Unions and Education

Radical Teacher, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Unions and Education


Deborah Meier's "On Unions and Education" (Dissent Magazine, Winter 2004) confirms that unions remain education's greatest hope. Beginning with the support unions gave her as founder of the Central Part East schools in New York City and the Mission Hill School in Boston, she concludes by writing: "Not only are strong teacher unions critical to the success of teaching and learning, they are critical to the survival of the conditions needed to support teaching and learning. They are critical to the success of the minion of public schools in a democracy: to produce citizens who can effectively rule. Although there are many folks out there who have a stake in good public schools, the only organized and experienced allies, committed over time and with the necessary expertise and resources, are the teachers' unions (http:www.dissentmagazine.org/menutest/articles/wi04 /meier.htm).

The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) verified on March 16, 2004 that a majority of over 6,000 teaching associates, graduate assistants, tutors, and graders in the California State University system chose to unionize under the banner of the California Alliance of Academic Student Employees/United Auto Workers (CAASE/UAW). For more information, e-mail caaseuaw@ earthlink.net.

Even though it is one of Manhattan's most progressive institutions, for the last year the New School University has persistently sought to undermine the organizing efforts made by its part-time instructors, who earn an average of $2,700 per course, without benefits ("New School, Old Tricks," The Nation, April 5, 2004). …

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