Category: Teacher unions

In support of the Professional Staff Congress/City University of NY tentative agreement: Vote yes

Editor’s note: Members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing professional staff and faculty at City University of New York (CUNY), are voting on a proposed agreement, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with CUNY.   In this piece,  Steve . . .

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UK University Workers Set for Strike Action

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), the national union for academic staff in the UK, are set to strike at 60 universities for eight days between 25 November and 4 December 2019. This follows a highly successful pair . . .

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Social Movements Gave Rise to the “Teachers’ Revolt,” Not Bernie

In Eric Blanc’s recent article for Jacobin Magazine titled, “How Bernie Helped Spark the Teachers’ Revolt,” Blanc condenses one of the primary claims he originally made in his book, Red State Revolt (2019): that Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run is . . .

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Parents’ huge stake in the Chicago Teachers Union strike

A harsh reality of teachers’ strikes is that they hit parents – moms especially, who still do most of the work of caring for kids and housework – the hardest. Parents are left frantically searching for childcare options, especially if . . .

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Education Workers in Chicago Are Challenging the U.S. Ruling Class

Though the media is casting the strike of education workers in the Chicago Public Schools as (just) another episode in the wave of teachers’ strikes, and the press in Chicago is doing its best to defeat the union, this contract . . .

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review

Learning from the “Red State” Walkouts

Red State Revolt is based on Eric Blanc’s “on the ground” reporting for Jacobin on the 2018 walkouts of education workers in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Arizona. He aims to tell the stories of the walkouts . . .

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Lessons from the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America

A friendly criticism of Gutmann-Gonzalez and Brown

A recent article, written by Abigail Gutmann-Gonzalez and Keith Brower Brown, in the Bread and Roses caucus’s blog, The Call, asserts that the East Bay DSA’s campaigns have been a remarkable success. The title of this essay, “Lessons from The . . .

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California Teachers on the March: An Interview with Joel Jordan

Johanna Brenner (JB): On February 21, Oakland’s 3,000 teachers went out on strike after two years of failed negotiations with the Oakland Unified School District.  Clearly, the strike got the District’s attention and a deal was won after teachers held . . .

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A response to an Open Letter from Professional Staff Congress leaders on “$7K or Strike!”

As members of the $7K or Strike Campaign (which includes City University of New York [CUNY] adjuncts, tenure-track/tenured faculty, HEOs, CLTs, students, and other NYC union members) we are deeply disappointed by the March 21, 2019 letter signed by PSC . . .

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More on the Oakland Teachers’ Strike

Editor’s note: This article responds to analysis New Politics has already published on the Oakland teachers’ strike. In hosting different viewpoints on the strike, New Politics continues its tradition of opening its pages (and now its website) to debates about . . .

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Oakland teachers’ strike: Balance sheet, lessons, and what next?

Jack Gerson, retired Oakland teacher and former executive board and bargaining team member, analyzes what occurred and why in the Oakland teachers’ strike.

The Exploitation of Part-Time Teachers in Higher Education

There are many with college degrees who endure insecure working conditions and are poorly compensated. They include part-time teachers in institutions of higher education.

LA Strike: Self-Mobilization of Workers and Communities

In January 2019, a massive strike of over 30,000 public school teachers stunned the Los Angeles power structure when it received massive, almost unanimous public support, especially in the city’s large Latinx and Black communities.  Latinx students now make up . . .

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What LA Teachers Have Already Won

ImageThe United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), the city’s teachers union, has now reentered negotiations with a school board chastened by a strike that has shown the movement’s political power in massive demonstrations with community members and parents.

Why the LA Teachers Strike Matters

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The January 14 strike date announced by the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) has heightened tensions in an already contentious dispute with Los Angeles Superintendent Austin Beutner, who represents the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in negotiations. However, far more is at stake in Los Angeles and for the rest of us than a traditional contract struggle.

U.S. Labor, Boycotts, and BDS: Defending Workers’ Rights

Guest blog by Stan Heller

Image In 2017 the Texas legislature passed a law forbidding the state from contracting with companies that refuse to do business with Israel.  Some interpreted this broadly.  After destructive flooding in Houston that year, one town told homeowners that if they wanted aid in rebuilding, they’d have to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel.  After another type of flood – of bad publicity – the town said the boycott only applied to actual businesses in the town.

Why New York City’s teachers should vote “no” on the proposed contract – By Dan Lupkin

ImageNote: While teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, members of the largest teachers union local in the US, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, are debating a proposed contract settlement. In this guest blog, UFT activist Dan Lupkin explains why he wants the proposed contract to be voted down. We invite other opinions on this debate underway in the UFT. – Lois Weiner

Why Graduate Unionization Matters Even More in the Age of Janus

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With the start of the new academic year underway, students and instructors will again enter into a millennia old relationship built on mentorship, trust and mutual respect. However, this school year, instructors will be walking into a very different classroom not because the this relationship has changed, but because the Supreme Court has signaled it does not politically support the casue of teachers advocating for working conditions that strengthen this bond.

French Labor’s Historical Defeat; U.S. Teachers’ Surprising Victories

ImageAs the French get ready for the “rentrée” – the annual back-to-school/back-to-work day following the August vacation – social peace appears to reign in the land. The long-expected militant strikes and struggles against the neo-liberal counter-reforms introduced by President Macron early last Spring have failed to materialize. Surprisingly, the Macron government successfully force-marched its anti-labor, anti-welfare, pro-business agenda through parliament with little effective resistance by the unions and Left parties. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a wave of spontaneous teachers’ strikes spread from West Viriginia to other conservative ‘Red’ states, winning significant victories and surprising the media and the labor leadership. The contrast is surprising.

Walkouts Teach U.S. Labor a New Grammar for Struggle

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Like the Arab Spring, the U.S. “Education Spring” was an explosive wave of protests. Statewide teacher walkouts seemed to arise out of nowhere, organized through Facebook groups, with demands for increased school funding and political voice for teachers. Though the walkouts confounded national media outlets, which had little idea how to explain or report on the movements, for parent and teacher activists who have been organizing against reforms in public education over the past four decades, the protests were understandable, if unexpected. What was surprising was their breadth of support (statewide), their organizing strategy (Facebook), and their breathtakingly rapid spread.

The AFT, Janus, and the fall of the Berlin Wall

Reflections on AFT's national convention

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Reflecting on the days I spent as a delegate during the AFT national convention in Pittsburgh (held July 13-16), I was reminded of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989-90. No one predicted it, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. But peace activists in the West who organized international support for struggles of dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe saw the social ferment.

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