News (9)

Nation’s First Teachers’ Strike at Charter Network Begins in Chicago

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has hailed the first large strike by teachers at Chicago charter schools. Charter schools are operated by private entities but funded by public school budgets, draining funds from other public schools. But Weingarten says the charters must be organized. “‘This activism is contagious,'' said Weingarten. After “a couple of decades of being the shiny new object,” she said, the charter school movement is experiencing an adolescence. “They are now in a different generation,” she added. “They're going through growing pains, and what you're seeing in a bunch of the different charter schools is that teachers are saying we want to make a career helping kids in this structure, but we need to have the conditions kids need and the pay we need.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Teachers has come out strongly against the privatization

The El Paso Texas American Federation of Teachers has come out strongly against the privatization of the El Paso Independent School District and against crony contracting. “Please understand there is an extensive E-Mail trail in possession of EP AFT spanning almost five years documenting his secret efforts to privatize EPISD and its schools with KIPP, IDEA, DSST, The Texas District Charter Alliance, the School Empowerment Network, the Gates Foundation, Tom Vander Ark, Michael Feinberg, the System of Great Schools, Scott Himelstein, Ms. Fenenbock and others. Please understand that as Mr. Cabrera was in heavy negotiations with KIPP to contract out EPISD Schools, he was looking myself, Louis Malfaro, Texas AFT President, and Randi Weingarten, AFT President in the eye denying he was going to do that.”

For-profit prisons are in the list of prohibited investments

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey applaud the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund for adding for-profit prisons to their list of prohibited investments. There has been a wave of pension actions against firms seeking to profit from Trump administration’s shameful immigration and mass incarceration policies.

Source: American Federation of Teachers

Protest at United Nations fights the separation of immigrant families

Public sector unions have weighed in against Trump’s brutal treatment and policies on migrants, such as separating families, which are filling the coffers of private contractors, for-profit prison companies, military contractors, and NGOs. AFT President Randi Weingarten delivered a formal complaint to the United Nations on June 20, framing the inhumane immigration policy as abusive and trauma-inducing. AFSCME co-signed the complaint to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with President Lee Saunders saying “this inhumane policy is a cruel choice that does not make us safer, and it does not make us great. There is no law that mandates traumatizing children, only the prerogative of this president.”

Source: American Federation of Teachers

AFT and Puerto Rican unions agree to historic affiliation

The 40,000-member teachers union of Puerto Rico signs an historic agreement to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers to help “fight against austerity and privatization.” Prior to the agreement, “the AFT and AMPR worked together for months to oppose the PROMESA control board’s attacks on public education and to expose the role of hedge funds in the crisis. Joint trainings have been held to improve communications and member engagement. Separately, the AFT has been assisting AMPR with Puerto Rico bankruptcy issues.”

Source: American Federation of Teachers

The teachers union of Puerto Rico signs an historic agreement to affiliate with the AFT

The 40,000-member teachers union of Puerto Rico signs an historic agreement to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers to help “fight against austerity and privatization.” AFT President Randi Weingarten said “an attack on teachers anywhere is an attack on teachers everywhere. (Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico) has been battling against austerity and privatization in Puerto Rico and the everyday consequences for the island's people. With this affiliation, the 1.6 million members of the AFT join in that fight.” Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico President Aida Diaz said “teachers are teachers no matter where they work, and we should be treated as professionals and respected by the government and the public as a vital and necessary resource.”

Source: www.nydailynews.com

Canada & USA North America Binational Meeting Report

The PSI North America Binational meeting was held on March 4, 2016 in Ottawa and hosted by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Robyn Benson (PSAC), the Canadian titular, and Candice Owley (American Federation of Teachers-AFT), the United States titular, co-chaired the meeting. This meeting followed the Canadian SUBRAC and the United States SUBRAC, both held on March 3, 2016.

Source: PSI

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