History Timeline

• 1916 - The charter of the Washington, DC local of the American Federation of Teachers is issued.

• 1953 - The American Federation of Teachers initiates all of its locals divided along racial lines to they merge.  Washington, DC locals 6 and 27 merge to form Local 6, the Washington Teachers’ Union. Marion Magruder becomes President, and Dr. Paul Cooke General Vice President.

• 1962 - Presidential Executive Order No. 10988, signed by President John F. Kennedy, gave impetus to Collective Bargaining for Public Employees. Although the Executive Order was not adopted by the Board of Education, the Union pursued the goal and forced the Board to hold an election for determining a bargaining agent between the American Federation of Teachers (Washington Teachers’ Union) and the National Education Association (DC Association of Classroom Teachers).

• 1964 - Dr. Paul Cooke named Dean at DC Teachers College. William Simons elected President.

• April 26, 1967 - Representation election was won by the Washington Teachers’ Union, AFT.

• December 1967 - The first collective bargaining contract for teachers in the history of DC Public Schools was attained.

• March 7, 1968 - Three thousand (3,000) lobby on Capitol Hill for wage increase.

• August 1968 - The Washington Teachers’ Union hosts the American Federation of Teachers Annual Convention in Washington, DC for the first time.

• August 1969 - First Annual Airlie House Training Workshop.

• September 1972 - The first teacher strike in the history of Washington, DC.

• September 1977 - Representation election for National Child Day Care Association Functional Chapter of the Washington Teachers’ Union was held and approved.

• 1977 - Under Bill Simons Administration, one of first federally funded Teachers' Centers was established in Washington, DC. The Teachers' Center operated for thirteen years until it became institutionalized by the Washington Teachers’ Union as the Professional Development Center.

• June 1978 - First contract ratified for the National Child Day Care Association.

• July 1985 - Harold Fisher was installed President of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

• May 1987 - Bill Simons was re-elected President of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

• May 1991 - Dr. Jimmie Jackson elected as President of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

• 1994 - Barbara Bullock elected President of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

• January 2003 - Washington Teachers’ Union placed under AFT Administratorship.  AFT Appoints AFT Vice President George C. Springer as Administrator.

• November 2004 - Members of the Washington Teachers’ Union overwhelmingly approve an amended WTU Constitution.

• January 2005 - The first WTU Election held under the newly amended constitution; George Parker elected President of Washington Teachers’ Union.

• February 2005 - George Parker is installed as President and Nathan A. Saunders installed as General Vice President of Washington Teachers’ Union. This action brings the AFT-approved Administratorship to an end.

• December 2010 - Nathan A. Saunders was installed as President and Candi Peterson was installed as General Vice President of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

• April 2013 -  A DCPS-funded Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (“VEBA”) trust fund is established for teachers to replace the early retirement provision of WTU members' Collective Bargaining Agreement. The VEBA is funded by DCPS with $1.7 million annually through Washington, D.C.’s fiscal year 2018.  

• August 1, 2013- Elizabeth Davis President and Candi Peterson Vice President Installment

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