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California Federation of Teachers Collection
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Historical Note:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • General
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Accruals:
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Processing Information:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: California Federation of Teachers Collection
    Creator: California Federation of Teachers
    Identifier/Call Number: URB.CFT
    Extent: 35.93 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1986
    Abstract: The California Federation of Teachers Collection includes the papers former CFT officials Raoul Teilhet, Regional Director, CFT Southern Section; Ben Rust, CFT President 1951-1957; and Ralph Schloming, CFT Executive Secretary 1959-1965. The collection consists primarily of administrative and organizational records that document the activities of the union from 1941 to 1986, as well as major legislative issues and general subject matters affecting education.
    Language of Material: English

    Historical Note:

    The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) is one of the largest affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of two major national organizations for the classroom teacher. Effective lobbying efforts in the state capital have made the CFT an important factor in the passage of many educational reform measures as initiatives. The roots of the organization reach back to 1919 when it was founded as the California State Federation of Teachers (CSFT). Its initial purpose was to unify the various educational union locals under AFT aegis to represent teacher interests within local school districts and to provide a central collective voice for classroom teachers throughout the state.
    In the 1940's, Los Angeles Local 430 became the largest CSFT unit. During the Red Scare of the late 1940's and early 1950's, Local 430 was suspected of harboring Communists. When the AFT investigation disclosed there were "radical" elements among the local's leadership, Local 430's charter was revoked and a new affiliate formed. The union gained momentum in the 1950's under the leadership of Ben Rust, who served as president from 1951 to 1957. CSFT paid legal fees and sponsored court cases for teachers who came into conflict with local school systems. CSFT advocated passage of the Brown Act of 1961, which gave public employees the right to join employee organizations of their own choosing. The union thus gained a legal right to exist and to challenge the supremacy of their rival, the CTA. Consequently, CSFT reorganized and by December 1963 changed its name to the California Federation of Teachers (CFT).
    A hallmark of the CFT has been its close affiliation with organized labor since its founding. Aided by funds from the AFL-CIO, scores of locals were chartered throughout the 1960s and new members enrolled by the thousands. Beginning in 1968, CFT President Raoul Teilhet (elected in 1967) spearheaded the final drive to win collective bargaining in California. This led to the passage of the Rodda Act of 1976, which granted secret ballot elections for teacher representation in public school grades K through 14.

