Advocacy for students has been as much a part of the strike negotiations as the battle over salaries, with requests for longer recesses, smaller caseloads for educational staff, transportation reforms and less testing.I hear some teachers talk about the conditions they face, with nary a mention of the students or the parents. Taking the narrow view puts teachers and their union in a box. Teachers have to be fighting not only for themselves but for their students and that brings the parents along.
Organizing through social media, including the citywide Facebook page Soup for Teachers, parents brought food from carrots to donuts, and encouragement to teachers picketing in front of their neighborhood schools.
Look at what some of the more affluent parents are doing:
The strike has drawn more attention to economic disparities within the district as parents from more affluent areas who have aimed to reach all of the district’s 97 schools witness some of the challenges facing the lower-income schools. Darcey Pickard, a mother of two children at Louisa Boren STEM K-8, organized a group to support the underserved schools in west Seattle after learning one school didn’t have a PTA – something she didn’t even know was possible.No wonder "it's all about me" charters are unpopular in the state of Washington. And how delicious that Bill Gates has to see this taking place in his own backyard.
MORE's friends on Seattle have asked for photos from NYC schools supporting the strike.
Dear Colleagues,Dan Lupkin letter to staff on supporting the teachers:
The fight in Seattle is the one we're in the midst of here. The success of SEA caucus in galvanizing teachers, parents and students around a collective vision for their public education system resonates with us all. Please send support their way as they head into a historic battle for their professional rights and justice for their schools.Any support will give those, who've identified financial hardship during the strike, courageous teachers some peace of mind in the days ahead.In addition, Dan, of SEA caucus, and elected exec board member of Seattle Education Association asks for photos of support and posting them to SEA Solidarity on FB.
Lauren Cohen of P.S. 321 has kicked us off! Let's show MORE support! When you go in, after your name, add MORE/UFT so they know where you're coming from!
Educators in Seattle are on strike for better learning conditions for their students, and for better pay and working conditions for themselves. They are dealing with many of the same issues we are, from High Stakes Testing to overcrowded classrooms to stagnant salaries that don't keep up with skyrocketing costs of living in a large coastal city. Because of the Taylor Law and our timid, compromised union leadership, we will almost certainly not be in a position to strike to defend our students and our profession any time soon, so the SEA is striking on our behalf too; a victory for them is a victory for all of us, let there be no question that we are all in this together.
They are not being paid while on strike, so I would ask each of you to show solidarity with our colleagues by contributing to the Seattle Education Association Strike Fund. I gave $30, it doesn't have to be a lot, but that money will keep the lights on and the rent paid in our colleagues' homes, and every little bit counts. Even a $1 contribution sends a message of solidarity.
Have a great weekend!
Technology Coordinator / UFT Chapter Leader
PS 58 Brooklyn, The Carroll School