Doomstead Diner Menu => Economics => Topic started by: RE on March 06, 2018, 02:53:05 PM

Title: ✊ UNION!
Post by: RE on March 06, 2018, 02:53:05 PM
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!

RE (

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.

Title: Re: ✊ UNION!
Post by: Surly1 on March 06, 2018, 04:03:00 PM (

West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout


I read that teachers are the new miners: there are 22,000 teaching jobs in WV, vs. 12,000 mining jobs.
Title: 👊 Google walkouts showed what the new tech resistance looks like
Post by: RE on November 03, 2018, 03:07:36 PM

RE (

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."
Title: 👊 L.A. teachers' strike stretches into Day 3 with no resolution in sight
Post by: RE on January 17, 2019, 02:34:54 AM

RE (

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.
Title: 👊 LAUSD teachers' strike: Hours of negotiating behind closed doors
Post by: RE on January 20, 2019, 12:28:22 AM

RE (

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.
Title: 👊 L.A. teachers strike: What they won and what they didn't in tentative deal
Post by: RE on January 23, 2019, 12:26:54 AM

A 90% WIN here for the TEACHERS!  Yea!

Joe Hill and Norma Rae have risen from the dead!  The time has come to give the Capitalista Pigmen their comeuppance!  Stand together, Stand TALL!  Put up your fist and say "No More"!


L.A. teachers strike: What they won and what they didn't in tentative deal

Teacher pay, charter school expansion and class size -- which is far higher in Los Angeles than the national average -- were all on the table during the strike.
Image: Los Angeles Teachers Reach Tentative Strike Settlement

Educators, parents, students, and supporters of the Los Angeles teachers strike wave and cheer in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday.Scott Heins / Getty Images
Jan. 22, 2019, 5:57 PM AKST / Updated Jan. 22, 2019, 7:04 PM AKST
By Dennis Romero

A seven-day teachers' strike at the second largest school district in the nation ended Tuesday with the United Teachers of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District agreeing to a deal that gave educators much of what they wanted, but not everything.

Tuesday night UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl said a "vast supermajority" of members voted in favor of the contract, but that the results wouldn't likely be formalized until Wednesday. He said his members would be "back to school tomorrow."

At the beginning of the 35,000-member union's strike, Caputo-Pearl called it a "fight for the soul of public education."
Image: Alex Caputo-Pearl, Los Angeles Teachers Reach Tentative Strike Settlement
United Teachers of Los Angeles president Alex Caputo-Pearl speaks to a crowd of striking teachers in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on January 22, 2019.Scott Heins / Getty Images

The UTLA might not have clearly won that fight for the soul of public schools, but the contract could be a sign that teachers are having a greater impact on education spending and policy.

The district was quick to spin the deal as a win for all. The agreement serves to "strengthen the voice of educators and provide more opportunities for collaboration for all who work in our schools," Superintendent Austin Beutner said.

The National Education Association, the largest national union for public school educators, said the contract was a victory for public schoolchildren.
Los Angeles teachers approve deal ending strike after six days
Gay valedictorian banned from speaking at Covington graduation 'not surprised' by D.C. controversy

Here's some of what the union won compared to what they asked for:

A 6 percent pay increase that includes 3 percent in additional retroactive pay for last school year and 3 percent for this one. The union asked for 6.5 percent.
Class size

A vow by the district to reduce average class size, now at 42 for middle and high schools, by four students by the fall of 2021. Los Angeles has far bigger classes than the national average of about 27 in middle and high schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Charter schools

One key union demand -- that the district curtail the expansion of privately-run charter schools -- did not bear much fruit.

The district agreed to hold a board vote on whether or not to ask the state to place a cap on the continued expansion of charter schools, which the union says drains money from the district and serves a limited population of students.

School district officials argued all along that the future of charter schools is a matter for state legislators, not for school administrators. State law allows parents, teachers and residents to initiate a charter petition.
More investment in schools

New district spending through 2022 that adds up to $403 million, according to the LAUSD, which had put $130 million on the table. California ranks 41st in the nation in per pupil spending, according to the California Budget and Policy Center. That's a complete turnaround from 50 years ago when, in 1970, the Golden State ranked among the top 10 states in per pupil spending.
Nurses and counselors

The addition of enough nurses -- at least 300 -- to place one at every school by fall 2020, and full-time librarians at each middle and high school by fall 2020.
Community schools

A commitment from the district to create 30 "community schools" that would have local control and public funding.
Title: 👊 The Teachers FIGHT Back! On from L.A. to Denver! Go UNION!
Post by: RE on January 25, 2019, 02:56:06 AM

And so it moves again to another district.  How will they do in Colorado?

Bring it ON Norma Rae! BRING IT ON!


Striking LA teachers return to class as Denver teachers prepare to walk out

    By Meghan Keneally

Jan 23, 2019, 3:12 PM ET


Teachers and students in Los Angeles returned to their classrooms on Wednesday after a deal was reached, ending the city's landmark teacher strike.

Though a deal was reached in Los Angeles, a similar conflict seems set to unfold in Denver as teachers there voted in favor of a strike.

The Denver teachers' strike can legally start as of Monday, Jan. 28, after 93 percent of unionized teachers voted for the strike on Tuesday night.

"They’re striking for better pay. They’re striking for our profession. And they’re striking for Denver students," Rob Gould, the union's lead negotiator, said at a press conference Tuesday, according to The Denver Post.

PHOTO: Kate Martin, a former teacher and current employee of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, unloads items for a potential teachers strike outside the unions headquarters in south Denver, Jan. 17, 2019. David Zalubowski/AP, FILE

Those demands echo the ones called for in Los Angeles.

