Doomstead Diner Menu > Economics


(1/5) > >>

Official thread now for all strikes and Union related articles.

To kick off, the WV Teacher Strike.  Unbelievably, they WON!  Yessssss!  :icon_sunny: This will encourage more Unions of Cops, Firemen & Garbagemen to walkout.  The spirit of Joe Hill and Norma Rae lives on!


West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout

    By john ra associated press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mar 6, 2018, 4:32 PM ET

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee, left, and American Federation of Teachers' West Virginia chapter President Christine Campbell talk to reporters as an agreement was reached by a legislative conference committee for a 5 percent pay increase for striking teachers Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s Republican leaders tentatively agreed Tuesday to end the state’s nine-day teachers' walkout by giving 5 percent raises to not just teachers, but all state workers. (AP Photo/John Raby)

West Virginia's striking teachers cheered, sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout, ceding them 5 percent pay hikes that are also being extended to all state workers.

A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down, chanted "We love our kids!" and singing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Some even wept for joy. The settlement came on the ninth day of a crippling strike that idled hundreds of thousands of students, forced parents to scramble for child care and cast a spotlight on government dysfunction in one of the poorest states in the country.

Officials from several of the state's 55 county school systems said they planned to reopen as soon as Wednesday, but union leaders had not yet declared the strike officially over. A spokeswoman from the Department of Education did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The West Virginia teachers, some of the lowest-paid in the nation, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public backing throughout their walkout.

"We overcame, we overcame!" exclaimed one teacher, Danielle Harris, calling it a victory for students as well. "It shows them how democracy is supposed to work, that you don't just bow down and lay down for anybody. They got the best lesson that they could ever have even though they were out of school."

Tuesday marked the ninth day of canceled classes for the school system's 277,000 students and 35,000 employees. Teachers walked off the job Feb. 22, balking at an initial bill signed by Gov. Jim Justice to raise their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs. Justice responded last week with an offer to raise teacher pay 5 percent — a proposal the House approved swiftly but that senators weren't so eager to sign off on. Instead the Senate countered with an offer of 4 percent on Saturday, prompting leaders of all three unions representing the state's teachers to announce that they would extend their walkout.

After a six-member conference committee agreed Tuesday to the new proposal, the House of Delegates subsequently passed 5 percent raises for teachers, school service personnel and state troopers on a 99-0 vote. The Senate followed, voting 34-0.

At a news conference after Tuesday's vote, Justice declared victory.

"Today is a new day for education in West Virginia. No more looking back!" he proclaimed, surrounded by jubilant education leaders. "We really have to move away from the idea that education is just some necessary evil that has to be funded ... toward ... looking at our children and our teachers and education as an investment ... That's all there is to it."

Missed school days will be made up, either at the end of the school year or by shortening spring break, depending on decisions by individual counties. Justice said that would not mean families would go without their summer vacations, however.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair said to pay for the raises, lawmakers will seek to cut state spending by $20 million, taking funds from general government services and Medicaid. Other state workers who also would get 5 percent raises under the deal will have to wait for a budget bill to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, a Republican, said talks with the governor's office lasted into early Tuesday identifying cuts everyone could agree to.

"These are deep cuts," Blair said. "This has been the fiscally responsible thing to do, in my opinion, to get us to the point we're at today."

Justice said additional budget cuts by his staff will fund the raises, but he insisted in response to a question at the news conference that there would be no damaging cuts to Medicaid or programs that help the poor.

Erick Burgess, a teacher from Mercer County, said he was pleased with the salary increase and hoped the teachers' actions in West Virginia would inspire educators elsewhere.

"Teachers seem to be mistreated throughout the country, so we are hoping other teachers and other public employees step up and tell their government they have had enough," he said.


--- Quote from: RE on March 06, 2018, 02:53:05 PM ---

West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout

--- End quote ---


I read that teachers are the new miners: there are 22,000 teaching jobs in WV, vs. 12,000 mining jobs.



Google walkouts showed what the new tech resistance looks like, with lots of cues from union organizing

    Nearly 17,000 Google employees poured from 40 offices around the world as part of a massive walk-out to protest the way the company handles sexual harassment.
    As part of a recent surge of tech worker unrest, employees are harnessing the power of collective bargaining, even without traditional union representation.
    "I've never seen anything like this in the tech sector," one expert says.

