File - Pueblo Education Association
File - Pueblo Education Association
History of Teaching
Back in the1800’s, school was
different from today.
The Student Body
Students of all ages were in the same class. Some of
the younger students were three or four years old and
other students were sometimes older than the teacher!
“80 or 90 pupils in one class from all
grades with one teacher.”
Letter from a student 1901…
“Right now Miss
Matheson is living at
house. But next month
it will be our turn to
board her. I wonder if
one day parents will
build the teacher her
Most teachers didn't get paid very much
money. They received $4 to $10 a month. A lot
of teachers had to " board round", meaning they
had to live with their students.
A teacher could not afford to support a family
solely on this salary.
Discrimination in pay
According to Pennsylvania annual school
reports published in local newspapers,
men consistently received a higher salary
“Maria Waterbury, a teacher who went to a "water cure" resort in Elmira, New
York, to recover her health, reported that the physician who greeted her said
he was used to seeing members of her profession...
"We have the most
teachers of any
class of patients.
They are worn out.
They wear out faster
than any other class
The Right to Bargain Collectively
In 1935 Congress passed the National
Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), which
guarantees the right of private employees
to form and join unions to bargain
Note:13 states still expressly
prohibit collective bargaining
by public school teachers or
other public employees!
It got better…
Slowly labor unions around the
country fought against oppressive,
and debilitating work
But not much…
“The Depression years accentuated the
problems facing teachers: low salaries and
economic insecurity. Worse, female teachers
found themselves faced with “contracts which
still stipulated that an employed teacher must
wear skirts of certain lengths, keep her galoshes
buckled, not receive gentleman callers more
than three times a week and teach a Sunday
School class.” -The American Teacher
Many teachers lost their jobs fighting
for basic rights we have today.
“In the early 1900’s
Loyalty oaths were
being required in some
locales, and teachers
were dismissed for
joining the union or for
working on school
In the 1950s, loyalty oaths cropped up
again. The union took leadership in
opposing this blight upon academic
freedom during the McCarthy period,
defending those teachers wrongly
accused of “subversion.”
Fighting for civil rights
NEA was also in the forefront of the civil
rights movement, filing an amicus curiae
brief in the historic 1954 Supreme Court
desegregation case Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka, and expelling locals
that had not followed an earlier mandate to
Public vs. Private…
Until the early 1960s, teachers had no due
process or collective bargaining rights.
Many teachers had only a two-year
college degree. School boards in some
states fired teachers simply because they
had attained too much education and had
advanced too far on the salary schedule.
No legal recourse for teachers was
The Right to Collectively Bargain
In 1962 Wisconsin became the first state to pass
legislation governing public employee bargaining. The
Wisconsin statute required local governments to bargain
in good faith with employee groups and also created
administrative enforcement measures. The law also
marked the beginning of widespread recognition of the
rights of public employees to bargain collectively. Within
the next five years, New York and Michigan passed
similar laws, and by 1974 thirty-seven states had passed
legislation permitting public employee bargaining— a
number that remains unchanged to this day.
What rights did we achieve?
The far-reaching rules established may include working
conditions, such as the length of the school day, hours
of instruction and preparation time, and interaction time
with parents; class size; the number and responsibility of
supplemental classroom personnel, such as aides;
employment protection; assignment to schools and
grade levels; criteria for promotion; reductions in force;
professional services; in-service and professional
development; instructional policy committees; student
grading and promotion; teacher evaluation;
performance indicators; grievance procedures; student
discipline and teacher safety; and the exclusion of
pupils from the classroom.
The list goes on…
Suffice it to say that collective bargaining agreements,
through negotiated rules and regulations, establish
school policy and govern how teachers,
administrators, parents, and students interact in the
delivery of educational services.
As the Wall Street Journal noted nearly three decades ago,
“Teachers’ unions have become
crucial forces in deciding how public
education should be run in the U.S.”
The following are some of the
matters that are often the subject of
Wages and salaries
Hours, workload, and
• Tenure and
•Leaves and sabbaticals
Some Important National Issues
addressed by NEA today
• No Child Left Behind (NCLB) /Elementary and
Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
• Education funding
• Merit pay
• Minority Community Outreach
• Dropout prevention
• Achievement gap
• Social Security Offsets (GPO/WEP)
• School vouchers
• Charter schools
• You’re one of the hardest-working people in the
United States, and you’re doing our most important
work—preparing the next generation of citizens.
You’re not paid what you’re worth, though you’ll
likely spend a good deal of your own money for
things your district won’t supply your students.
You’re getting better every day, though policymakers
who haven’t been in a classroom since they were
students will tell you how to do your job.
• Hang tough! Keep the faith! And keep putting your
students first—your Association has your back.