Deceased December 23, 2022

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In Memory

For 30 years, John Mannheim was at the forefront of the movement that catapulted teachers from membership in mild, polite organizations into a future in full-fledged labor unions with collective bargaining rights. Beginning in 1971, John negotiated hundreds of teacher contracts and conducted many organizing campaigns for the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

In his obituary, The Boston Globe said John “was a highly skilled negotiator who had the respect of both labor and management as a man with impeccable integrity. John was an inspirational and highly motivating force who played a major role in the growth of the teacher union movement in the northeast part of Massachusetts.”

John died peacefully on Dec. 23, 2022, in the presence of his wife, Claire. Their two daughters are among his survivors. John and Claire lived in Concord, Mass., beginning in 1976.

John was an Amherst hometown guy whose family lived on East Pleasant Street. He was a graduate of Amherst High School. At the College, he majored in political science and was a member of the basketball team and the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.

In the class of 1953’s reunion book, John wrote, “Working for MTA was a great job in many ways: doing something to help people, union organizing (democracy in the workplace), negotiating collective bargaining agreements (examples of the social contract), representing teachers who have been treated unfairly, rising up in righteous indignation over perceived injustices (many real) and the simple enjoyment of working with many wonderful people.”

John was a strong and persistent advocate for world peace, justice and the environment. He took part in the Concord Peace Vigil and was an active member of several grassroots peace organizations. He was a kind man who fought for his beliefs.

George Gates ’53