Teachers in California's most populous city went on strike over teacher pay, class size and funding for school support staff, among other issues.

(MORE: LA teachers' deal to end strike offers higher salaries, smaller class sizes)

A deal was reached Tuesday, Jan. 22, which marked the ninth day of the strike that took 30,000 teachers out of classrooms.

PHOTO: Parents and toddler wave to children as they return to the Evelyn Thurman Gratts Elementary School in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 23, 2019, following a city wide teachers strike.Richard Vogel/AP

The contract that was reached included a 6 percent pay increase and a plan to lower class sizes over the next four years.

(MORE: Students from Covington Catholic High School, under fire over confrontation with Native American protesters, head back to class)

The Los Angeles mayor, the schools superintendent and the head of the teachers union announced at a joint news conference Tuesday that a tentative deal was reached, and the member teachers voted on it Tuesday evening, formalizing the deal.
Title: 👊 Denver teachers say they will strike Monday
Post by: RE on February 10, 2019, 12:44:56 PM

And so it moves again to another district.  How will they do in Colorado?

Bring it ON Norma Rae! BRING IT ON!


Denver teachers say they will strike Monday
The superintendent of Denver Public Schools says she's disappointed the teachers union broke off negotiations Saturday night.

Denver Public Schools teachers march during a rally by teachers outside the State Capitol late on Jan. 30, 2019, in Denver.David Zalubowski / AP file

Feb. 9, 2019, 8:55 PM AKST
By Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Teachers say they will strike Monday after failing to reach an agreement on pay.

Both sides met Saturday in an attempt to reach a new contract after over a year of negotiations.

"Faced with a smoke-and-mirrors proposal that continues to lack transparency and pushes for failed incentives for some over meaningful base salary for all, the DCTA strike will commence for the schools Denver students deserve," the Denver Classroom Teachers Association said in a statement.

The superintendent of Denver Public Schools says she's disappointed the teachers union broke off negotiations Saturday night.

"Despite the union's refusal to continue negotiating, we remain committed to working with the leadership of the DCTA to end this strike," Superintendent Susana Cordova said in a statement.

In several statements posted Saturday night on its Twitter account, the Denver teachers union said the Denver Public Schools' latest contract offer is not good enough.

The bargaining team issued a tweet saying: "We can do better."

The disagreements are about pay increases and about bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools and other schools that the district considers a priority.

The teachers want lower bonuses to free up money for better overall salaries. The district says the bonuses are key to boosting the academic performance of poor and minority students.
Israel fights BDS movement as pro-Palestinian campaign gains global support
How the new tax law will affect your 2018 return

Some teachers say overall funding for support services in those schools is more important.

Teachers plan to picket schools around the city starting Monday. The district says schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers.

However, the district has canceled classes for 5,000 pre-schoolers because it doesn't have the staff to take care of them.

The teachers' union says 93 percent of participating members backed a strike in a vote last month.
Title: 👊 W.Va. teachers' unions call for strike over education bill
Post by: RE on February 19, 2019, 02:04:24 AM

RE (

W.Va. teachers' unions call for strike over education bill
West Virginia teachers' unions have called a statewide strike over an education bill that they view as retaliation for a nine-day walkout last year


Copy and paste to share this video

Copy and paste to embed this video
WATCH | News headlines today: Feb. 18, 2019
By JOHN RABY Associated PressCHARLESTON, W.Va. — 2h ago

West Virginia teachers' unions on Monday called a statewide strike over an education bill that they view as lacking their input and as retaliation for a walkout last year.

The strike is scheduled to start Tuesday, leaders of three unions for teachers and school service workers said at a news conference, almost a year to the day after teachers started a nine-day walkout.

"We are left with no other choice," said Fred Albert, president of the American Federation of Teachers' West Virginia chapter.

The 2018 walkout launched the national "Red4Ed" movement that included strikes in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Washington state, and more recently, Los Angeles and Denver. Teachers in Oakland, California, have authorized a strike starting Thursday.

Now the movement has come full circle.

Both the state Senate and House of Delegates have approved separate and far different versions of the complex bill, but both call for creating the state's first charter schools. The unions believe charter schools will erode traditional public schools.

After the strike call, the Senate passed an amendment to its bill 18-16 Monday night. The unions have said lawmakers never asked for their insight into what has become a rushed process in the Senate.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said that upon watching the Senate's actions, "it appears that they are more interested in listening to the outside interests than they are the educators across West Virginia.

"We will work as closely as we can to get a resolution, but at this point, there doesn't seem to be a resolution."

Earlier Monday, Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Jefferson County Republican, moved to adopt the Senate's amended version before senators even had a chance to read changes to the bill, prompting Democrats to protest. The Senate later adjourned for more than an hour to enable senators to catch up.

"Why are we pushing it through with about 10 minutes of advance notice?" said Michael Romano, a Harrison County Democrat. "Here we are with no time to digest it."

Among other things, the Senate version would allow for up to seven charter schools statewide and provide for up to 1,000 education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. The accounts would be for special needs students and those who have been bullied.

Proponents say the moves would give parents more school choices. Charter school laws have been enacted in 43 states and Washington, D.C

The House version does not call for such savings accounts and would limit charter schools to one each in Cabell and Kanawha counties.

Like the House, the Senate has removed a clause that would invalidate the entire legislation if any part is struck down. It also removed language requiring teacher pay to be withheld during a strike as long as the school calendar is unaffected.

"We are watching this hour by hour," Albert said.

Sen. Craig Blair, a Berkeley County Republican, said the bill includes more than $66 million to directly help teachers and school service workers.

"Change is never easy in West Virginia," he said. "This is the right thing to do. At this moment in time, this is exactly the right thing to do to get a better education outcome for our students."

