Seattle Education Association records, 1958-1985  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle Education Association
Title
Seattle Education Association records
Dates
1958-1985 (inclusive)
Quantity
2.00 cubic feet
Collection Number
4217 (Accession No. 4217-001)
Summary
Records of the Association
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Access restricted: For terms of access, contact Special Collections.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Seattle Teachers’ Association, or STA, was established in 1958 with the merger of the Seattle Association of Classroom Teachers and the Seattle Grade Teachers’ Club.1 In 1985, the STA changed its name to the Seattle Education Association, that which appears in the title of this collection.2 Yet throughout the era spanned by this collection, the organization was still called the STA.3 At its inception, the STA became the largest organization of schoolteachers in Seattle, with around 2,500 members. 4 The STA was formed to represent the collective bargaining rights of teachers in Seattle Public School District No. 1., with the objective of developing “public understanding of the objective of education, promote its goal, and encourage the professional growth of association members.”5 Over the years, the organization began to focus to a greater degree on the welfare of its members and became more strident in its advocacy efforts.

The STA was affiliated with the Washington Education Association (WEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), although this affiliation was stronger in the first decade of the STA than in the period covered by this collection.6 The STA also collaborated with the Local 609 and the Operating Engineers Union, two unions associated with building maintenance in Seattle Schools.7

The STA worked with the WEA to pass the Professional Negotiations Act, or State of Washington Chapter 143 Law of 1965 (amended in 1969). 8 This law furthered the impact of genuine educator input in district policy by granting certificated Seattle School District employees a representative body for the purpose of negotiating with the superintendent and school board.9 This legislation had a broader scope than wages, hours, and conditions of employment, as it allowed for educator input on such features as curriculum and textbook selection. 10According to the Professional Negotiations Act, the body that communicated with the school board was required to represent not solely teachers, but all certified personnel within the district except the superintendent. 11Therefore, the STA created the Seattle Alliance of Educators, or SAE, an umbrella organization that advocated on behalf of the Seattle Teachers’ Association, the Seattle Principals’ Association, the Seattle Administrative and Supervisory League.12 Membership was indirect, via enrollment in one of these constituent organizations.13 The requisite involvement of administrators and principals placed many of these employees into difficult positions, straddling the fence between their administrative roles and their positions as employees and SAE members.14 By the mid-1970s, the administrators and principals had disbanded their constituent organizations, and the SAE had very little actual administrative participation.15 In 1976, the SAE merged back into the STA, and an STA Bargaining Commission was formed to perform the duties of the SAE. 16

The STA united with the Seattle Federation of Teachers (SFT) on several strikes and protests. However, much of the time the STA and SFT competed, and the amicability of these relations fluctuated over the years. The SFT often took a more aggressive position when bargaining, perhaps putting pressure on the STA to increase its own activity.17 Additionally, as the SAE was granted exclusive bargaining rights for Seattle School District Teachers, the SFT was not permitted to negotiate with the School District, which contributed to the tension between the organizations.18

Over the years covered by this collection, the STA was consistently concerned with issues of members’ salaries, rights, employment, district funding, school curriculum, and the de-facto racial segregation of schools. 19 The STA primarily sought to ensure the rights of its members, including the rights to collective representation, nondiscrimination, academic freedom, and legal contracts.20The STA also tried to help members with workplace needs like their salary schedule, seniority hiring, school day length, insurance, workload, transfer procedures, and layoffs due to reductions in force.21 To meet these needs, the STA supported any upcoming school levies, but simultaneously argued against the levy system as a whole, regarding it as too much of a band-aid.22 Additionally, the STA tried to meet its members’ needs electorally, by lobbying certain lawmakers and by exhorting members to support candidates. The STA also sought to influence school curriculum regarding topics such as textbook selection or the implementation of Junior High Schools. At this time, underlying racial concerns permeated many debates, as the STA set up a Human Rights Committee to support The Seattle Plan, an effort to remedy the de-facto segregation of many Central Area schools. Other concerns covered within this collection revolve around the upkeep of the organization itself, including its budget, membership, dues, and public relations. Overall, the STA in this period was concerned largely with educator rights, but also with many related topics.

For a history of the organization between 1958 and 1970, see the finding aid for the Seattle Teachers’ Association Records, Mss. Coll. No. 1402

The 1970s was a time of increased grassroots teacher involvement in the STA. The organization became more assertive and staged several strikes. 23 Much of this increased activism may have been influenced by larger national trends such as the valorization of education under President Lyndon B. Johnson, increased dissent in the 1960s, greater participation of women in protests movements which meant more participation in an organization with a large female component, and the activist model set by the United Federation of Teachers and other teachers’ unions on the East Coast.24 The creation of the SAE had also given many in the organization hope for greater leverage when dealing with the school board. 25While these hopes were increasing, in the 1970s the Seattle School District faced mounting difficulties. Enrollment dropped from around 99,000 students in 1969 to around 55,000 in 1976 OR IS IT 1978 – DOUBLE CHECK?.26 As a result, state funding dropped, so the Seattle School District faced a budget crisis.27 Increasingly, the district’s reliance on levies to balance its budget became more and more problematic and funding seemed consistently uncertain.28 When higher teacher expectations were confronted with these setbacks, the resulting frustration led to increased STA activity. In 1975, a levy failure would have meant layoffs for around 1,000 teachers, had the STA not negotiated a deal in which teachers rolled back an 8% salary increase and used the money to rehire the laid off teachers, with the promise that the school district would make up for these losses in the next year.29 Yet in 1976, the losses were not recouped, and teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, and football and cross-country coaches went on strike from September 7 to 20, eventually winning a 20% salary increase.30 Teachers again went on strike from September 5 through 27, 1978, asking for an increase in wages and benefits. 31 This time, the school board obtained a preliminary injunction that pressured the teachers to return to work, and demands were not met.32 In the era covered by this collection, the STA and SEA took a more strident, active tone than they had in the preceding decade.

With the 1980s, the STA faced new difficulties. House Bill 166 passed in 1981 and limited the ability for the STA to negotiate teacher salaries, as it mandated that Seattle educators could not attempt to negotiate a higher pay schedule than their counterparts in other regions of the state. 33 In 1985, teachers again went on strike over the issues of reductions in force (RIF), and TRI, or time, responsibility, and incentive for teachers and classified employees.34 Many members argued that the reductions in force were excessive, that layoffs were not based on seniority, and that teachers that kept their jobs lacked sufficient resources to execute them. 35 This strike, which lasted twenty-five days, ultimately alleviated the problems to some extent with an $8.4 million contract offer.36 These records end in 1985, the year of this strike.

Notes on Organizational History
  • 1. “New Teachers’ Group Elects,” Seattle Daily Times, May 27, 1958, 18.
  • 2. Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985 Acc. 4217-001 Labor Archives of Washingston State, University of Washington Libraries
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. “New Teachers’ Group Elects,” Seattle Daily Times, May 27, 1958, 18.
  • 5. Seattle Teachers’ Association Records 1958-1969. Acc. 1402-001 Washington State Labor Archives, University of Washington Libraries
  • 6. Steve Kink and John Cahill, Class Wars: The Story of the Washington Education Association 1965-2001 (Seattle: Washington Education Association, 2004), 3-7.
  • 7. Constantine Angelos, “Hiring planned if teachers strike,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 1, 1978, 14.
  • 8. Herb Robinson, “Officials Eye Teacher As Negotiator,” Seattle Daily Times, Mar. 17, 1966, 2.
  • 9. Kink and Cahill, 7-10.
  • 10. Kink and Cahill, 7-8.
  • 11. Kink and Cahill, 8.
  • 12. “SEA constitution” Box 1/2, Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985 Acc. 4217-001 Washington State Labor Archives, University of Washington Libraries
  • 13. Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985
  • 14. Kink and Cahill, 8-9.
  • 15. Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985
  • 16. Ibid.
  • 17. “Teachers Picket on Salary Boost,” Seattle Daily Times, April 13, 1967, 6; Constantine Angelos, “Record-Size School Levy to Be on Ballot,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 21, 1967, 32; Constantine Angelos, “Area Teachers Split Over Grievance Procedure,” Seattle Daily Times, Jan. 25, 1968, 5.
  • 18. “Teacher Federation Opposes Election,” Seattle Daily Times, May 24, 1966, 47.
  • 19. Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985
  • 20. Ibid.
  • 21. Ibid.
  • 22. Constantine Angelos, “Levy fails; teachers consider strike,” Seattle Daily Times, April 9, 1975, 1; WEA Book 76-79.
  • 23. Constantine Angelos, “Levy fails; teachers consider strike,” Seattle Daily Times, April 9, 1975, 1; Constantine Angelos “Seattle teachers go on strike,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 5, 1978, 1.
  • 24. Kink and Cahill, 1-3
  • 25. Kink and Cahill, 58-60.
  • 26. Constantine Angelos, “Seattle teachers reject latest offer,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 4, 1978, 1.
  • 27. Constantine Angelos, “Teachers, district resume talks,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 6, 1978, 1.
  • 28. “Teachers air new money strategy,” Seattle Daily Times, May 7, 1975, 22.
  • 29. “Cooler heads on teacher-strike issue,” Seattle Daily Times, May 8, 1975, 12.
  • 30. Constantine Angelos, “Will Seattle’s levy win explode in its face?” Seattle Daily Times, March 21, 1976, 6; Constantine Angelos, “Marathon school talks didn’t break stalemate,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 7, 1976, 25; Constantine Angelos, “Seattle teachers strike,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 7, 1976, 1; Constantine Angelos, “Teachers ordered back to work,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 17, 1976, 1; Constantine Angelos, “Strike ends; classes Wednesday,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 20, 1976, 1.
  • 31. Constantine Angelos, “First step in talks: Teachers present salary demands,” Seattle Daily Times, May 19, 1978, 32; Constantine Angelos, “Seattle teachers reject latest offer,” Seattle Daily Times, Sept. 4, 1978, 1.
  • 32. “Talks break off, Teachers’ strike headed for court” Peter Lewis “Longest strike stretches on” Angelos “School strike moves into court” Angelos “Teachers vote to obey judge” Angelos
  • 33. Kink and Cahill, 127.
  • 34. “The school strike: two sides, two views, too far apart,” The Seattle Times, Sept. 5, 1985.
  • 35. Seattle Education Association Records, 1958-1985
  • 36. Kink and Cahill, 147.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, minutes, newsletters, and clippings.

Correspondence is informative but limited. Often folders only contain one side of a series of letters. Most of these deal with the aforementioned major STA concerns. Documents illustrated how the STA dealt with individual grievances and teacher cases. SAE studies and interviews are also contained in this series, as well as limited information from strikes, and petitions from teachers, parents, and teachers. Major parties involved in correspondence include: SFT, WEA, STA legal consultation, local politicians, and the Seattle School Board and Superintendent. The correspondence drops off in volume around 1979.

The minutes are arranged into two sections. The first part, Executive Board Minutes, June 1958-June 1968 includes both minutes and other important documents, such as a 1966 copy of the “By-Laws of Seattle Alliance of Educators.” The second section of the minutes is the Representative Assembly Minutes, September 15, 1958 -May 1967. These originate from the General Meetings and Special Membership Meetings of the union.

Newsletters and flyers have several different formats, headings, and titles. Most originate from the SAE/STA and are either intended for the public or for the membership. The STA Communicator was aimed at the public regarding Seattle School District teachers, their concerns, and STA activities. This partial series of issues ranges from April 1979 to 1981. The STA News was aimed at members; apprising them of the organization’s activities, informing them of their rights, and building solidarity. These copies range from March 1970 to April 1976. The Advocate seems to be STA News under a new moniker; copies range from October 1976 through 1985, although many issues seem to be missing. Shorter flyers to inform membership about upcoming meeting and bargaining take several names, including the STA Voice, STA Memorandum, STA Bargaining Update, or STA, and range from 1981-1984.

Clippings take the form of newspaper clippings and range from 1966 to 1970. All reference the STA, issues occurring within the Seattle School District, or other educators’ organizations. Most of the clippings come from Seattle-area newspapers.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Series I: Correspondence, 1970-1985Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Correspondence, Sept. 1970-Aug. 1971
September 1970-August 1971
1/2
Correspondence, Sept. 1971-Aug. 1972
September 1971-August 1972
1/3
Correspondence, Sept. 1972-Aug. 1973
September 1972-August 1973
1/4
Correspondence, Sept. 1975-Aug. 1976
September 1975-August 1976
1/5
Correspondence, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1977
September 1976-August 1977
1/6
Correspondence, Sept. 1977-Aug. 1978
September 1977-August 1978
1/7
Correspondence, Sept. 1979-Aug. 1980
September 1979-August 1980
1/8
Correspondence, Sept. 1980-Aug. 1981
September 1980-August 1981
1/9
Correspondence, Sept. 1981-Aug. 1982
September 1981-August 1982
1/10
Correspondence, Sept. 1982-Aug. 1983
September 1982-August 1983
1/11
Correspondence, Sept. 1983-Aug. 1984
September 1983-August 1984
1/12
Correspondence, (General Correspondence), Sept. 1984-Aug. 1985
September 1984-August 1985

