AFT Local 2 Records

Collection Number: 5279

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
AFT Local 2 Records, 1918-1957
Collection Number:
5279
Creator:
American Federation of Teachers (AFT);
AFT Local 2
Quantity:
21.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Office files of the Teachers Guild, Local #2 of the American Federation of Teachers.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The Teacher's Union, Local 5, was organized in 1916 as an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, (AF of L) by Henry R. Linville, Abraham Lefkowitz and a few other pioneering teachers in New York City.
Perhaps the most significant contribution of the T.U. during those early years was its fight on behalf of civil liberties, an area in which it would later become a formidable combatant. Its principal target was the repeal of the Lusk laws, statutes which allowed for the revocation of a teacher's license "if he is not of good moral character -- or if by act or utterance he shows that he will not support the constitution of the State or of the United States of America."
During the 1920's the T.U. continued its fight for increased salaries commensurate with the higher cost of living, reduced classroom size, tenure for teachers, improvements in the pension system, and increased state aid education. Unfortunately, the results rarely met the organization's expectations.
About 1925, organized political factions began appearing within the T.U.'s ranks. After 1929, two such groups were dominant in their opposition to the majority organization: the "Rank and File" group which represented the official Communist Party of America, and the "Progressive" group which represented a faction within the Communist movement opposed to the official party.
The leadership of Local 5 soon realized that it was helpless in the factional battle that ensued because of an overly liberal constitution, which had been designed to insure the rights of all minority groups whatever their objectives. In an attempt to rid its house of revolutionary elements, on October 27, 1932, at a large membership meeting, a Committee of Five was selected to try five members of the Rank and File group and one member of the Progressive group on the charge of disruptive conduct.
John Dewey, chairman, delivered the unanimous report of the Committee on April 29, 1933 before a Membership meeting of approximately 800. As was anticipated, the Committee reported that the primary cause of the intolerable strike within the Teachers' Union was due to the existence and activity of the two Communist organized factions. With the support of both the Executive Board and the Delegate Assembly, the local petitioned the national office to investigate the local and sought to have the local's old charter revoked so that a new local might be formed without the Communist element.
In May 1935, the national office sent an investigating committee composed of its president, secretary-treasurer and its Washington representative. The Committee's finding was that the local union "was 'helpless' and 'completely at the mercy of a small obstructionist group in the local', and that the obstructionist's group was itself 'not free to formulate its own policies but was subject to a political force which is itself fundamentally opposed to basic principles for which the union attends.'"
Despite this report of the investigating committee, a request by the administration of the Teachers Union to reorganize the local was turned down at the A.F.T. National Convention in August 1935 by a vote of 100 to 79. As a result, October 1, 1935, Henry R. Linville and Abraham Lefkowitz led eight hundred dissatisfied members out of the Teachers Union and into the newly formed independent Teachers Guild. Also among the seceding members were all the officers (with the exception of one) and a majority of the Executive Board.
In 1936, the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor, as a result of testimony taken before a sub-committee in Washington, recommended to the American Federation of Teachers that it revoke the charter issued to Teachers Union Local 5. The A.F.T., however, did not see fit to abide by this recommendation.
On March 15, 1938 the Greater New York Central Trades and Labor Council suspended the Teachers Union from membership in its organization. Also in March, Teachers Union, Local 5 was expelled from the Joint Committee of Teachers Organizations of New York City.
Again in 1941, the subject of Local 5's charter revocation came up before the American Federation of teachers. However, this time the Executive Council recommended (with one dissenting vote) revocation and their action was overwhelmingly endorsed by the delegates at the Conventions in August 1941, at Detroit. After having its charter revoked, the Teachers Unions continued as Local 555 of the United Public Workers of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The C.I.O. in February 1950 expelled the United Public Workers due to its alleged Communist domination. The Teachers Union, however, continued its association with the U.P.W. until it withdrew in February 1952.
Finally, in 1964, at the suggestion of Rose Russell, one of the T.U.'s guiding lights, the annual convention dissolved the T.U. with the recommendation that its members unite with the other forces in the New York City Teacher's Movement. On June 20, prior to the 1941 Convention, the Teachers Guild accepted the offer of a charter and was reunited with the American Federation of Teachers. Although it retained its name of the Teachers Guild, it was now designated Local 2, AFT.
