About Tom Mooney

On December 3, 2006, one of our founding organizers, Tom Mooney, died of a heart attack. In recognition of his role as a guiding light in the work, we re-named the Institute in his honor. In so many ways, Tom's life and work continue to inspire us to be true to his vision.

Tom Mooney was President of The Ohio Federation of Teachers, and a Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers. He previously served as President of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers for many years.  Under Tom’s leadership, the CFT became a national leader in advancing teacher professionalism.  The local negotiated the country’s second Peer Assistance and Evaluation Program and built a four-tiered career ladder for teachers, the Career in Teaching Program.  He was also one of the leading voices nationally for teachers on educational policy and school reform issues; he fought to make teachers real partners in determining educational programs and resource allocations at the district level. 

At the state level, Tom was a persistent activist in the long running battle for equitable and adequate funding of public schools and a prominent critic of tax funded school vouchers and privately operated charter schools. 

Tom served on the AFT Executive Council and its eleven-member Executive Committee.  He served as Chairman of the AFT’s Program and Policy Council for K-12 Teachers, and chaired the AFT Task Force on Redesign of Low Performing Schools.

Mooney was a Board member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Board of Directors of the Albert Shanker Institute.  He was also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Holmes Partnership for teacher education reform.

(Photo credit: Cincinnati Enquirer)

Work of Tom Mooney in New CFT Historical Collection
at Wayne State University

The Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to announce the opening of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers Local 1520 (CFT) historical collection. A listing of the 23 boxes of archived materials can be found here. The collection represents the rise of the union in the 1960s, gaining the right to solely represent the teachers of Cincinnati during the 1970s and transforming into the leading teachers union involved with education reform and the teacher professionalism in the 1980s. The collection is nineteen linear feet of documents that deal with student discipline, teacher strikes, public employee collective bargaining, career ladders, class size, peer and evaluation programs, student grading and social promotion.

This collection also contains the work of Tom Mooney who was president of the CFT from 1979 to 2000. His work covered not only building the strength of the union via bread and butter issues but bring a stronger level of professionalism in the workplace through the unions contract. Mooney also promoted international unionism, and human rights. Considered one of the leading voices of education reform in America's public education system, Mooney was a co-founder of the Teacher Union Reform Network and Mooney Institute for Teacher and Union Leadership.

A guide is now available on the Walter P. Reuther Library's website. For more information please contact Dan Golodner, ad6292@wayne.edu.

Personal Remembrances of Tom Mooney

Tom Mooney Perspective