Posts tagged Randi Weingarten

    Commentary: For Teachers’ Unions, Strikes Are the New Normal

    February 19, 2024 // Meanwhile, students trapped in blue states – or blue cities – effectively run by teachers’ union political power, remained hostages to the demands of even more funding, hazard pay, increased “teacher work periods,” etc. In many cases, the demands even included political concessions like guaranteed housing and expanding Medicare for All. Don’t forget: Some teachers’ unions had to issue reminders for teachers not to post vacation pictures while the schools were closed. Because let’s call a spade a spade: The teachers’ unions used the COVID pandemic as history’s largest and longest strike, during which they tried to exact concessions they would have never achieved at a normal negotiating table.

    Labor unions are making unprecedented calls for a ceasefire in Gaza

    January 24, 2024 // However, leadership of some large unions like the AFL-CIO and SAG-AFTRA have remained silent, seeing the issue as beyond their purview, risky to support, or too split among their members. Others have released statements in support of Israel, such as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten. But a number of AFT locals and other teachers’ unions have supported ceasefire resolutions themselves, revealing a schism between leadership and rank-and-file members. While there has been considerable support for the ceasefire resolutions, union members involved in organizing for Palestine say that they must go further to support efforts like Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and not be complicit in the abuses against Palestinians by Israel, supported by U.S. tax dollars. “Just the ceasefire declaration, if there’s nothing more, if it doesn’t have any teeth, is not enough,” Saba said. Unions have a long history of standing for progressive causes internationally, from “opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the CONTRA war,” cited UAW Region 9A Director Brandon Mancilla in a UAW press release. Over the decades, labor has stood up against World War I, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War.

    Teachers union boss ripped for claiming school choice undermines democracy

    December 21, 2023 // American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten made the comparison at the "Network for Public Education Action" national conference in October. In a clip of her remarks, which went viral on social media this week, the union leader can be heard criticizing school choice advocates. "They have not one thing that they offer as a solution other than privatizing or voucherizing schools," Weingarten said. "Which is about undermining democracy and undermining civil discourse and undermining pluralism."

    Teachers’ union boss blames math test slide on COVID — after fighting to keep remote learning

    December 6, 2023 // The leader of the second-largest teachers’ union in the US linked the worldwide drop in math scores on a key international test to the COVID-19 pandemic — during which she had lobbied against a full return to in-person learning. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten issued a statement that said remote learning was to blame for the drop in the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) math evaluation after scores were released Tuesday.

    Commentary: Teachers Union Head Mystified by Increase in Homeschooling

    November 19, 2023 // Parents started seeking accountability on their own terms, at home. The surge in homeschooling during the 2020 school year has not dropped off, attracting enthusiasts from diverse racial and income backgrounds. While there are many reasons for the shift, a significant factor is leaders like Weingarten left a vacuum parents had to fill. When they did, parents learned they could do it without the leaders who left them in the lurch. Their kids' education could be flexible and tailored, without the constraint of having to sit at a desk between four walls for seven hours a day. Parents learned they had the power to fix some of the problems the pandemic posed.

    Op-Ed: Will Miami Teachers Free Themselves from Union Shackles?

    November 8, 2023 // UTD claims that its current membership stands at 57 percent of the Miami-Dade educator workforce, up from 52 percent this summer. However, this increase in membership — assuming there really is one — doesn’t indicate the union has successfully recruited new members or won recommitments from old ones. Instead, UTD has been expelling substitute teachers from the bargaining unit in an attempt to swing the percentages back in its favor. The union’s membership numbers have been trending in the opposite direction for years, which presented an opportunity for the Freedom Foundation. But any disenchantment the teachers have with the union is its own fault. If UTD ultimately dies, its wounds will be self-inflicted.

    Did AFT Actually Add 30,000 New Members This Past Year? Well, Not Really

    October 18, 2023 // In 2023, the union added more than 11,500 retired members, accounting for almost two-fifths of the reported gain in total membership. It now has 471,582 retired members — 27.5% of its total. The other major event for AFT in the fiscal year was the affiliation of the American Association of University Professors. The AAUP has 44,000 members. Previously, about 20,000 AAUP members also belonged to AFT. Now, they all do, accounting for a further increase of 24,000 members to AFT’s total this year. Mergers and new affiliations with existing unions are a fun way to pump up raw membership totals, but they do nothing to increase the share of the overall workforce that is unionized.

    Teachers’ Unions vs. Teachers, Parents, and Children: The NEA and AFT

    September 20, 2023 // Between them, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have nearly five million members. Their national associations report annual revenues of approximately $370 million and $200 million, respectively, which are drawn overwhelmingly from dues paid by those members, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of millions in revenue that their local affiliates collect. The Bigfoot lobbyists of the NEA and AFT want more more more when it comes to spending, as lobbies invariably do, but they are frequently found in a negative posture, for no one hates the idea of reform quite as much as a teachers’ union. Vouchers, charter schools, education savings accounts, merit pay for teachers…you name it, the teachers’ unions are against it.

    Auto workers strike would test Biden’s assertion he’s the ‘most pro-union president in US history

    September 13, 2023 // Union support was instrumental in helping Biden overcome a slow start to clinch the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and it helped him win not just Michigan but Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as he defeated Trump in that year's general election. Underscoring his commitment to organized labor, Biden's lone campaign rally since launching his reelection bid in April came in June in Philadelphia, when more than a dozen of the country's largest and most powerful unions endorsed Biden for a second term. So many unions banding together for an unprecedented joint endorsement so early in the election cycle was meant as a show of strength for the president. Conspicuously absent from the event, though, was the UAW. Fain has since said that if Biden wants the UAW's 2024 endorsement, he'll have to earn it.

    First Faculty Unions Form at Two Maryland Community Colleges

    September 7, 2023 // Before passage of the 2021 collective bargaining law, some employee groups were already organized at the Community College of Baltimore County, Montgomery College, and Prince George’s Community College. There are additional faculty organizing efforts by AFT-Maryland underway now at the Community College of Baltimore County and Prince George’s Community College.