Rosie Rogers


The power of union membership has declined in the United States substantially. Many manufacturers have moved many of their operations to new jurisdictions, to America’s south and to other low wage countries, to take advantage of the tax incentives many jurisdictions have to offer in most instances, a nonunion workforce. Teachers’ unions have experienced other external factors, such as the results of Right to Work legislation, and the charter school movement. This study researched the history of teacher labor union leadership and explored the internal and external factors that have affected unions over the past 50 years. This study included 3 research questions: (a) What are the qualities of an effective teach labor union leader? (b) What are the internal and external factors that have affected teachers’ unions for the past 50 years? Using the survey results and the literature, what model emerges that describes and effective teacher labor union leader? In spite of the adverse external factors that have affected teacher union members: the quality of labor union leadership has been a factor in the sustainability and strength of union membership. The study found an effective teacher labor union leader must possess the following qualities: ability to collaborate, have a shared vision with the members of the organization, be influential, and possess an adaptive capacity, possess the intelligence to adapt to the internal and external factors that may impact their organization. An effective teacher union leader, must build and strengthen organizational capacity to alleviate member apathy and to increase member engagement. Teacher union members must be able to identify the qualities of an effective teacher labor union leader and teacher union leaders must be able to know when they are effective. This study has suggested a systems model approach from the local school district to the State, CTA, as an assessment tool, where there is personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning and systems thinking, where individuals are working together at their best in order to build capacity to continue to learn in order to create the results the members and the organization envision for the future.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Teachers' unions -- Case studies; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert R.;