Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Connie Atkinson

Second Advisor

Al Kennedy

Third Advisor

Charles Chamberlain


In 1990, over 3,000 of 4,500 New Orleans public school teachers refused to enter their classrooms over a contract dispute with their employer, the Orleans Parish School Board. For three weeks, teachers picketed while the negotiating team for their union, The United Teachers of New Orleans, worked to reach a contract agreement. Using interviews with striking teachers and union leaders, this paper aims to tell this story from their perspective. The interviews shed light on the ways that minorities and women used UTNO, with the incorporated ideologies and strategies of civil rights and feminism, as a platform to combat economic, political, and social inequalities in New Orleans at the end of the 20th century. An analysis of this strike also aims to complicate the current historiography of the union—filling the gap between its activism in the 1970s to its near dismantling after Hurricane Katrina.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Included in

Labor History Commons