3/23/2010: Resolution Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the United Federation of Teachers

Shirley L. Huntley

March 30, 2010

Senate Resolution No. 4412



COMMEMORATING the 50th Anniversary of the

United Federation of Teachers

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize the

achievements of the United Federation of Teachers as it celebrates its

50th Anniversary in March 2010; and

WHEREAS, Dignity and respect, professionalism, due process,

competitive wages and benefits are all critical parts of the teaching

profession; and

WHEREAS, Fifty years ago, those things didn't exist for teachers in

New York City’s public schools and a patchwork of more than 100

different and often competing organizations were available for educators

to join, but there was no one true voice and advocate for students and

Teachers; and

WHEREAS, That all changed when a small group of visionaries who

Believed that educators and their students were being shortchanged

successfully fought to unify the various organizations and created the

United Federation of Teachers (UFT) on March 16, 1960; and

WHEREAS, In a first step toward winning independence and dignity for

city teachers, on November 7, 1960, a one-day walkout by 5,000 teachers,

brought forth promises of collective-bargaining rights from the city and

eventually the union's first contract in June 1962; and

WHEREAS, In 1969, the UFT started a college scholarship fund that

continues to give out $1 million a year to high-achieving needy city

public school graduates; and

WHEREAS, In April 1970, public school paraprofessionals joined

teachers and other non-supervisory school staff as UFT members; and

WHEREAS, In 1979, the UFT launched the Dial-A-Teacher homework

assistance program, which now answers over 75,000 calls a year from

Students and parents seeking help with homework; and

WHEREAS, In 2007, the city's 30,000 family childcare providers voted

to join the UFT, marking its largest expansion since its formation; and

 WHEREAS, The UFT currently represents over 200,000 teachers,

Paraprofessionals, non-supervisory school staff, nurses, family

childcare providers, other professional staff and retired members; and

 WHEREAS, Recognizing that the interests of school children and their

teachers are inseparable, the UFT combines its roles as a trade

organization and an influential children’s lobby to help make every

public school a place where parents want to send their children and

where educators want to work; and

 WHEREAS, The UFT is a tireless advocate for quality public education

and has strongly supported and often led efforts to raise academic

 standards, strengthen instruction, reduce class size, create safer, more

Orderly schools, improve school facilities, and increase parent

involvement in schools; and

 WHEREAS, March 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of the union's

formation and its ongoing successful efforts to strengthen the education

profession and New York City public schools; and

 WHEREAS, During those 50 years, the UFT has been led by five

visionary teachers as its president, Charles Cogen, Albert Shanker,

Sandy Feldman, Randi Weingarten and now Michael Mulgrew; and

 WHEREAS, It is the practice of this Legislative Body that when

associations of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our

attention, they should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens

of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to

commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the United Federation of Teachers;

and be it further

 RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be

transmitted to the United Federation of Teachers.