Sunday, April 1, 2018

Fred Klonsky on Red State Teacher Revolts - Do Weakened Union Leaderships Lead to Stronger Rank and File Movements?

Unions and collective bargaining are also a means of control and provide labor peace.....
The movement is taking place on Facebook and Twitter. Not in NEA or AFT offices and union meetings. That makes things difficult to control. The Koch Brothers, Governor Rauner and others who are backing Janus may be sorry they ever brought this whole thing up..... .... Fred Klonsky,
Will Red State Teacher Revolts influence the Supreme Court in the Janus case? The argument made by unions in the Janus case that they are part of the structure that keeps labor peace may just resonate.

What does that mean for militancy here in NYC where we have the largest and most entrenched union leadership where Unity Caucus can reach out to every single UFT member? We will be the last to strike unless Janus weakens Unity Caucus. How? If 30% leave the UFT that is a massive reduction in incoming dues. The patronage machine and possibly the high salaries that keeps them coming to Unity take a hit and Unity begins to lose some control - and if people in the schools get pissed off enough, who knows? But I'm a realist. There are so many teachers not from here - they can always go home - and so many are younger and without families - the major gripers are the old timers it seems - and they are making over 100 grand. So do I expect militancy from the membership? Not much. Some of my pals in MORE actually think they can help spark militancy. Good luck to that.

But my guess is that the politicians in NYS know better - to make sure Unity is as strong as they can keep it so red state teacher revolts don't happen here.

One more point I will make again and again. Look at the photos of the striking teachers -- very white. And I bet there are a whole batch of militant people branded by the left as "deplorables."  The kind of people my left friends in MORE keep telling me are not activists.

Fred nails important points as an explanation for the red state teacher revolts - they are somewhat freed to engage in wildcat strikes that are illegal because their union leaders have less control. There is not a strong enough union structure to control the members in red states where the teacher unions are weakened.

“Aunty Em! Aunty Em!”


What do West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky all have in common?

Well, yes. Teachers have all walked off the job in those states, or threatened to, in the last few weeks over lousy pay.
They are all part of what I call the rolling national teacher revolt.
Also, they are all in right-to-work states.

That means teachers have limited bargaining rights and the teachers unions there are not able to require membership in exchange for representation.

Yesterday teachers in Kentucky called in sick and Kentucky schools had to close one day early in advance of Spring break.
In Arizona teachers held what Education Week called an “electrifying rally.”
In the shadows of the State Capitol, thousands of Arizona teachers decked in red demanded Wednesday that their state government pump $1 billion back into the public school system and provide school workers with a 20 percent pay increase. If their demands aren’t met, their leaders said, they’ll stage a statewide strike.
This is not the end of the rolling national teacher revolt. Twenty seven states have right-to-work laws.

And the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the case of Janus. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiff then all America becomes a collection of 50 right-to-work states.

Fifty states where unions are limited in what they can bargain and cannot require agency fees or membership.

You don’t need a crystal ball to know what’s coming if that happens.

Collective bargaining and union membership result in higher wages and benefits for teachers, better working conditions and teacher voice. That’s good for students and their families too.

Unions and collective bargaining are also a means of control and provide labor peace.

The opposite is what you now see in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky.
Many of the teachers slapped on top of their bright red shirts stickers that reminded the many local TV cameras that a strike is possible. 
For a movement that’s largely taken place on Facebook and Twitter, Wednesday also served as a sort of family reunion where teachers working in far-flung districts met each other in person for the first time. 
The movement is taking place on Facebook and Twitter.
Not in NEA or AFT offices and union meetings.
That makes things difficult to control.

The Koch Brothers, Governor Rauner and others who are backing Janus may be sorry they ever brought this whole thing up.

1 comment:

  1. Ya gotta laugh at the ironies of history, and the acrobatics of liberals suffering from Trump Derangement Symdrome trying reconcile the fact of so many "deplorables" participating in the most important labor actions of the past thirty-five years.

    Kinda makes the political narrative a little more complicated, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete

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