Teachers won a 5 percent pay raise after last year's strike. The current legislation calls for similar raises.
Title: 👊 West Virginia's Education Bill Dies As Teachers Strike
Post by: RE on February 20, 2019, 02:25:40 AM

The Teachers WIN again!  YEA!

Are we witnessing the rebirth of collective action?

RE (

West Virginia's Education Bill Dies As Teachers Strike

February 19, 20193:52 AM ET
Matthew S. Schwartz 2018

West Virginia teachers went on strike Tuesday to pressure the state legislature to reject funding for private schools.
John Raby/AP

Updated Tuesday at 4:27 p.m. ET

Teachers spent only a few hours striking before West Virginia's House of Delegates effectively killed a new bill that would pave the way for charter schools and private school vouchers in a state that relies primarily on public education.

Cheers came from the rooms in the Capitol where teachers on strike had assembled, and Fred Albert, president of West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, told The Associated Press, "It was very clear today that the House heard our voice."

In anticipation of the strike, nearly all of the state's 55 public school systems canceled classes for Tuesday.

A motion to delay action until later in the day failed in the Republican-led House, and a motion to postpone the bill indefinitely prevailed. There were 53 lawmakers in favor, with 45 opposing the delay.

"I am disappointed, but let me be clear: I am not defeated," said West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael.

The state's House of Delegates and Senate had gone back and forth on different versions of a bill that would overhaul West Virginia's educational system. According to the Charleston Gazette Mail, the education bill raised pay for teachers and would have increased funding for public schools, but also permitted the creation of charter schools in the state, which currently has none.

The bill also funneled public money into a voucher system, called educational savings accounts, that could be used for private and online schooling. The new proposals were unacceptable to the state's teachers unions, which called for the strike to begin Tuesday.

"We are left with no other choice," said Albert, according to the AP.

Democrats in the Senate complained Monday that they didn't have a chance to digest details in amendments to the bill, which local media said were revealed just 10 minutes before the floor session.

"Why are we pushing it through with about 10 minutes of advance notice?" said Democrat Michael Romano, the AP reported. "Here we are with no time to digest it." The Senate then adjourned for an hour to give lawmakers a chance to read the proposals.

In a statement, the president of the state Senate criticized the unions for their decision to strike for the second time in two school years.

"After years of ruining our state's public education system, the teacher union bosses have finally lost their grip on the Legislature and seemingly have lost their grip on reality," Republican Sen. Mitch Carmichael wrote Monday evening. "Locking our students out of schools because the teachers union bosses have lost is an embarrassment for our state."

In 2018, teachers across the state walked out in protest of what they called low teacher pay. The proposed 2 percent pay increase would have done little to offset insurance premium increases and cuts in benefits, teachers said. That strike, which lasted nine days, resulted in a 5 percent raise and inspired similar teacher strikes across the country.

Details of the controversial bill changed — sometimes dramatically — as it bounced between the two legislative chambers. At one point the Senate version of the bill would have allowed an unlimited number of charter schools. The House bill subsequently limited the number of charter schools to two and killed the voucher program; the Senate's amended version permitted seven charter schools and reinstated vouchers for up to 1,000 students who have been bullied or have special needs.

The state's three teachers unions were watching the developments carefully.

"They have made this bill so ugly in the Senate, and we've been told they have support in the House," Albert told the Gazette Mail. "We feel that we have no other measure but to send the message that we're following this hour by hour."

Republican state Sen. Craig Blair told the AP that the bill included $66 million to go directly to teachers and school service workers.

"Change is never easy in West Virginia," he said. "This is the right thing to do. At this moment in time, this is exactly the right thing to do to get a better education outcome for our students."

In Oakland, Calif., 3,000 teachers plan to walk off the job Thursday over teacher pay, class size and lack of support staff.
Title: ✊ UNION! - Teachers in North Carolina and South Carolina Protest Low Pay
Post by: RE on May 02, 2019, 12:24:36 AM (

Teachers in North Carolina and South Carolina Protest Low Pay

Teachers in North Carolina and South Carolina Protest Low Pay

In a continuation of a wave of teacher unrest, educators in two states walked out of classrooms on Wednesday.

By Lauren Camera, Education ReporterMay 1, 2019, at 12:15 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

Teachers Walk Out Over Low Pay

Thousands of teachers, other school employees and their supporters marched up Fayetteville Street through downtown Raleigh, N.C. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. North Carolina teachers took to the streets Wednesday for the second year in a row with hopes that a more politically balanced legislature will be more willing to meet their demands. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

Thousands of teachers, other school employees and their supporters marched up Fayetteville Street, May 1, 2019, through downtown Raleigh, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer/AP)

Thousands of educators in North Carolina and South Carolina walked out of classrooms Wednesday to protest low salaries in a continuation of the educator unrest sweeping the U.S.

The Carolina walkouts mark the eighth and ninth display of teacher activism this year. Teachers have already walked the picket lines, held sick-outs, marched and protested in Los Angeles, Virginia, Denver, West Virginia, Oakland, Kentucky and Sacramento – all in the last three months.

The widespread discontent follows a year rocked by teacher turbulence, in which educators in places like Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia organized around the issues of pay, class size and resources, and ultimately motivated thousands of educators to run for office in the 2018 midterm election.

In South Carolina, where public employees are barred from collective bargaining, the minimum salary for teachers with a bachelor's degree is $32,000, which has not kept up with inflation since 2003, according to a Post and Courier analysis. A proposal currently under consideration would bump that up to $35,000, nearly catching up with inflation.

As many as 4,000 educators and supporters are expected to protest outside the state capital Wednesday – the largest organized walk-out in the history of South Carolina – and at least four school districts canceled classes for roughly 100,000 students.

Editorial Cartoons on Education

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, at least 34 school districts canceled classes for more than 800,000 students as teachers and other school personnel head to the state capital to rally with an expansion of Medicaid, in addition to school employee raises. A similar walkout took place in the Tar Heel state last year.

The two national teachers unions are attempting to capitalize on the continued educator activism to bolster public education funding at a time when it's being challenged at the state and federal level by a variety of school choice policies, like charter schools and private school vouchers, that teachers unions argue siphons money from traditional public schools.

Earlier this week, the National Education Association released a report that shows that average teacher salary has increased by 11.5% over the last decade, but when taking inflation into account, average teacher salary has actually decreased by 4.5%.

Last month, American Federation of Teachers launched a national campaign aimed at getting state lawmakers and members of Congress to prioritize education funding.

Both unions are hoping to propel the issue of teacher pay into to the 2020 election, and has already caught the attention of most of the Democratic presidential candidates, like Sen. Kamala Harris, who recently pledged to close the teacher pay gap by the end of her first term as president.

Lauren Camera, Education Reporter

Lauren Camera is an education reporter at U.S. News & World Report. She’s covered education ...  Read more

Title: ✊ UNION! - United Auto Workers to strike against General Motors
Post by: RE on September 16, 2019, 12:22:08 AM
Time once again to bring on Norma Rae.  :icon_sunny:

Title: Re: ✊ UNION!
Post by: BuddyJ on September 16, 2019, 07:03:56 AM
Go strikers!!! Let's hope they win this one!
Title: ✊ After 30 days, GM-UAW talks suddenly face a deadline
Post by: RE on October 16, 2019, 02:28:27 AM
The end of the automotive industry is in sight.

RE (

After 30 days, GM-UAW talks suddenly face a deadline
Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press Published 5:18 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019 | Updated 7:49 p.m. ET Oct. 15, 2019


The clock is ticking for General Motors executives to reach a proposed tentative agreement with the UAW, people close to the talks said Tuesday.

The union's move to summon its National GM Council to Detroit for a meeting Thursday morning was a pressure tactic to prompt GM leaders to reach a deal acceptable to the UAW, said three people familiar with the talks.

Talks continued Tuesday, with GM CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss joining UAW President Gary Jones at the "main table" with the UAW's lead negotiator in the talks, Terry Dittes.

That was widely seen as moving the talks toward their final phase, but no agreement had been reached Tuesday afternoon. Also present were the bargaining committee members for both sides. A person close to the talks said Barra and Reuss did not stay for discussions through the afternoon.

"Mary's got two days to come up with a contract, then the National Council meets to decide what to do next," said a person briefed on the negotiations late Tuesday.

For such heavyweights to show up to the main table indicates a proposed deal is likely close at hand, likely to happen late Wednesday or in the early morning hours Thursday prior to the National Council's meeting, said one person who had been briefed on the talks.

“If they don’t have a deal, they will give us an update and let us know what the protocol is at that point,” said a UAW local leader who asked to not be named. “Product allocation is an issue GM has come late to the table on.”

Product allocation refers to company commitments to invest in U.S. plants and create or preserve jobs. Early in the process, GM said it had committed $7 billion over the four-year life of the contract, which would create or preserve 5,400 jobs. The Free Press reported that only half of those jobs would be new, and some of the investment would be through joint ventures whose jobs would pay less than GM autoworker positions.

More: Ford and FCA workers get involved in GM UAW strike

More: GM deal with UAW on health care costs may help end strike, hurt Ford
General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks before the 2019 contract talks for a new national agreement on Tuesday, July 16 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center 2019.

General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks before the 2019 contract talks for a new national agreement on Tuesday, July 16 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center 2019. (Photo: Kathleen Galligan, Detroit Free Press)

Here is how the process of getting to a tentative agreement works:

    The UAW's top national negotiators accept GM's offer. It then becomes a proposed tentative agreement.
    It goes to the local UAW presidents and chairpeople on the National GM Council.
    If those leaders vote to recommend it for ratification, it is an official tentative agreement that is sent to the 46,000 union members for either ratification or rejection.
    Assuming there is a tentative agreement, the National GM Council will have to decide when to end the strike.
    The UAW International Executive Board then adopts the contract upon membership ratification.

In pattern bargaining, the union chose to negotiate with GM first, intending to use that contract as a template for a deal with Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Automakers tend to want to go first because the target company can work terms into a contract that best serve its business needs.

But if the union does not get an acceptable contract from GM by Thursday's council meeting, some UAW regional directors said Tuesday they would recommend the UAW leadership switch to Ford as the target company while leaving GM on strike, said people familiar with those discussions.

This could be disaster for GM, leaving its fate in the hands of a crosstown rival while the union continues to strike 55 sites in 10 states, freezing production there and at its pickup plant in Mexico.

UAW President Jones decides if the union will switch target companies. It has never done that in the past, only threatened, labor experts said.

"The union already has the contract it wants with Ford," said a person close to the talks. "Ford has the union's desired contract sitting on the table. It wouldn't take a lot of tweaking."

Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter.
Title: ✊ Chicago Cancels Public School Classes As Teachers' Strike Looms
Post by: RE on October 17, 2019, 01:28:31 AM (

Chicago Cancels Public School Classes As Teachers' Strike Looms

October 16, 20193:07 PM ET

Sarah Karp   Paolo Zialcita

Teachers, staff and their supporters marched through downtown Chicago on Monday to show support for the teachers union.
Teresa Crawford/AP

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says classes in the city's public schools will be canceled Thursday for 299,000 children, in anticipation of an expected teacher strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have been locked in a months-long contract dispute over higher pay, caps on class size and other issues. The union's delegates plan to meet Wednesday evening to vote on whether to move forward with the strike.

