francisco Federation of Teachers were placed in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in January of 1972 by Marjorie Sterne and were opened for research in March of 1973.
The Reuther received the AFT Affiliate United Educators of San Francisco Records, Part II in several shipments: from the San Francisco Federation of Teachers on July 9, 1979, August 12, 1982, August 12, 1985; and from the United Educators of San Francisco on July 21, 1992, August 5, 1993, February 7, 1994, August of 1999, and August 4, 2009.

Related Materials

AFT President’s Office: Albert Shanker Records, AFT Oral History Project, AFT Local 61: San Francisco Federation of Teachers Records, Gerry Meister Papers

Transfers

From Part I, approximately 40 photographs relating to an American Federation of Teachers national convention in 1967 and to the San Francisco teachers strikes of 1968 and 1969 have been placed in the Archives' Audiovisual Collections.
From Part II, a VHS tape, an audiocassette tape, and photographic negatives (Box 105) were transferred to the Reuther’s Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Stefanie Caloia on January 22, 2015.
Title
Guide to the AFT Affiliate United Educators of San Francisco Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Stefanie Caloia.
Date
2015-01-22
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2015-01-22: Added part II.
  • 2016-02-16: Added boxes 106-108.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA