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Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
Local 400
Pittsburgh, PA


Achievements claimed by Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers in 1985 - 50th Anniversary
(Source: UE Box 3249; PFT 50th Anniversary Program and mimeo of
PFT Local 400 Record of Accomplishments from files of Local 400 re: 1937-1959)
 1935 A.F.T. Local 400, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, officially chartered on April 23.
 1937 Helped secure passage of the Sabbatical Leave Law, written and sponsored by the Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers and of the Teacher Tenure Act.
1939 Secured liberalization of the Sabbatical Leave Law to permit taking a Sabbatical in two separate semesters. Worked to secure Maternity Leave Law.
1940-46 Carried Melvin Case through the Supreme Court. This helped secure state mandated minimum salary and a single salary schedule.
1941-42 Helped prevent a cut super-maximum salary resulting in a raise for teachers of elementary and girls vocational schools. Began drive for better sick leave, shorter school term and leave for death in immediate family.
First Military Leave Law based on bill sponsored by PFT.
1943-45 Supported extra pay for extra work for coaches. This led, at first, to release time compensation but finally, in 1955, to a schedule of extra pay for extra work.
1945 Prevented a move to assess teachers extra for retirement and secured the money from the state instead.
1946 Group Health and Accident Insurance for Local members with Educators.
1947 First bill to provide automatic option in case of death of a retirement fund member, eligible for retirement, written and introduced in Assembly at the request of the Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers.
1948 Analysis of Board finances by dr. Rowe, of 400, showed surpluses which led to our obtaining increases of over $800 in maximum salary.
1950 Professional Problems Committe establishe to help new teachers and others with special difficulties.
1951 Secured a ruling by the Attorney General that unused sick leave is cumulative.
1952 Helped secure, for teachers, periodic statements of their retirement fund accounts. Influenced the Retirement Board to modernize its bookkepping after the state auditor had, for years, refused to certify the accurancy of their accounts.
1953 First called attention to a chane in the Social security Law which resulted in benefits to personnel not under retirement.
1954-55 Secured group life insurance for Pittsburgh Teachers with the School Board paying part of the premium.
1956 Governor signed Automatic Option Bill into law in presence of the Secretaries of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor and the Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers. Labor members on the Board supported the Federation and helped secure salary increase retroactive to September, instead of January , thus giving each teacher $160 more than the Board Committe recommended.
Pittsburgh Locals hosts to the National Convention of the American Federation of Teachers.
Sick leave improved.
1957-58 Cooperated with other employee groups to help secure group hospital and medical surgical insurance.
Publicized and supported Social Security to supplement retirement when other groups were indifferent or opposed it.
1958-59 Cooperated with other employee groups to help secure improvements in the group life insurance plan.
1968 Following an eleven day strike, agreement is reached to hold a bargaining representation election among all Pittsburgh teachers.
On May 23, The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers is overwhelmingly voted the bargaining agent for all Pittsburgh teachers.
Act 398 is passed after extensive lobbying by the PFT.
1970 The Pittsburgh Federation is again voted the exclusinve bargaining agent for all teachers in a second representatives election.
1971 Paraprofessional employees join Professionals by choosing the Federation as their bargaining agent.
On January 10, a contract agreement ends a one week strike and teachers return to their classrooms.
1974 The "PFT Building Corporation" is formed and work begins on the permanent offices.
1975 On May 15, one thousand teachers demonstrate at the board for stronger discipline policies.
On July 2, bargaining begins in the most challenging negotiations the PFT was to face since winning bargaining representation in 1968.
1976 On January 26, after and eight week strike a collective bargaining agreement is reached.
1985 PFT celebrates 50 years of service to Pittsburgh's children.