Series II: Executive Board Minutes, 1958-1978Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/13
Executive Board Minutes, June 1958-June 1968, Part 1
June 1958-June 1968
1/14
Executive Board Minutes, June 1958-June 1968, Part 2
June 1958-June 1968
1/15
Executive Board Minutes, June 1958-June 1968, Part 3
June 1958-June 1968
1/16
Executive Board Minutes, 1970-1975, Part 1
1970-1975
1/17
Executive Board Minutes, 1970-1975, Part 2
1970-1975
1/18
Executive Board Minutes, 1975-1978, Part 1
1975-1978
1/19
Executive Board Minutes, 1975-1978, Part 2
1975-1978
1/20
Executive Board Minutes, 1978-1982, Part 1
1978-1982
1/21
Executive Board Minutes, 1978-1982, Part 2
1978-1982

Series III: Representative Assembly Minutes, 1958-1982Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Representative Assembly Minutes, September 1958-May 1967, Part 1
September 1958-May 1967
2/2
Representative Assembly Minutes, September 1958-May 1967, Part 2
September 1958-May 1967
2/3
Representative Assembly Minutes, 1967-1974, Part 1
1967-1974
2/4
Representative Assembly Minutes, 1967-1974, Part 2
1967-1974
2/5
Representative Assembly Minutes, Sept. 1974-Dec. 1982, Part 1
September 1974-December 1982
2/6
Representative Assembly Minutes, Sept. 1974-Dec. 1982, Part 2
September 1974-December 1982

Series IV: Newsletters, 1974-1985Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/7
Newsletters: Communicator Vol 1,2,3 April 1979- April 1981
April 1979-April 1981
2/8
Newsletters: STA News Vol 12, 15, 16 March 1970-May 1974
March 1970-May 1974
2/9
Newsletters: STA News Vol 17, 18 Sept 1974-April 1976
Sept 1974-April 1976
2/10
Newsletters: The Advocate Vol 19, 20, 21 Oct 1976-June 1979
Oct 1976-June 1979
2/11
Newsletters: STA Advocate Vol 22, 23 Sept 1979-June 1981
Sept 1979-June 1981
2/12
Newsletters: STA Advocate Vol 24, 25 Sept 1981-May 1983
Sept 1981-May 1983
2/13
Newsletters: STA Advocate Vol 26, 27 Sept 1983-June 1985
Sept 1983-June 1985

Series V: Ephemera, 1971-1984Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/14
Ephemera, Sept. 1982-Aug. 1983
September 1982-August 1983
2/15
Ephemera, Sept 1983-Aug. 1984
September 1983-August 1984
2/16
Ephemera, Sept. 1981-Aug. 1982
September 1981-August 1982
2/17
Ephemera (Reader Board), Sept. 1980-Aug, 1981
September 1980-August 1981
2/18
Ephemera, Sept. 1979-Aug. 1980
September 1979-August 1980
2/19
Ephemera, Sept. 1978-Aug. 1979
September 1978-August 1979
2/20
Ephemera (Reader Board), Sept. 1977-Aug. 1978
September 1977-August 1978
2/21
Ephemera, Sept 1976-Aug. 1977, Part 1
September 1976-August 1977
2/22
Ephemera, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1977, Part 2
September 1976-August 1977
2/23
Ephemera: Sept. 1971-Aug. 1976
September 1971-August 1976

Series VI: Clippings, 1966-1970Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/24
Clippings: Sept. 1966-Aug. 1967
September 1966-August 1967
2/26
Clippings: Sept. 1967-Aug. 1968
September 1967-August 1968
2/27
Clippings: Sept. 1968-Aug. 1969
September 1968-August 1969
2/28
Clippings: Sept. 1969-Aug 1970
September 1969-August 1970

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Teachers' unions--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle Education Association--Archives
  • Seattle Teachers' Association (Seattle, Wash.)--Archives
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Labor Archives of Washington (University of Washington) (creator)