The Teachers Guild during this period increased in both size and strength. In March, 1960, the Teachers Guild merged with the CATU (Committee of Action Through Unity) to form the United Federation of Teachers. Under the auspices of the New York City Labor Department and empowered by the Board of Education, a representation election was scheduled and held on December 15, 1961. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the U.F.T. (Local 2, AFT) and so the following August the Board of Education and the U.F.T. entered into their first collective bargaining relationship.
SUBJECTS

Names:
American Federation of Labor
Americans for Democratic Action
Brookwood Labor College
Communist Party of the United States of America
National Education Association of the United States
New York (N.Y.). Board of Education.
New York Teachers Guild
Teachers Guild
United Nations
Austin, Warren Robinson
Count, George
Dewey, John, 1859-1952.
Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971.
Eaton, Charles Aubrey
Green, William, 1872-1952
Hillman, Sidney, 1887-1946
La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947
Lefkowitz, Abraham
Lie, Trygvi
Linville, Henry
Mooney, Thomas J., 1882-1942
O'Dwyer, William, 1890-1964
Perkins, Frances, 1882-1965
Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
Vandenburg, Arthur Hendrick


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
AFT Local 2 Records #5279. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5015: Teachers Union of the City of New York Records
5019: AFT Executive Council Transcript of Hearing of Local 5
5020: AFT Executive Council Transcript of Hearing of Local 537
5279: AFT Local 2 Records
5417 mf: AFT Local 2 Scrapbook on Microfilm
5845: AFT Local 616 (Rochester, NY) Federation of Classroom Teachers Records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3
Box 1 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 5
Box 1 Folder 6
Box 1 Folder 7
Box 1 Folder 8
Box 1 Folder 9
Box 1 Folder 10 1935
Box 1 Folder 11
Box 1 Folder 12
Box 1 Folder 13 1940
Box 1 Folder 14 1925-1935
Box 1 Folder 15
Box 1 Folder 16
Box 1 Folder 17
Box 1 Folder 18
Box 1 Folder 19
Box 1 Folder 20
Box 1 Folder 21
Box 1 Folder 22
Box 1 Folder 23
Box 1 Folder 24
Box 1 Folder 25
Box 1 Folder 26 1939
Box 1 Folder 27
Box 1 Folder 28 1947-1948
Box 1 Folder 29 1937
Box 1 Folder 30 1939-1940
Box 2 Folder 1
Box 2 Folder 2 1940
Box 2 Folder 3
Box 2 Folder 4
Box 2 Folder 5
Box 2 Folder 6
Box 2 Folder 7
Box 2 Folder 8 1941
Box 2 Folder 9
Box 2 Folder 10 1950
Box 2 Folder 11 1948-1949
Box 2 Folder 12
Box 2 Folder 13
Box 2 Folder 14
Box 2 Folder 15
Box 2 Folder 16
Box 2 Folder 17 1932-1933
Box 2 Folder 18
Box 2 Folder 19
Box 2 Folder 20 1952
Box 2 Folder 21
Box 2 Folder 22
Box 2 Folder 23
Box 2 Folder 24
Box 2 Folder 25
Box 2 Folder 26
Box 3 Folder 1 1948
Box 3 Folder 2 1949
including Executive Board
Box 3 Folder 3 1950
Box 3 Folder 4 1951
Box 3 Folder 5 1952
Box 3 Folder 6 1953-1954
Box 3 Folder 7 1954
Box 3 Folder 8 1955
Box 3 Folder 9 1938-1940
Box 3 Folder 10 1947-1948
Box 3 Folder 11 1947-1948
Box 3 Folder 12 1947
Box 3 Folder 13 1948-1952
Box 3 Folder 14 1949
Box 3 Folder 15 1941
Box 3 Folder 16 1954
Box 3 Folder 17
Box 3 Folder 18 1954-1956
Box 3 Folder 19 1942
Box 3 Folder 20
Resume, correspondence, etc.
