Scores of school worker unions mustered enough member votes in this year's re-certification elections to go on representing the employees in wage negotiations, according to data state labor relations officials released Thursday.
Teachers unions are facing tumultuous times, grappling with financial, legal and public-relations challenges as they fight to retain their clout and build alliances, and deal with declines in membership.
In this post on reclaiming the conversation on education I offer strong views on the need to reorganize and redirect the American Federation of Teachers and the National Educational Association if these unions are to survive as a meaningful force for and ally of public education.
Faced with the very real threat of extinction, unions have largely put collective bargaining on the back burner, and instead must try to remind American workers of the basic concept of worker solidarity. “We start from the point of view that, because so few people are in unions these days, very few people have personal experience with collective power,” explains Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America.
The battle over teachers unions has marched its way across the country. Ohio. Michigan. Wisconsin. Idaho. And now it’s in Kansas, greeted by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative allies in the Legislature.