Monday, May 29, 2017

Philly Teachers Call Off Work In Bottom-Up Campaign | PopularResistance.Org

Philly Teachers Call Off Work In Bottom-Up Campaign | PopularResistance.Org:

Philly Teachers Call Off Work In Bottom-Up Campaign

Philly teachers organized their co-workers to participate in a mass call-off day this May Day. Photo: Caucus of Working Educators


Above Photo: Philly teachers organized their co-workers to participate in a mass call-off day this May Day. Photo: Caucus of Working Educators
Teachers and their unions turned out for May Day this year in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Oakland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Seattle. They held teach-ins at schools and pickets outside, and joined citywide demonstrations in solidarity with immigrant communities.
Philadelphia teachers wanted to show solidarity with the day’s themes—but also make a statement to the city about their own contract struggle. They’ve gone four years without a contract and five years without a raise. They’ve suffered school closings, freezes on steps and lanes in the pay scale, layoffs of school nurses and counselors, and the privatization of substitute teachers. The state-appointed school board even tried to cancel their contract, though it was rebuffed by the courts.
So, to create pressure on the district, a group of teachers organized their own protest. “We are finally taking some action, after five years of not doing much,” said Tom Quinn, a teacher at the city’s largest high school, where more than half of teachers took a “personal day” on May Day.
The 11,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers didn’t authorize the action. Instead it was a rank-and-file group, the three-year-old Caucus of Working Educators, that enlisted 400 teachers from 24 schools to call off from work and join a series of May Day activities. These included a 10 a.m. grade-in and rally at the school headquarters, joining the Day without an Immigrant march, and heading over to the official PFT union action at an elementary school.
The move certainly got the district’s attention. It reported a high alert for absences and had to offer additional bonuses for substitutes on that day.

YOU JUST HAVE TO ASK

How did teachers organize so many of their co-workers to skip work for Philly Teachers Call Off Work In Bottom-Up Campaign | PopularResistance.Org:

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