In a news conference Wednesday, Lightfoot said that she stands by the city's most recent offer, which she said would provide teachers a 16 percent raise over five years, among other proposed changes.

"We have tried to provide the best deal that is fiscally responsible, that's fair to teachers, fair to taxpayers," Lightfoot said. "Without question, the deal we put on the table is the best in the Chicago Teachers Union's history."
Chicago Teachers Are Ready To Strike
Chicago Teachers Are Ready To Strike

The teachers union said that the city's offer was paltry compared with what the union wants. Union leadership said Tuesday that some progress was being made, but that it was too late.

"This whole process is a day late and a dollar short," CTU President Jesse Sharkey said as he predicted a strike. "Things that happened yesterday and today should have happened a month ago."

According to the union, the contract fight is about more than pay. Its members cite the need for fully staffed schools, smaller class sizes and social justice programs as three of their main demands.

But Lightfoot said the union was being deceitful by publicly demanding those changes — and then also bringing up a host of other issues during negotiations.
Sign Up For The NPR Ed Newsletter

Get shareable insights, innovative ideas and the latest education news, sent weekly.
E-mail address

By subscribing, you agree to NPR's terms of use and privacy policy.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

"The union has told the public repeatedly that the two issues we need to solve are class size and staffing and we have met their needs," Lightfoot said. "But behind the scenes, they've continued to bring up additional bargaining issues that they say must be resolved before they can have a contract."
Oakland, Los Angeles And More To Come: Why Teachers Keep Going On Strike
Oakland, Los Angeles And More To Come: Why Teachers Keep Going On Strike

As an example, Lightfoot said teachers want to shorten the school day by 30 minutes in the morning — something she is not willing to agree to. "We will not cheat our children out of instructional time," she said.

The Chicago Teachers Union last went on strike in 2012, after its demands for job protection and smaller class sizes were not met.

At the national level, educators have been involved in a recent wave of strikes, including in early 2018, when West Virginia teachers walked out of classrooms for nine days. And in 2019, Oakland teachers formed a picket line after working without a contract since July 2017.

Sarah Karp covers education for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at @WBEZeducation and @sskedreporter. Paolo Zialcita is an intern on NPR's News Desk.
Title: ✊ Why I’m Voting No on UAW’s Deal With GM: A “Third-Tier” Worker Speaks
Post by: RE on October 19, 2019, 12:07:31 AM

Friday, Oct 18, 2019, 2:17 pm
Why I’m Voting No on UAW’s Deal With GM: A “Third-Tier” Worker Speaks
BY Mindy Isser

Raina Shoemaker, a General Motors employee and a UAW member, speaks to the press from the picket line. (Photo by Mindy Isser) 

After 33 days on strike, the leadership at the United Automobile Workers (UAW) has negotiated a tentative agreement with General Motors (GM). Nearly 49,000 UAW members—concentrated mostly in the Midwest, with a few plants scattered in the South and Northeast—will stay out until their contract is ratified. And although union leadership has encouraged the rank and file to ratify the contract, many workers are unhappy with the highlights of the proposed deal. Numerous workers at the General Motors plant in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, tell In These Times that local union leaders are travelling to Buffalo, New York today, to read the full tentative agreement. Members have until October 25 to vote the contract in or to send the bargaining committee back to the table.

There are many important issues facing UAW members and leadership during this contract fight. The leadership is under a watchful eye by both its members and the media, thanks to multiple corruption scandals. But workers themselves are concerned about a myriad of issues: health insurance, giving temporary workers a path to become permanent, closing the gaps between different tiers of workers, and keeping GM plants in the United States. This tentative agreement does not appear to solve many of these problems—and, in fact, allows the closure of three plants.

In These Times spoke with Raina Shoemaker, a GM employee and a UAW member at a facility in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Mindy Isser: Tell me what you do, and how long you’ve been at General Motors.

Raina Shoemaker: I work in the GM Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) facility, where we distribute parts to all of the different dealers. I’m in the Philadelphia one that’s on the East Coast. What I do is I pick parts, fill orders, and then they get shipped out. I’ve been at GM for four and a half years.

Mindy: What’s your reaction to the tentative agreement?

Raina: Well, the agreement doesn’t bring all of the temps onto immediate hiring stage: I would like to see temps become permanent with this new contract. If you’ve made your 90 days, you should be brought on permanent. That’s what we wanted with this contract. GM has increased some time off for temps, but not nearly enough, I don’t think. Because it’s such a physical job that we have, our bodies break down. So you need that time off, and we cherish that time off, because we need that time to rest our bodies. So I think it’s lousy for the temporary employees.

Mindy: What about for you? You are a tier-two worker, right? Could you explain what being a tier-two worker and what a tier-three worker means?

Raina: Under the new contract, in the manufacturing plants where they make the automobiles, they are all on the same payscale. For your first year, you’re paid $17 an hour. But four years later, you’ll be at $32.32. Everyone in the manufacturing plant gets to that maximum wage. In the GM Components Holdings plants, where they make certain parts, they are all on the same payscale, but that payscale is lower. You only max at $22.50 after eight years there, which I think is just wrong.

At the CCA, where I am, there are multiple pay scales. The top scale people, which we call tier one, they’ve been there forever. They have pensions. They max out at $31.57. With this new contract, the scale below them, which we call tier two, they max out at around the same pay. But they don’t get a pension—that’s the big difference between them now. 

You can consider me tier three, which they call “in progression.” It takes me eight years to max out, and my max rate is $25. But we are in the same building, doing the exact same work. At these other buildings, they’re all in the same building, doing the same work, with the same pay scale. But not here. There are different pay scales that go all the way down to the temps, and if you take them all, there are four tiers. We’re still not considered one whole union, like we’re not all equal.