Box 3 Folder 21 1947
Box 3 Folder 22 1948
Box 3 Folder 23 1949
Box 3 Folder 24 1951
Box 3 Folder 25 1952-1953
Box 3 Folder 26 1954
Box 3 Folder 27 1955
Box 3 Folder 28 1935-1940
Box 3 Folder 29 1948-1950
Box 3 Folder 30 1938-1939
Box 3 Folder 31 1944-1946
Box 3 Folder 32 1952-1954
Box 3 Folder 33 1954-1955
Box 3 Folder 34 1948-1949
Box 3 Folder 35 1950
Box 3 Folder 36 1948-1949
Box 3 Folder 37 1950-1951
Box 3 Folder 38 1951-1952
Box 3 Folder 39 1953-1954
Box 3 Folder 40 1954
Box 4 Folder 1 1939
Box 4 Folder 2 1947
Box 4 Folder 3
Correspondence, etc
Box 4 Folder 4 1937-1942
Box 4 Folder 5 1938-1941
Box 4 Folder 6 1943-1944
Box 4 Folder 7 1945-1946
Box 4 Folder 8
Box 4 Folder 9
Box 4 Folder 10
Box 4 Folder 11
Box 4 Folder 12
Box 4 Folder 13
Box 4 Folder 14 1938-1940
Box 4 Folder 15 1935-1938
Box 4 Folder 16 1939-1941
Box 4 Folder 17 1943-1945
Box 4 Folder 18 1946-1947
Box 4 Folder 19 1937
and prior
Box 4 Folder 20 1939
Dr. Lefkowitz
Box 4 Folder 21 1939-1941
Box 4 Folder 22 1945
Box 4 Folder 23 1946-1947
Box 4 Folder 24 1947-1948
Box 4 Folder 25
Box 4 Folder 26
Box 5 Folder 1
Box 5 Folder 2
Box 5 Folder 3
Box 5 Folder 4
Box 5 Folder 5
Box 5 Folder 6
Box 5 Folder 7 1954
Box 5 Folder 8 1954
Box 5 Folder 9 1954
Box 5 Folder 10
Box 5 Folder 11
Box 5 Folder 12
Box 5 Folder 13
Box 5 Folder 14
Box 5 Folder 15
Box 5 Folder 16
Box 5 Folder 17
Box 5 Folder 18
Box 5 Folder 19
Box 5 Folder 20
Box 5 Folder 21
Box 5 Folder 22
Box 5 Folder 23
Box 5 Folder 24
Box 5 Folder 25
Box 5 Folder 26
Box 5 Folder 27
Box 5 Folder 28
Box 6 Folder 1a
3 folders
Box 6 Folder 1b
Box 6 Folder 1c
Box 6 Folder 2
Box 6 Folder 3 1942
Joint TG & TGA
Box 6 Folder 4
Box 6 Folder 5
Box 6 Folder 6
Box 6 Folder 7
Box 6 Folder 8
Box 6 Folder 9 1947-1948
Box 6 Folder 10
Box 6 Folder 11
included is a 192 page report titled: "Supervision in the Elementary Schools"
Box 6 Folder 12
Box 6 Folder 13
Box 6 Folder 14
Box 6 Folder 15
Box 6 Folder 16 1938-1941
Box 6 Folder 17 1946
Box 6 Folder 18 1946
Box 6 Folder 19 1948-1949
Box 6 Folder 20 1949
Box 6 Folder 21 1949-1950
Box 6 Folder 22 1949-1950
Box 6 Folder 23 1950-1951
Box 6 Folder 24 1950-1951
Box 6 Folder 25
Box 6 Folder 26
Box 6 Folder 27
Box 7 Folder 1 1951-1952
Box 7 Folder 2 1952-1953
Box 7 Folder 3 1955
Box 7 Folder 4
Box 7 Folder 5
Box 7 Folder 6
Box 7 Folder 7
Box 7 Folder 8 1947
Box 7 Folder 9
Box 7 Folder 10
Box 7 Folder 11
Box 7 Folder 12a
2 large folders
Box 7 Folder 12b
Box 7 Folder 13
Box 7 Folder 14
Box 7 Folder 15
Box 7 Folder 16
Box 7 Folder 17
Box 7 Folder 18
Box 7 Folder 19a 1941
