Author: Lois Weiner

LOIS WEINER, a member of the  New Politics editorial board, writes widely about education, labor, and politics, specializing in teacher unionism. She is currently researching the challenges for teachers unions in the political and economic terrain since 2016.

 

#Brexit, Support for Mexico's Teachers, and Solidarity From Below

To show support for Mexico's teachers, demonstrations are being held internationally, as they are in the U.S.  In today's blog about the situation in Mexico, Mary Compton provides background to the current repression and information about how readers can support the teachers.

A May Day Message to Teachers – On the Front Lines of a War on Public Education

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(These are my remarks at an evening panel of what its organizers referred to as a "non-conference" so as to convey the need for participants to interact with one another's ideas, rather than present papers. Sessions spanned two full days. The two evening sessions were videotaped. When they are made available I will post them on New Politics.)

Chicago teachers (again) rewrite a playbook stacked against labor

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The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike April 1 is not primarily about increased school funding, standardized testing, pensions for teachers, or even just corporate taxation, though the union is fighting for all of these. The strike is about democracy, especially who owns our society’s resources and how decisions about those resources are made.

Why Chicago teachers should support the April 1 walkout

A new Jacobin piece by Micah Uetricht and Sarah Chambers is a must-read to understand  what's at stake in the April 1 walkout of Chicago teachers. (My own thoughts about the political implications of the strike are in a piece in press.) But for now I want to explain to teachers who may be considering crossing the union's picket lines tomorrow why that would be a very big mistake for them personally.

Will "Friedrichs" Derail Teachers Unions?

           Image Much has been written about the harm the Supreme Court will wreak on US labor if it overturns the right of public sector unions to charge nonmembers a fee equal to the cost of the union’s expenses in representing them. Pundits on the left and the right have predicted a cataclysm.

Seattle suggests what teachers' union contracts can do for kids

Members of the Washington Education Association (WEA), an NEA affiliate in Seattle, are on strike this morning. Picketing has begun outside schools though bargaining has resumed. The demands in this strike show the power of a teachers' union to use the contract to make schools what they should be for all kids.  The ones that I think are most significant:

Labor Day 2015: Which sides are you on?

 

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 This Labor Day, which sides are you on?

Education International? Never heard of it? More important than you may realize

  ImageThe Education International (EI), the international confederation of teachers unions, held its seventh World Congress in Ottawa over the summer.  Though most teachers don’t know this organization exists, and few people write about its activity, what it do

In solidarity with Oaxaca's teachers

Image   Mary Compton, who edits the informative and unique website www.teachersolidarity.com, tracking struggles globally to defend public education, teaching, and teachers unions, gives us a strikingly different – and more hopeful – take on Oaxaca and teacher unionism in Mexico than a recent New Politics blog.  Compton’s analysis is in

AFT's endorsement of Clinton: An undemocratic decision that should be reversed

           Image On July 11 the AFT announced its Executive Council “overwhelmingly” endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President.  It did so, the official announcement reported, on the basis of interviews (not released to members) and the results of a poll.

Getting rid of the losers, like teachers who are “old and costly” and kids who are not “champions”

            A headline in a recent news story about Los Angeles teachers, calling the district’s teaching force “old and costly,” is a companion piece to the New York Times front page article about the Success Academy chain headed by Eva Moskowitz.

Challenging "labor imperialism" AFT-style

Image            It’s encouraging that US unions are acknowledging the deep crisis facing labor and even the need for union democracy, as Labor Notes contributor Mark Brenner observes in his March 2015 column about the conference organized and hosted by the Albert Shanker Institute, an arm of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Why fine teachers are often the best union leaders

           Image I’m struck by how many of the skills and understandings good teachers acquire can also make them fine union activists. Though they may not realize it, teachers have already learned a great deal about organizing – through their work as teachers.

Philly teachers – the kind of troublemakers who built teachers unions

Image        I have a long-time  friend who recalls how, as a young teacher, she came to  her Brooklyn school on November 7, 1960  to walk the picket line. She was terrified at breaking the law and was only one of a very few teachers in her school to strike. Fearful but also committed, she held hands with a gal pal for mutual support.

Teachers unions, police, and the real 'new civil rights movement'

            ImageWhen Rudy Giuliani blamed the deaths of unarmed Black men on teachers unions in appearances on Geraldo Rivera’s show and Fox News’ “Hannity,” Giuliani relied on the same logic that Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, employed in Read more ›

“But my union president won’t let me…”

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A love supreme: What's inspiring teachers' resistance to the destruction of public schools

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After you win the union election, what next?

 

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What happens after a social movement/social justice reform caucus wins the union leadership? As we see more victories, we need to consider what changes and why. I was delighted to open a panel that began the convention of CORE, the now-leadership caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union. I think CORE faces some new challenges, which I briefly describe in my remarks.

A snapshot you won't see in the media

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Teachers in British Colombia are on strike and deserve our help

        

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Labor Day and the right to be lazy – at all ages

                     This Labor Day, let’s celebrate “the right to be lazy.” Let’s play, dream, and imagine what a world without alienated labor would be.

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