It’s just not a good contract. You can say you want the ratification bonus, yeah, they’re giving us $11,000, they’re giving the temps $4,500, just to sign the contract. That’s a one-time deal. That’s just not good enough. I don’t even want to look at that. If you take that out of the equation, the rest of the contract is lousy.

Mindy: Do you think your coworkers feel the same?

Raina: I think a lot of them do, yes. And you know, they’re not even bringing back any of the jobs from the facilities that they’re closing. Those plants are done. So we didn’t even get job security because of that. So I hope every one of those workers from Lordstown and some of the other plants, I hope every one of them says no to this contract. Because we’re going to need numbers.

The only plants that look really good right now are the manufacturing plants, some of the facilities that build the cars. They have a pretty good deal there. But the problem with that is they’re gonna all vote yes.

But GM, their future is to not manufacture anything in this country. They’re on their way to just take everything across the borders. And the only thing that will be left for GM in the future is the parts division that I’m in. Because you need to be able to get the parts to warehouses and then distribute them. But do I see manufacturing sticking around at all? Not the way that GM is going. They just want to keep throwing things into every other country, Mexico especially. They want to pay their people $3 an hour. They don’t care. An American company should really be an American company. And when you’re putting things everywhere else but America, then I don’t look at you as an American company anymore.

Mindy: You said that your plant would be safe in the United States. Why do you care about the other workers across the country? Is it just because you think an American company should be an American company and work in the United States, or is it something bigger, like you’re concerned about the other members of your union?

Raina: I’m totally concerned about the other members of the union. They’re families. GM is playing with their lives. They’ve broken down their bodies for 30-plus years, many people, for that company. And then GM turns around and doesn’t care. GM just looks the other way. People need these jobs! This country is going in the wrong direction, it’s not even funny. And it’s not just GM, it’s other big corporations. They’re just leaving. They don’t even care. The middle class is just getting smaller and smaller and smaller. And poverty is just getting worse.

Mindy: Do you think this contract will be ratified?

Raina: I hope not. But I don’t know the numbers. Anyone in a CCA I think will vote no. Any of the manufacturing plants that are closing, I think they’re all going to vote no. I don’t know if we got the numbers. I hope we do vote no. Because this is a lousy contract.

Mindy: What were your hopes for this contract?

Raina: Considering I’m in the third tier, my hopes were to at least be brought up to the second tier. That was my hope: to bring people more equal. More as one, the whole union. And it’s just not. They did a little bit better for the temps, I’m not gonna say that they didn’t. But did I think they did enough? For everything that we’ve done, being out there for five weeks? No. They shouldn’t even have brought this to the table, to be honest with you. I think it’s an insult. I do.

Mindy: What are the next steps for the union?

Raina: Local elected leadership is going to Buffalo to hear everything, to be told why this is such a great deal. And then it’ll be brought to us, the membership, and then I guess we’re going to be told why this is such a great deal. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid, sorry. And I hope none of us drink the Kool-Aid. We need this vote to be exactly the way we need to vote, and that’s no.

Mindy: Any big takeaways from this strike?

Raina: My big takeaway is what we feel amongst each other: the unity. But we don’t feel the unity from the higher up union officials. I just feel like they’re not fighting enough. I don’t know what the other side is saying. I’m not in that room with General Motors. They’ve got multi billions of dollars, so are they willing to lose another 2 billion? Probably, because it’s like chump change to them, they can do it. They’ve got that much money. And do they care that they hurt us as we sit on that picket line? No, they really don’t.

And obviously they don’t care too much about their dealerships, because the dealers are really hurting at this point. And that’s their customer. I don’t get it.

It breaks my heart that big companies really don’t care about anything except the bottom line. They don’t care about people.

Mindy: Is this your first strike? What did you think about going out on strike for the first time? Did you have any fears about it?

Raina: I didn’t have any fears about it. I thought it was definitely about time, because I know what we endure every day in that facility. I know how bad our bodies break down. I know that we deserve to be paid for. Especially the ones that are in the tier that I’m in. I know we needed to keep our health care good. A lot of us get hurt. We’re constantly twisting, bending, turning, walking 8 to 10 miles a day on a floor that’s stronger than concrete. It really breaks your body down. I really think that this was time. Because they don’t see it.

Our supervisors in our facility, the ones that are now doing our jobs, have actually voiced to me that they want us to come back so bad. One of our supervisors said, “I hope you get everything you’re asking for.” That’s huge, for someone like that—a supervisor who supervises us every day—to say, “I hope you get everything you’re asking for.” Because they’ve endured for five weeks, a small five weeks, what we do, and have been doing, for multiple years.

Mindy: Back to the big takeaways from the strike, a lot has been written about community support. Do you think it’s helped keep morale high?

Raina: We’ve gotten huge community support that we are so thankful for, especially from Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which you know a lot about. Unbelievable. Our hearts are so warmed from the community and all the other unions and DSA. We can’t say enough: thank you. I wish we could do other than just say thank you. It’s just overwhelming. And everybody feels the same way, we all talk about it. That’s one of our main things: We can’t believe the support we’ve gotten. Everyone is supporting us except GM.

Minday: Why do you think everyone is supporting you so much?

Raina: Because I think we have so many middle class, hard-working people that feel like they’re being treated unfairly in their own jobs, whether it’s union workers or non-union workers. They just feel that it’s getting so hard out there, and the owners of these companies, and the greed—it’s just so big in today’s time. They don’t care. People just don’t care. All they care about is money.

Mindy: Any final thoughts to share?

