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An Associated Press poll found that 78 percent of Americans think teachers are paid too little, and a majority support teachers’ strikes to win higher pay. Fifty percent said they favor higher taxes to pay teachers more.

What can we learn from the teacher uprising that’s drawing national attention to the devastation wrought by budget cuts?
The scale is unprecedented, but the nation’s poorest-paid teachers are following the same playbook that Chicago teachers did in 2012: build power at the workplace, tap into issues members care about, think big.
Workers have far more power than union leaders often recognize. Lobbying isn’t nearly as powerful as striking.

Oklahoma Teachers Walk Out for Nine Days, Win Precarious Gains

April 27, 2018 / Samantha Winslow<?
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?>Fresh on the heels of the West Virginia strike, Oklahoma teachers in April led their own nine-day statewide walkout.
Just the threat of a walkout got the legislature to approve teacher raises averaging $6,000. But educators were demanding more, to address decades of cuts.
But in Oklahoma—unlike West Virginia—when state union leaders called members back to school, teachers returned, even though the legislature had budged no further.

In recent Labor Notes blog posts, Chris Brooks and Steve Downs have debated whether public sector unions faced with a “right-to-work” or open-shop situation should seek statewide legislation that would end mandatory exclusive representation.

Massive Crowds Flood Capital as Arizona Teachers Stage First-Ever Statewide Walkout

April 27, 2018 / Jonah Furman<?
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?>Seventy five thousand teachers and allies in red shirts flooded the streets of Phoenix as Arizona educators launched a statewide walkout on April 26 for increased school funding and raises for all school employees.

Columbia Grad Workers Set to Strike, As Admin Refuses to Bargain

April 23, 2018 / Katie Fustich<?
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?>Graduate students at Columbia University are on the verge of a strike over the university’s refusal to bargain with their union, Auto Workers Local 2110.
Members voted earlier this month to authorize a strike, with 93 percent voting yes. “There’s a general sense of injustice and frustration as the university continues to stall illegally,” said bargaining committee member Rosalie Ray, a Ph.D. student in urban planning.

In these past few years, the IBEW has taken many hits, but never one strong enough to knock us down. Instead, we have taken every “setback” as a chance to evolve, expand, and energize our ranks.
At this year’s 2018 Construction & Maintenance Conference, International President Lonnie Stephenson extolled on the outreach efforts that the IBEW has utilized in the past few years. As we all know, the most dangerous thing we can say is “but we’ve always done it that way”.
Three pillars of evolution, expansion, and energizing were this years IBEW Hour Power Award Winners. Our 2017 Apprentice of the Year is Patrick Armet from Local 570 in Tucson, Arizona; our 2017 Instructor of the Year is DJ Siegman from Local 617 in San Mateo, California; and the 2017 Journeyman Mentor of the Year is Jay Metzger from Local 654 in Chester, Pennsylvania.
IBEW Hour Power is far from done capturing all of the magic that happened at C&M this year, we will be back with more inside information right here, made just for you!

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Contracted Hospital Workers Win Job Security

April 16, 2018 / Laurel Albina<?
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?>For the first time in 15 years, 4,000 subcontracted hospital housekeepers and dietary workers in British Columbia have job security. They won that peace of mind by pulling off a series of escalating actions on the job.
Between 2002 and 2005 the provincial government, headed by the Liberal Party, fired 10,000 hospital support service workers—mostly women and people of color—and subcontracted their jobs to multinational corporations including Aramark, Compass, Sodexo, and Acciona.

Indiana Teachers ‘Go Green’ To Track Member Sign-Up

April 13, 2018 / Samantha Winslow<?
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?>What will happen to public sector unions after the Supreme Court rules on the Janus v. AFSCME case this spring? Indiana teachers are already there. Slammed by a “right to work” law in 1996 and a new barrage of attacks in 2011, the teachers experienced what many unions are afraid of—a big drop in membership.
But the Indiana State Teachers Association didn’t roll over and give up after that. The union developed a tracking system called “Go Green” to help local leaders get membership back up.

The Special Status of Union Stewards

April 13, 2018 / Robert M. Schwartz<?
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?>Standing up to bosses is essential to being a steward. On the shop floor and in grievance meetings, you must defend the actions of members and contest those of management.
In many cases you should be able to make your points temperately, practicing “quiet diplomacy.” But occasions will undoubtedly arise when you will want to raise your voice, challenge a supervisor's credibility, or argue your case in other vigorous ways.