Archive for January 19th, 2009
CHARLESTON, W.Va.–The state’s teacher unions plan an aggressive push on lawmakers this session for better pay and more reasonable health care costs.
But officials with the West Virginia Education Association and West Virginia’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers admit they’ll be facing a tough audience, especially when some lawmakers have already said they’ll be pinching pennies when preparing a budget.
The United Federation of Teachers announced on Tuesday that it had organized teachers at two respected New York City charter schools, making inroads in a movement that has long sold itself as an alternative that is not hamstrung by union contracts and work rules.
Union officials said the teachers’ decision was an important step because the schools are part of the Knowledge Is Power Program, known as KIPP, which has 66 schools in 19 states and the District of Columbia and plays an influential role in national education debates. Advocates for charter schools — which are publicly funded but independently operated — expressed concern that unionization could undermine the schools’ effectiveness.
A recent article characterized the debate surrounding legislation that would make it easier to form unions in the workplace as a question of survival — a business’s need to control operating costs vs. a union’s fight to stave off dwindling membership. While the reporting and facts were straightforward and accurate, the piece missed what is perhaps the most significant element of the “card check” controversy: the consequences of this bill on democracy and workers’ rights.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN on April 3, 1968 — the day before he was assassinated. License to reproduce this speech granted by Intellectual Properties Management, 1579-F Monroe Drive, Suite 235, Atlanta, Georgia 30324, as manager for the King Estate. Write to IPM re: copyright permission for use of words and images of Martin Luther King, Jr.