Raina: I’m going to give final thoughts to anyone who feels like they’re being treated unfairly at work. They need to fight for themselves. Whatever it takes.
Title: ✊ There's a stark reason why America's 1.8 million long-haul truck drivers can't
Post by: RE on October 21, 2019, 02:25:55 AM (

There's a stark reason why America's 1.8 million long-haul truck drivers can't strike
Rachel Premack
13 hours ago

American laborers are striking in droves. Why aren't truckers joining in? AP Photo/John Froschauer

    Trucking is powered by 1.8 million long-haul truck drivers, who move around 71% of America's freight.
    Many of them were unionized as recently as the 1970s, but a deregulation bill passed in 1980 revamped the industry. Labor experts argue that change was not for the better.
    As a result, truck drivers aren't easily able to strike. Many have tried, but the movements haven't gained traction.
    Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tens of thousands of truck drivers were scheming earlier this year to strike. Such a work stoppage could have tremendous implications — some 71% of freight is moved by long-haul trucks, including groceries, manufactured goods, and even money.

"We're not all fat slobs, and we don't all do the stereotypical trucker things," Will Kling, a truck driver based in Reno, Nevada, told Business Insider last year. "Trucking has been forgotten."

"When you go to that store and you pick up that bottle of wine or that ketchup, you don't think about the process it took to get it where it is," Kling said.

But, instead of teaching America at large to respect the 1.8 million big rig drivers, the much-hyped protest was a dud. Ultimately, just a few dozen people participated in the April "Black Smoke Matters" strike.

Read more: Thousands of truck drivers are organizing a strike in a Facebook group called 'Black Smoke Matters' — here's the origin of the provocative name

Blue-collar workers in general have struggled in recent decades as pay and job security tumbles. But, following the largest strike since 1970, General Motors employees represented by the United Automobile Workers secured this week an $11,000 bonus, a pledge to retain 9,000 jobs, and other wins, according to the Detroit Free Press.

And that strike held serious economic implications for America's largest automaker. Bank of America estimated that the walkout cost GM a whopping $2 billion.

It's not just auto workers who are demanding pay and benefit boosts, either. In 2018, a record number of American workers went on strike; the most since 1986, Vox reported. That's 485,000 employees ranging from public school teachers to Marriott hotel workers.
The reason truck drivers can't achieve the same wins dates back to the Carter era

This drive for collective action raises the question of why one of the largest labor forces of blue-collar workers can't seem to strike, too.

The reason goes all the way back to the late 1970s, when even liberal lawmakers were jumping on the bandwagon of deregulation. Trucking was seen as a key area in which deregulation could benefit consumers.

Read more: Truck driver salaries have fallen by as much as 50% since the 1970s — and experts say a little-known law explains why

In the mid-20th century, truck drivers had to buy specific routes to move a certain type of product from one location to the other. But goods exempt from regulation moved at rates 20% to 40% below similar products that were regulated, according to Thomas Gale Moore, then a senior fellow at Stanford University's conservative public policy think tank Hoover Institution. Moore noted that rates for "cooked poultry" were 50% higher than rates for "fresh dressed poultry."

Ultimately, that meant consumers were paying more because trucking was an industry with little competition and high barriers to entry. But it also meant truck drivers were better paid.
trucker protest 1973
1973: Truck drivers gather ahead of a fuel price protest in Worcester, Massachussetts. Spencer Grant/Getty Images

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 removed many of the cumbersome regulations that the previous law, passed in 1935, had put in place. Most notably, it allowed new trucking companies to open with relative ease and removed many of the route regulations. Companies also had more control over changing their rates.

The law was passed by President Jimmy Carter, who declared that the MCA would save consumers as much as $8 billion ($25 billion in 2018 dollars) each year.
That deregulatory act also clamped down on unions

Following the passing of the MCA, truck drivers' salaries tumbled. From 1977 to 1987, mean truck driver earnings declined 24%, according to research by Wayne State University economics professor Michael Belzer. And from 1980 to the present day, a Business Insider analysis found that median trucking wages have sunk as much as 35.8% in some metropolitan areas.

"To be able to be a truck driver used to be quite a good blue-collar, middle-class job, but over the past 40 years, it has kind of dwindled away," Gordon Klemp, principal of the National Transportation Institute, previously told Business Insider.
trucker wages 1980 vs 2017
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

Unions also lost much of their power. Membership in Teamsters, which was once one of the most powerful unions around, has declined dramatically. In 1974, Belzer wrote that there were 2,019,300 truckers in Teamsters. Now, there are 75,000.

When truck drivers were largely in Teamsters, work stoppages were common — and sometimes quite dramatic. In 1970, a nationwide trucker strike went on for more than a month, dealing a serious economic blow in cities like Chicago and St. Louis.

In Cleveland, Ohio, the impacts even became one of domestic security as rock-throwing protesters drew 3,000 National Guardsmen to the city. "Helmeted troops, armed with M‐1 rifles, were stationed in pairs on some overpasses, while other guardsmen rumbled along on patrol in quarter‐ton trucks," reported The New York Times on May 1, 1970.

The strike led to a pay increase of nearly 30% for all Teamsters truckers. The average nationwide hourly pay of $4 got a $1.10/hour bump, the Times reported.
Without a union, a nationwide strike to force wage and benefits bumps is nearly impossible

Bob Stanton, a longtime truck driver who didn't support the Black Smoke Matters strikes, said it's too challenging to wrangle all of America's truck drivers to strike together. "You can't get enough of trucking to participate," he told Business Insider.

Truck driver Lee Epling noted that truck drivers don't have enough time or money to strike. "In order for a movement like (Black Smoke Matters) to actually happen, you need the two things independent owner operators like myself do not have," Epling told Business Insider. "That's the luxury of time, and a whole lot of money."

