Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SOS Labor Panel and Workshop at upcoming convention

Weingarten calls for "new unionism"
After stops in Cleveland and Philly, two cities now viewed as "models" of privatization by the corporate reformers, I'm headed to D.C. this morning to take part in the upcoming SOS Convention. I'll be part of the convention's Labor Panel and Workshop, which is looking even more interesting in light of the so-called "solutions driven unionism" being pushed by AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten.

Weingarten, who was re-elected this week for a third term as union president with 98 percent of the vote, is claiming a mandate for her approach to dealing with corporate reform. She's holding up recently signed agreements in New Haven and Cleveland as models of collaboration, agreements which include teacher evaluations and merit pay based on student test scores.

All this should provide fodder for an interesting discussion within SOS as the fledgling organization tries to figure out how to support teacher unions and collective-bargaining rights now under attack nationwide, while maintaining its own badly-needed organizational unity. The labor workshop will likely produce a resolution calling for support for the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in its contract negotiations with the mayor's hand-picked school board -- a battle that still could lead to a strike next month. The CTU's fight-back approach, which has mobilized support from parents and community allies, is seen by many inside and outside the AFT as a counter to Weingarten's new unionism. Last week, the CTU forced important concessions from Rahm and the board, and a CTU victory without a strike now seems possible. Such a victory could set a more militant tone for other contract negotiations.


  1. Wow, really. 98%? Did someone even run against her?

  2. Back in the 90s Bob Chase, who was then President of the NEA, tried to pass this stuff off as "new unionism." Like "New Coke'" it didn't go over well with the membership. It wasn't that it is "new" or that teachers don't like "solutions." It just turns out these really aren't solutions, and calling concessions "new" doesn't make it so.

  3. I don't know one teacher who thinks that merit pay based on tests and evaluations is a good idea. So what are we going to do? How are we going to make OUR voices heard? Because during my 12 years as local union President MY voice (which represented the voices of my membership) was not heard. I'm retired now and ready to fight to take back my profession. Ideas? Sorry I'm signed as "anonymous as I don't have a google account...


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