Sachs Waldman: Detroit Federation of Teachers Records

Accession Number: 
6 SB

The law firm Sachs Waldman, Professional Corporation started in
October 13, 1922 by Nicholas J. Rothe, considered by many as the first
union labor lawyer in Michigan grew to represent the best interest of
unions and workers. In 1951 Theodore Sachs joined the firm and was
considered one of the best appellate attorneys in the country, under his
leadership the firm grew in clientele and personnel. In 1965, the law
firm began to specialize in public sector labor and began to represent
those unions that had just gained the right to bargain collectively,
notably with the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Detroit
Fire Fighters Association. The Detroit Federation of Teachers was
founded in February 24, 1931 and remained a small but determined
organization that fought basic bread and butter issues for teachers in
Detroit. In 1964, the DFT became sole bargaining agent for Detroit
classroom teachers and by 1965 the DFT secured a comprehensive
contract. The DFT has remained the sole bargaining agent for Detroit
teachers since then and expanded their bargaining power to incorporate
various education reform issues. These records document the various
stages of collective bargaining for teachers in the 1970s-1990s in
Detroit that mirrors those issues faced by other teacher unions in large

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