All-Russian Teachers Union

All-Russian Teachers’ Union

 

(VUS), a teachers’ trade union. It arose in April 1905 under the name All-Russian Union of Teachers and Workers in Public Education.

The leading role in this union was played by supporters of the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois parties (the Constitutional Democrats, Socialist Revolutionaries, and Mensheviks), who attempted to give it the character of a political organization. The Bolshevik teachers, defending the Party line, thought that the union should be a mass, trade-union organization. The VUS had regional branches—Moscow, Northern, Viatka, and Tomsk branches, among others. In June and December 1905, June 1906, and June 1907 the first four congresses of the All-Russian Teachers’ Union were held. During the period of reaction (1909) the union broke up. It reemerged in 1917 after the bourgeois-democratic February Revolution; in 1917 the union had 75,000 members. Three congresses of the VUS were held: in April 1917, the First All-Russian Congress; in August 1917, the Second All-Russian Congress, which proclaimed itself the Sixth Congress of the VUS, thus establishing a general numeration of the congresses; and in July 1918, the Seventh Congress. After the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, when the VUS leadership adopted an anti-Soviet position, the union joined the counterrevolutionary Committee to Save the Homeland and the Revolution and undertook steps to organize teachers’ strikes; the Communist teachers and those who were sympathetic to the Soviet regime abandoned the VUS and organized the Union of Internationalist Teachers.

The Communist Party actively endeavored to attract teachers to its side and strove to transform them into an army of socialist education, into a means of conveying the ideas of communism to the masses. The Party exposed the antipopular policy of the VUS leadership and supported the Union of Internationalist Teachers. By the autumn of 1918 the VUS leadership had lost its influence over the masses of teachers, and a number of the VUS local organizations had gone out of existence. By a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee dated Dec. 23, 1918, the VUS was dissolved as an anti-Soviet organization. “We have abolished our VUS, the All-Russian Teachers’ Union,” wrote V. I. Lenin, “because it did not carry out the principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but instead defended the interests and carried out the policy of the petite bourgeoisie” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39, p. 371). In 1919 a trade union was created for workers in education and socialist culture.

F. F. KOROLEV

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