2 folders
Box 7 Folder 19b 1941
Box 8 Folder 1
Box 8 Folder 2
Box 8 Folder 3 1948-1955
Box 8 Folder 4
Box 8 Folder 5
Box 8 Folder 6
Box 8 Folder 7
Box 8 Folder 8
Box 8 Folder 9
Box 8 Folder 10
Box 8 Folder 11
Box 8 Folder 12
Box 8 Folder 13
Box 8 Folder 14
Box 8 Folder 15 1934-1935
Box 8 Folder 16
Box 8 Folder 17
Box 8 Folder 18
Box 8 Folder 19
Box 8 Folder 20
Box 8 Folder 21
Box 8 Folder 22 1946
Box 8 Folder 23 1935-1936
Box 8 Folder 24 1937
Box 8 Folder 25
Box 8 Folder 26
Box 9 Folder 1
Box 9 Folder 2
Box 9 Folder 3
Box 9 Folder 4
Box 9 Folder 5
Box 9 Folder 6 1924-1947
Box 9 Folder 7
Box 9 Folder 8
Box 9 Folder 9
Box 9 Folder 10
Box 9 Folder 11
Box 9 Folder 12
Box 9 Folder 13
Box 9 Folder 14
Box 9 Folder 15
Box 9 Folder 16a
2 folders
Box 9 Folder 16b
2 folders
Box 9 Folder 17
Box 9 Folder 18
Box 9 Folder 19 1937
Box 9 Folder 20
Box 9 Folder 21
Box 9 Folder 22
Box 9 Folder 23
Box 9 Folder 24
Box 9 Folder 25
Box 9 Folder 26
Box 9 Folder 27
Box 9 Folder 28
Box 9 Folder 29
Box 9 Folder 30
Box 9 Folder 31 1952
Box 9 Folder 32
Box 9 Folder 33
Box 9 Folder 34
Box 9 Folder 35
Box 9 Folder 36
Box 9A Folder 1
Box 9A Folder 2
Sent out by Ray R. Peck. Controversy over authorization
Box 9A Folder 3
Box 9A Folder 4
Box 9A Folder 5
By Board of Education
Box 9A Folder 6
Box 9A Folder 7
Box 9A Folder 8
On various topics
Box 9A Folder 9
Box 9A Folder 10
Box 9A Folder 11
Box 9A Folder 12 1952
Box 9A Folder 13
Box 9A Folder 14
Box 9A Folder 15
Box 9A Folder 16
Box 10 Folder 1
Box 10 Folder 2
Box 10 Folder 3
Box 10 Folder 4
Box 10 Folder 5
Box 10 Folder 6
Box 10 Folder 7a
2 folders
Box 10 Folder 7b
2 folders
Box 10 Folder 8
Box 10 Folder 9
Box 10 Folder 10
Box 10 Folder 11
Box 10 Folder 12
Box 10 Folder 13
Box 10 Folder 14
Box 10 Folder 15 1937-1940
Box 10 Folder 16
Box 10 Folder 17
Box 11 Folder 1
Box 11 Folder 2
Box 11 Folder 3
Box 11 Folder 4
Box 11 Folder 5
Box 11 Folder 6
Box 11 Folder 7
Box 11 Folder 8
Box 11 Folder 9
Box 11 Folder 10
Box 11 Folder 11
Box 11 Folder 12 1938
Box 11 Folder 13 1941
Box 11 Folder 14 1954
Box 11 Folder 15 1948
Box 11 Folder 16 1950-1951
Box 11 Folder 17 1957
Box 11 Folder 18 1943-1946
Box 11 Folder 19 1947-1948
Box 11 Folder 20 1947-1948
And attendance
Box 11 Folder 21 1950-1951
Box 11 Folder 22 1951-1953
Box 11 Folder 23 1954-1955
Box 11 Folder 24
Box 11 Folder 25
Box 12 Folder 1
Box 12 Folder 2
Box 12 Folder 3 1941-1942
Box 12 Folder 4
Box 12 Folder 5
Box 12 Folder 6
Box 12 Folder 7
Box 12 Folder 8
Box 12 Folder 9
Box 12 Folder 10
Box 12 Folder 11
Box 12 Folder 12