Jillian D'Onfro   | @jillianiles
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 2 Hours Ago
Jillian D'Onfro | CNBC
An atypical spirit of tech worker solidarity was on display Thursday morning, as 20,000 Google employees poured from offices in 50 cities around the world as part of a massive walk-out to protest the way the company handles sexual harassment.

The widespread demonstrations, spurred by a revealing New York Times report that detailed how Google has shielded executives accused of sexual misconduct, were the largest-scale representation yet of a new type of labor organizing catching on in the tech industry.

Brishen Rogers, an associate professor at Temple University who specializes in the relationship between labor and technological development, says that the scale of yesterday's demonstrations amazed him.

"I've never seen anything like this in the tech sector," says Rogers. "The numbers and level of coordination involved in the Google strike was unprecedented."

One Google employee, who asked for anonymity since they weren't authorized to speak about the company, says that Thursday's protests felt like lightning striking in how fast they came together.
A family or a job?

Collective bargaining hasn't traditionally had a place in Silicon Valley. Unions are nearly non-existent for white-collar tech workers, who typically enjoy large salaries, cushy perks and plenty of career mobility thanks to their high-demand skills.

Wendy Liu, the economics editor of UK-based publication "New Socialist" and a former Google employee, says that the protests overall were "incredibly inspiring" as the idea of employee dissent spreads in Silicon Valley.

"For tech workers to even think of themselves as workers — with the implication that their class interests may run counter to that of their bosses — is an exciting development," she says.

"Tech companies often try to get employees to see themselves as 'team members,' and part of a 'family' who should feel love and even gratitude for their company."

She, too, felt that way when she was at Google, she says, before realizing how unhealthy that dynamic was for workers.

On Thursday, Google employees borrowed tactics from historical labor organizing. In their statement of demands, the protest's leading organizers linked themselves to movements like the teachers strike in West Virginia and the "Fight for $15" demonstrations by fast-food workers.

Indeed, the San Francisco demonstration was even held in Harry Bridges Plaza — Bridges was an influential union leader in the early 20th century — and speakers spoke of his and other examples of historical labor organizing. Demonstrators in San Francisco also talked about the simultaneous union strikes by Marriott employees.

Blue-collar workers at major tech companies, like Facebook's cafeteria workers and Bay Area security guards, have started unionizing over the past several years. In another sign of the burgeoning "new tech resistance," organizers of Google's protests were deliberate about including those contract workers in their demands.

Tech firms are increasingly hiring contractors, vendors, and temps (TVCs), which can boost profits and speed up hiring. However, those workers typically make less, shoulder higher benefits costs, and lack the job security of direct employees. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported the astounding stat that Alphabet employed more TVCs than direct employees. No small feat, as Alphabet had 85,050 direct staffers at the time.
Google employees hold signs at the protest in Mountain View, California.

Jillian D'Onfro | CNBC
Google employees hold signs at the protest in Mountain View, California.
Many demonstrators at Google's Mountain View headquarters leaned into the idea that the only way to achieve their demands — which include the end of private arbitration, a transparency report about sexual harassment, more disclosures about compensation and an employee representative on the company's board — were only possible if all employees at every level of the company were active and included.

"I'm here because every one of our voices matter and if we are not standing together the necessary changes won't happen," one employee protester told CNBC.

Many of the employees who spoke on stage or to CNBC from the crowd declined to give their full names. The Tech Workers Coalition is organizing a retaliation hotline, which employees will be able to call if they face retribution for their participation in the walk-out.
Google employees walked out on November 1, 2018 to protest what organizers describe as "a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."
Michelle Castillo | CNBC
Google employees walked out on November 1, 2018 to protest what organizers describe as "a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."

A woman named Sheree who spoke on stage elicited particularly loud cheers when she challenged attendees to think about how their advocacy would extend beyond a one day event.

"Showing up today is a really good start," she said. "But to be a true ally you have to sacrifice something. What will you sacrifice?"
"This doesn't end today"

Over the last year, there's been an increase in tech industry organizing, as workers have banded together to try to compel their employers to drop controversial projects or take a stand against government policies.

At Alphabet's shareholders' meeting earlier this year, a group of employees bucked leadership by presenting a proposal that called for Alphabet's executive compensation to be tied to diversity metrics. Employees also rebuked the company's lack of transparency around leaked plans fora censored search app in China and a controversial Pentagon contract. In June, following intense employee backlash, Google's cloud unit said that it would not renew contract next year.

