Building Power Together

CTA Oral History Archives

Stories of the 1950’s

Dorothy Moser began teaching in 1951, was on the CTA Board of Directors and played a role in the merger that created UTLA.


Stories of the 1960’s

Jean Reiche taught from 1965-89, when she retired. The ex-president of the Santa Barbara Teachers Association now lives in Vista Del Monte, a retirement facility in Santa Barbara that the CTA Southern Section built and once owned exclusively for educators in the 1960s. She chose to live there because of the facility’s past CTA roots as an affordable haven for retired educators.


Stories of the 1970’s

Jim Essman, field staff member, worked for CTA from 1970 to 2004, when he retired. He remembers working two labor showdowns in 1975 – before the state’s collective bargaining law was in effect – when educators in two San Jose school districts, Mt. Pleasant and Berryessa, went on successful strikes simultaneously over maternity rights. He also talks about the need for CTA to organize, and to keep recruiting new leaders and staff to keep the union’s good work rolling on.

Gary Harrison left his mark on CTA Central Valley labor history. A teacher activist for many years in Hanford in Kings County, he joined CTA field staff in 1969 and recalls working two major strikes in the 1970s – in San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County, and in Bakersfield City School District. He retired in 2000 as manager of CTA’s Region 2 (covering mostly the Central Valley area) and now lives in an assisted living retirement community in Fresno.

Stephen Edwards Jr.: Thousands of educators statewide chose CTA as their exclusive bargaining unit representative during elections held during the pivotal 1975-78 presidency years of Stephen Edwards Jr., 88. This dedicated teacher also inspired his daughter Christina to embark on a 36-year teaching career in public schools; she retired in 2012.


Stories of the 1980’s

Ed Foglia was CTA president in 1988 when educators mobilized statewide to pass the landmark Proposition 98 ballot measure, which guarantees K-12 schools and community colleges at least 40 percent of state revenues. The victory affirmed CTA as a major political force for students and the teaching profession.

#Janus v. AFSCME