Box 12 Folder 13 1951
Box 12 Folder 14
Box 12 Folder 15
Box 12 Folder 16 1953
Jan. 1953
Box 12 Folder 17
Box 12 Folder 18 1950-1953
Sept. 1950-1953
Box 12 Folder 19 1948-1950
Box 12 Folder 20 1947
November 8, 9, 1947
Box 12 Folder 21
Box 12 Folder 22
Box 12 Folder 23
Box 12 Folder 24
Box 12 Folder 25 1948-1950
Box 12 Folder 26 1950-1954
Box 12 Folder 27 1954
Box 12 Folder 28
Box 12 Folder 29
Box 12 Folder 30
Box 13 Folder 1
Box 13 Folder 2
Box 13 Folder 3
Box 13 Folder 4
Box 13 Folder 5
Box 13 Folder 6
Box 13 Folder 7
Box 13 Folder 8
Box 13 Folder 9
Box 13 Folder 10a
3 folders
Box 13 Folder 10b
Box 13 Folder 10c
Box 13 Folder 11
Box 13 Folder 12a
3 folders
Box 13 Folder 12b
Box 13 Folder 12c
Box 13 Folder 13
Box 13 Folder 14
Box 13 Folder 15
Box 13 Folder 16
Box 13 Folder 17
Box 13 Folder 18
Box 13 Folder 19
Box 13 Folder 20
Box 13 Folder 21
Box 13 Folder 22
Box 13 Folder 23
Box 13 Folder 24
Box 13 Folder 25
Box 13 Folder 26
Box 13 Folder 27
Box 13 Folder 28
Box 14 Folder 1 1937
Box 14 Folder 2 1940-1941
Box 14 Folder 3 1943-1944
Box 14 Folder 4 1944-1945
Box 14 Folder 5 1947
Box 14 Folder 6 1948
Box 14 Folder 7 1950-1954
Box 14 Folder 8 1946
Box 14 Folder 9 1948
Box 14 Folder 10
Box 14 Folder 11
Box 14 Folder 12
Box 14 Folder 13
Box 14 Folder 14
Box 14 Folder 15
Box 14 Folder 16
Box 14 Folder 17
Box 14 Folder 18
Box 14 Folder 19
Box 14 Folder 20 1940-1941
Box 15 Folder 1
to June 1951
Box 15 Folder 2
to June 1953
Box 15 Folder 3
Box 15 Folder 4 1941
various issues in 1941
Box 16 Folder 1 1945
all issues of 1945
Box 16 Folder 2 1942-1955
issues from Sept. 1951-Sept. 30, 1955; various issues from 1942 and 1943
Box 16 Folder 3
Box 17 Folder 1
Box 17 Folder 2 1946-1947
Nov. 1946 - June 1947
Box 17 Folder 3 1945
general publicity, Karelson resignation - emergency Comm., Quinn case, Colleges
Box 17 Folder 4 1942-1943
Box 17 Folder 5 1941-1942
Box 17 Folder 6 1936-1938
Box 17 Folder 7 1936-1938
Box 17 Folder 8 1936
Box 17 Folder 9 1927
Box 17 Folder 10 1923-1925
Box 18 Folder 1
Box 18 Folder 2 1918-1931
Box 18 Folder 3 1926
Box 18 Folder 4
Box 18 Folder 5 1936
Box 18 Folder 6 1938
Fall 1938
Box 19 Folder 1 1920-1931
Box 19 Folder 2 1932-1936
Box 19 Folder 3 1936-1940
Box 19 Folder 4 1938
Reports/Speeches/etc
Box 19 Folder 5 1939
Aug. 1939
Box 19 Folder 6
Prior to 1932
Box 19 Folder 7 1940
Box 19 Folder 8 1920-1940
Box 19 Folder 9
1920's-1930's
Box 20 Folder 1a 1936-1938
3 folders
Box 20 Folder 1b 1936-1938
Box 20 Folder 1c 1936-1938
Box 20 Folder 2 1938
Spring 1938
Box 20 Folder 3
no folder
Box 21 Folder 1