    Scope and Contents

    The California Federation of Teachers Collection includes the papers of former CFT officials Raoul Teilhet, Regional Director, CFT Southern Section; Ben Rust, CFT President 1951-1957; and Ralph Schloming, CFT Executive Secretary 1959-1965. The collection consists primarily of administrative and organizational records that document the activities of the union from 1941 to 1986, as well as major legislative issues and general subject matters affecting education. Materials in the collection include administrative records, correspondence, constitutions and by-laws, committee and officer reports, platform and position papers, policy statements, press releases, publications, resolutions, membership records, proceedings of annual conventions, court transcripts, and publications. The collection is arranged in three series: Raoul Teilhet Papers (1941-1986), Ben Rust Papers (1951-1972), and Ralph Schloming Papers (1952-1972).
    Series I, Raoul Teilhet Papers, are arranged in nine subseries.
    Subseries A, Administrative Files (1941-1983), contains organizational records of the CFT Southern regional office including  constitutions and by-laws, committee and officer reports, membership records, statements of policies, platforms and positions, press releases, and resolutions.
    Subseries B, Records of Conferences and Conventions (1955-1983), are divided into two subseries, AFT Annual Conventions (1957-1983) and CFT Annual Conventions (1955-1976). Each of these subseries contains agendas, constitutions and amendments, reports, resolutions and similar records documenting the activities of national meetings.
    Subseries C, Correspondence Files (1945-1985), is divided into five subseries, each housing correspondence of AFT and CFT Locals. Materials in the subseries include departmental letters, correspondence with AFT national organization, CFT officers' correspondence, letters and opinions from CFT legal counsel regarding cases directly affecting California's teaching profession, and correspondence files pertaining to higher education in California.
    Subseries D, Financial Records (1951-1973), contains budget proposals and reports, income and expense statements and  summaries, grant and funding applications, policies and procedures, tax information and related financial information.
    Subseries E, Legal/Legislative Files (1949-1984), is divided into three subseries: Legal Documents (1950-1977), Legislation/Assembly and Senate (1950-1981), and Legal/Legislative Reference Files (1949-1984). The subseries contain records for collective bargaining agreements, merger agreements, and court cases for individual teachers or locals, CFT positions regarding state legislative actions, legislative opinions, proposals, reports and summaries, transcripts, legislative correspondence, court orders, petitions, and related legal and legislative files.
    Subseries F, Minutes and Agendas (1945-1985), contains minutes and agendas for AFT and CFT locals, CFT Executive Committee and Council, and several special issue oriented committees and task forces.
    Subseries G, Publications (1947-1986), is comprised of teacher union and education-oriented articles, newspapers, newsletters and journals. The series also contains a newspaper clipping file. The subseries is further divided into seven subseries, each housing pamphlets or articles and newsletters pertaining to the AFT, CFT and/or specific locals. Oversize publications have been moved to the end of the collection.
    Subseries H, Subject Reference Files (1947-1983), contains articles, directories, flyers, minutes, newsletters, press releases, proposals, speeches, summaries and related documents covering a wide variety of topics and organizational affiliations of the CFT. Of particular interest are the files documenting academic freedom, certification, collective bargaining elections, desegregation, grievance policies, public school financing, salaries and teacher training.
    Subseries I, Non-Manuscript Materials (1972, 1978), consists audio-tapes of CFT conferences, speeches, and personal background information on several of the union leaders as well as photographs. Files in this series are arranged alphabetically and chronologically within.
    Series II, Ben Rust Papers, is divided into three subseries. Subseries A, Journals of Ben Rust (1951-1958), contains journals kept by Ben Rust during his tenure as CFT President from 1951-1957. Subseries B, Publications and Writings (1954-1969), consists of published and unpublished books and pamphlets written by Rust. Subseries C, Speeches of Ben Rust (1952-1959), houses copies of speeches Rust gave at CFT conventions and other meetings during his tenure as CFT President. Files in Publications and Writings are arranged alphabetically by title, all other files are arranged chronologically.
    Series III, Ralph Schloming Papers, contains records pertaining to all aspects of administration of the CFT. Schloming served as Executive Secretary for the Southern Section of the CFT from 1959 to 1965. Some materials pertain to periods before and after Schloming was in office. The series also includes papers generated during Schloming's tenure as the president of the educational consulting firm Urban Planning Associates. Of particular significance is documentation on Community School Programs and Preparing Educational Planners (Operation PEP). The files include articles, correspondence, brochures, newspaper clippings, notes, plans and published guidelines and reports. This series is arranged into two subseries.
    Subseries A, CFT Files of Ralph Schloming (1952-1972), is divided into five subseries. Administrative Files (1953-1965) contains budget information, charters, constitutions and by-laws, contracts and agreements, correspondence, newsletters and procedure manuals. Correspondence Files (1952-1970) consists of AFT and CFT general correspondence files, as well as records of committees, locals and executive officers. The files also include Schloming's correspondence files after he left his position as executive secretary. Records of the Executive Committee (1955-1972) contain constitutions and amendments, convention voting records, correspondence, financial records, legislative information, minutes and agendas, policy statements, proposals, reports and resolutions. CFT Printed Materials (1951-1971) includes newspaper clippings, magazine articles, newsletters and pamphlets, reports, speeches and statements. Subject Files (1954-1971) includes materials on collective bargaining, credentialing of teachers, higher education, and politics in education. The files in this subseries are arranged alphabetically and chronologically within.
    Subseries B, UPA Files of Ralph Schloming (1966-1977), is divided into two subseries: Subject Files (1966-1977) contains articles, correspondence, notes, reports and related research material documenting the activities, consulting and educational interests of Urban Planning Associates, and Operation PEP (Preparing Educational Planners) (1968-1970) contains a series of publications prepared by Urban Planning Associates. The PEP project, and Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA] Title III program produced a total of twenty-four publications on educational management and system techniques. Files in this series are arranged alphabetically and chronologically within.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Raoul Teilhet Papers, 1941-1986
        Subseries A: Administrative Files, 1941-1983
        Subseries B: Records of Conferences and Conventions, 1955-1983
            Subseries 1: AFT Annual Conventions, 1957-1983
            Subseries 2: CFT Annual Conventions, 1955-1976
        Subseries C: Correspondence Files, 1945-1985
            Subseries 1: AFT Correspondence, 1945-1984
            Subseries 2: CFT Locals' Correspondence, 1962-1984
            Subseries 3: CFT Officers' Correspondence, 1954-1985
            Subseries 4: CFT Confidential Correspondence, 1963-1980
            Subseries 5: CFT Legal Correspondence, 1954-1984
            Subseries 6: Correspondence on Higher Education, AFT, CFT, and other, 1957-1985
      Subseries D: Financial Records, 1951-1973
      Subseries E: Legal/Legislative Files, 1949-1984
        Subseries 1: Legal Documents, 1950-1977
        Subseries 2: Legislation/Assembly and Senate, 1950-1981
        Subseries 3: Legal/Legislative Reference Files, 1949-1984
      Subseries F: Minutes and Agendas, 1945-1985
      Subseries G: Publications, 1947-1986
        Subseries 1: AFT Articles/newsletters, 1968-1970
        Subseries 2: AFT Pamphlets, 1962-1982
        Subseries 3: CFT Articles/Newsletters, 1948-1984
        Subseries 4: newsletters of Local Districts, 1947-1986
        Subseries 5: Non-AFT/CFT Articles, 1954-1970
        Subseries 6: Non-AFT/CFT Newsletters and Pamphlets, 1954-1981
        Subseries 7: Newspaper Clipping files, 1951-1985
        Subseries 8: Oversize Publications, 1954-1985
      Subseries H: Subject Reference Files, 1947-1983
      Subseries I: Non-Manuscript Material, 1972, 1978
    Series II: Ben Rust Papers, 1951-1969
      Subseries A: Journals of Ben Rust, 1951-1958
      Subseries B: Publications and Writings, 1954-1969
      Subseries C: Speeches of Ben Rust, 1952-1959
    Series III: Ralph Schloming Papers, 1952-1977
      Subseries A: the CFT Files of Ralph Schloming, 1952-1972
        Subseries 1: Administrative Files, 1953-1965
        Subseries 2: Correspondence Files, 1952-1970
        Subseries 3: Records of the Executive Committee, 1955-1972
        Subseries 4: CFT Printed Materials, 1951-1971
        Subseries 5: Subject Files, 1954-1971
      Subseries B: The UPA Files of Ralph Schloming, 1966-1977
        Subseries 1: Subject Files, 1966-1977
        Subseries 2: Operation PEP (Preparing Educational Planners), 1968-1970

    Related Material


    Other Information:
    The finding aid for this collection was updated in January 2005, in part under a generous gift from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


    1981, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2001

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    California Federation of Teachers, 1980.

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Processing Information:

    Robert G. Marshall, Elda I. Arrieta, Julie Ann Parulo; 1992

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Audiovisual materials