"The Google walkout amplifies the wave of tech worker organizing that we see in #TechWontBuildIt and #NoTechforICE," says Sasha Constanza-Chock, associate professor of civic media at MIT who co-authored a recent open letter calling on Microsoft to drop its ICE contract. "It also links tech worker organizing with #MeToo, just as #NoTechforICE links tech worker organizing with immigrant rights."

Activists see Google's blow-out protests as being a bellwether for more organizing to come.

Employees from other tech companies in San Francisco joined in the Google walk-out on Thursday, and the Tech Workers Coalition says that in the last year its has attracted more interest, and seen an increase in both email subscribers and actual events.

"We are organizing to build worker power through rank and file self-organization and education," a spokesperson says. "It's clear the executives won't do this for us, so we're taking matters into our own hands."

While changing Google's culture will be a long haul, Google organizers' demands were specific and actionable. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who spoke on stage at a conference the day of the protests, has not committed to any changes, but told employees in a memo that his team was taking in feedback to "turn ideas into action." Even though Google workers have no legal rights to collectively bargain with management without a union, the energy at the demonstrations indicated that employees will not give up quickly.

Celie O'Neil-Hart, one of the leaders of the protest who works at YouTube, rallied employees at the end of the protest to keep the momentum going.

"This doesn't end today," she bellowed over a loudspeaker in Mountain View. "Let's keep this effort going. Time is up in tech. Time is up at Google."



L.A. teachers' strike stretches into Day 3 with no resolution in sight
By Hannah Fry and Sonali Kohli
Jan 16, 2019 | 11:35 AM

Student counselor Sandra Santacruz-Cervantes, center, joins parents, teachers and students in a crosswalk to picket outside Hollywood High School during the second day of the UTLA strike. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Tensions remained high between the teachers union and Los Angeles Unified School District officials as the first Los Angeles teachers’ strike in 30 years continued into its third day Wednesday with no resolution in sight.

United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl repeatedly called Supt. Austin Beutner a liar during an early morning news conference. He also accused Beutner of sending mixed messages about whether students who missed school during the strike would be punished.

“He is trying to create chaos and confusion and fear,” he said.
Los Angeles teachers’ strike: 5 things you need to know »

No new talks appeared to have been scheduled between the union and the nation’s second-largest school district after negotiations broke off late Friday following more than 20 months of bargaining. Both sides have been unable to come to a resolution to educators’ demands for better pay, more support staff and smaller classes. District officials have said they don’t have the money to cover everything teachers are asking for, while union leaders have accused the district of “hoarding” funds.


--- Quote from: RE on January 17, 2019, 02:34:54 AM ---UNION! ✊


LAUSD teachers' strike: Hours of negotiating behind closed doors
By Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli
Jan 19, 2019 | 7:40 PM
LAUSD teachers' strike: Hours of negotiating behind closed doors

Striking teachers and supporters rallied Friday outside City Hall as talks were going on inside between union leaders and the Los Angeles Unified School District. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
The lead-up to the Los Angeles teachers’ strike was loud and acrimonious — as was the start of the walkout. Now the labor dispute has entered a quiet phase, but it’s too early to tell if it is nearing an end.

Bargaining teams for striking teachers and the Los Angeles Unified School District were behind closed doors at City Hall for the third straight day on Saturday.

They were back at work just before 11 a.m. Saturday, after a more than 10-hour session Friday that the mayor’s office said had been “productive.”

Wrapping up an agreement over the weekend — and getting teachers back in classes after five missed days — would be difficult but is not entirely out of the question.
Paid Content What Is This?
In February, Palm Springs is No. 1 for art and architecture fans
In February, Palm Springs is No. 1 for art and architecture fans

Leave rainy L.A. for the Coachella Valley, as it offers two iconic events: outdoor art exhibition/scavenger hunt Desert X and mid-century architecture celebration...
See More

By Palm Springs CVB  Palm Springs CVB

Student attendance on the fifth day of the strike remained low — and just about flat compared to the previous day. The district said 85,274 students attended Los Angeles Unified’s 1,240 elementary, middle and high schools on Friday. The district serves nearly half a million students. Officials estimated its net losses for the day in terms of funding based on student attendance at $18.1 million.

L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner said in a Friday news conference that keeping schools open despite the low numbers was a “solemn duty.”
L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner and school board President Monica Garcia brief the media after the fifth day of the teachers' strike.
L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner and school board President Monica Garcia brief the media after the fifth day of the teachers' strike. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

“We have to keep that child safe,” Beutner said. “We have to give that child an opportunity to learn.… The parent needs to work.”

Friday’s negotiations at City Hall began just before 11 a.m., early enough for bargaining teams to see — and probably hear — thousands of union members and their supporters rally at Grand Park across from City Hall.

The last five days of striking have “stunned our naysayers,” Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, told the crowd.

“If you are a boxer, do you know what you do” with a stunned opponent, he asked, before answering his own question: “You double down and keep on punching.”

He told teachers that they need to be prepared if necessary to maintain strong picket lines throughout the coming week.

After the rally, he also pledged that union negotiators would work through the weekend to try to close a deal.

As things stand, there are three major parties working to broker this dispute: the union, the school district and the mayor’s office, which is mediating.

From the union’s perspective, the strike has been nearly an unqualified success — so far. Members of the public have identified strongly with teachers and their descriptions of overcrowded classrooms and schools without nurses and other support staff on hand every day.

Caputo-Pearl and his senior aides have to ponder whether an extended strike could yield more gains — in public perception, changes to state law and district concessions. There’s a risk, however, that an extended strike would begin to erode the public standing of UTLA and decrease its leverage.

The union team also faces the difficult task of working through the genuine give-and-take of negotiations over a complex contract, detail by detail, some of which could have been accomplished weeks or months ago, some observers say. Now this painstaking task must be managed speedily.

The union’s leadership bench is thinner than the district’s. The people running the strike are the same people doing the negotiating, so the long holiday weekend could prove crucial.

The school district, meanwhile, has to consider what more it can offer, based on improved state revenues and what sweeteners it can add that would not cost money.

Those close to the process say Beutner needs to accept that the concerns of teachers and their union go beyond the contract. Union leaders frame the dispute as a fight over the future of public education.

Beutner has to consider what he can do to reassure the union that his long-term strategy is not to accelerate the growth of privately operated charter schools — assuming that is the case. He has been superintendent since May and led a task force examining the district for nearly a year before that, but has yet to put forward his strategic plan.

Union leaders and the rank and file have assumed the worst.

Charter schools now enroll about 1 in 5 district students and are popular with many families. They also have wealthy supporters, including some who strongly back Beutner, but would question his leadership if he gave away what they considered to be too much in negotiations.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti may be in the strangest position of all. Unlike mayors in New York City and Chicago, he has no authority over the school system. But the strike is among the biggest crises he’s faced, both in its sweeping effect on the city and the thorniness of its resolution.

His civic duties as well as his political future — if he wants to run for president — could depend on more than simply saying all the right things.

He appears to understand that, making resolution of the strike his primary job of the moment. And his role extends beyond mediation. To close a deal, his office needs to help pull in outside leaders and other government agencies that also are outside his direct control. Los Angeles County supervisors have agreed to find up to $10 million to expand district nursing services for next year. And Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken advantage of improved tax revenue to plug in new funding for education statewide.

Beutner’s wealthy philanthropic allies and the powerful state teachers unions could lend helpful assistance from the outside. These forces, however, will probably land on opposing sides if state policymakers begin to discuss new rules to rein in charter schools. The union wants a moratorium on new charter schools. When district students enroll in charters, L.A. Unified loses the attendance-based funding that goes with them. Staff at charter schools also mostly are non-union.

In a promising sign, both the union and district have shifted their rhetoric. Caputo-Pearl has eased back from direct attacks on Beutner — even if many union members have not. Beutner has credited the union for putting the needs of public education front and center in the public consciousness.

If a settlement is reached, don’t expect warm embraces. But a spirit of compromise could lead to a firm handshake.
Striking teachers and supporters turned out by the thousands, making a sea of red Friday in a rally at Grand Park.
Striking teachers and supporters turned out by the thousands, making a sea of red Friday in a rally at Grand Park. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Howard Blume
Howard Blume
Howard Blume covers education for the Los Angeles Times. He’s won the top investigative reporting prize from the L.A. Press Club and print Journalist of the Year from the L.A. Society of Professional Journalists chapter. He co-hosts “Deadline L.A.” on KPFK, which the press club named best radio public affairs show in 2010. He teaches tap dancing and has two superior daughters.
Sonali Kohli
Sonali Kohli
Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining The Times in 2015.

--- End quote ---


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version