Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

James Green

Second Advisor

Timothy Hacsi

Third Advisor

Paul Bookbinder


This study looks at how the introduction of collective bargaining transformed the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the country. Previous scholarship has highlighted the NEA's slow pace of transformation from professional association to teachers union but few studies have looked at how state affiliates of the NEA made this same transition. This study uses the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) as its primary case study to illustrate that a far quicker transition occurred at the state and local levels. MTA sources also highlight how independent local associations often were in setting their own agenda. Ultimately, it was the local associations that played a decisive role in transforming the national organization, complicating existing narratives on the NEA's hesitant transformation.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Thesis is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this thesis through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.