But unionization would ease the barriers to striking. Most strikes are called by labor unions as a last resort while bargaining for a new contract. Even those who might not necessarily agree with the strike are prevented from working, because strikes are called after enough union members vote to stop working.
Title: ✊ Chicago's teacher strike heads into another week, with no end in sight. Here's
Post by: RE on October 23, 2019, 01:12:28 AM (

Chicago's teacher strike heads into another week, with no end in sight. Here's what's at stake
CNN Digital Expansion Shoot, Holly Yan

By Holly Yan, CNN

Updated 12:11 AM ET, Tue October 22, 2019
Chicago teachers strike for better conditions

(CNN)Chicago public schools students will miss classes for a fourth day on Tuesday as a teachers' strike drags on.
The Chicago Teachers Union and city officials negotiated through the weekend but couldn't reach a deal. On Monday, about 10 different proposals on various issues went back and forth, a senior city official told CNN. The Chicago Teachers Union enlisted the help of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who attended a bargaining session, to mediate.
A Democratic presidential candidate will add her voice in support of the teachers. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is set to join Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, and educators on the picket lines on Tuesday, the union said. Bargaining resumes Tuesday, the Chicago Teachers Union said.
Chicago Teachers Union members gave Mayor Lori Lightfoot a grade of 'F' for the latest round of negotiations, union president Jesse Sharkey told reporters Monday night.

"The mayor has dashed our hopes for a quick settlement," Sharkey, said citing a letter Lightfoot sent to the union urging them to end the strike as negotiations continue.
"We are not going back to work without a legally binding agreement," Sharkey said.
Lightfoot's letter, which was shared on the union's Twitter account, said in part: "The students and families of Chicago cannot afford to be out of school for any longer, which is why we are asking you to end the strike and encourage your members to return to work while bargaining continues."
"Our team has been turning around thoughtful counteroffers at a rapid pace. We are hopeful that CTU will meet that pace ... so we can bring this process to a fair and responsible end."
The union's demands echo what teachers across the country are fighting for: smaller class sizes, more support staff, higher raises and more school funding.
But the mayor and Chicago Public Schools say it's just not realistic to fund everything the union wants.
"CPS is not flush with cash," the mayor said. "The fact is there is no more money. Period."
'Tragedies waiting to happen'
Chicago teachers say they're fighting for students who often face dire challenges.
About 75% of their students qualify for free or reduced lunch. In some neighborhoods, gangs and violence permeate the streets, forcing children to grapple with grief at a very young age.
Nine of 10 majority-black schools have no librarians, and there aren't enough bilingual teachers in a district that's "nearly half Latinx," the union said.
And many schools don't have a full-time nurse.
"There (are) just tragedies waiting to happen because we don't have enough staff in our schools," nurse Dennis Kosuth told CNN affiliate WLS.
Last year, Kosuth had to split his time among six schools.
"It was impossible for me to give the kind of care that I wanted to give to my students," he said.
Where Chicago students can go during the strike
Where Chicago students can go during the strike
This year, he's working at three different schools. "But I'm still just as busy."
Hiring more social workers, counselors, nurses, bilingual teachers and librarians is just part of of the union's demands.
Teachers also want smaller class sizes, higher pay for all school employees and more teacher prep time during the school day.
More than 41,000 Chicago elementary school students are trying to learn in classes with 30 students or more, the union said. Of those, 5,290 are in classes with at least 35 students.
And from the elementary to high school levels, CTU said, some classes have more than 40 students.
A bit of progress
Chicago Public Schools has offered to steadily raise teachers' salaries to an average of $97,757 by fiscal year 2024.
'I'm angry. I'm not going to sit down,' one Chicago teacher says

'I'm angry. I'm not going to sit down,' one Chicago teacher says 02:14
"We will also ensure every school has a full-time nurse by 2024," CPS said.
It said it would also commit another 200 social workers and special education case managers for the highest-need schools over the next three years.
A veteran teacher's aide makes less than $30,000 a year and must work other jobs
CPS' latest offer would also raise the salaries of teachers' assistants, nurses and clerks every year for the next five years.
But the challenge isn't just funding those new positions -- it's finding enough quality applicants.
"Social workers, nurses, counselors, and other similar positions are hard to hire," the school district said. "The candidate pool is limited, and hiring is competitive."
Desperate to fill teacher shortages, some US schools have started hiring from overseas
Desperate to fill teacher shortages, some US schools have started hiring from overseas
Last month, the union asked for "CPS to hire more than 1,000 new employees by October 1, 2019, across several hard-to-find specialties," the school district said.
"The (union's) proposal also calls for hiring approximately 3,000 more employees over the next two years at a cost of more than $800 million. Even if CPS could realistically afford such a commitment, it would be nearly impossible to meet those hiring goals."
After lengthy negotiations Saturday, the teachers' union said both sides are getting closer to an agreement -- but sticking points remain.
"We have tentative agreements on eight different items -- two in particular, I think, are huge," CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said.
"One goes with the pipeline for teachers of color," which could help reverse "the precipitous decline of black teachers," she said.
"The other one that's huge is that over the life of the contract, we effectively have a charter (school) moratorium."
Why many teachers are angry about charter schools

Why many teachers are angry about charter schools 10:55
While many parents have joined teachers on the picket lines, some oppose the strike.
"To me, it's a whole distraction and interruption to the school year," said Liam Boyd, the father of a fourth grader at Blaine Elementary School.
"I don't support the union. I think the school district and the city has been more fair this time and (are) trying to be more fair."

The union's president, Jesse Sharkey, said he has two children in the school district.
"We understand that a strike is a disruption to the parents of the city," Sharkey said. "It's worth a short-term disruption if that puts in place over the long-term the conditions that make education better in this city."