Thursday, February 15, 2018

Florida Union Busting Bill

This bill will affect public schools librarians & university librarians.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has raised the stakes again. Find out why by watching this week's legislative update.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Chicago Teachers Union and Charter School Teachers Have Joined Forces

On Monday, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced that its members had voted in favor of amalgamating with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ChiACTS), which, since 2009, has organized about 1,000 educators at over 30 charter school campuses.
While cooperation between unionized educators at charters and district schools in the United States is common, this is the first known case in which teachers from both types of schools have merged into a single union local.
The move was approved by 70 percent of voting members, according to the CTU. In a similar vote last June, 84 percent of ChiACTS members endorsed the merger.
“These results are the outcome of a lengthy dialogue among members,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said in a statement. “We’ve declared that we’re stronger together in one big union. We’ve embraced our common struggle to support our workers, our students, their parents and our neighborhoods.”
“Educators in district and charter school share the same challenges and the same commitment to our students and the public good,” said ChiACTS President Chris Baehrend. “Together we can more effectively fight for more fair, more equitable funding for our students and their needs, especially for our underserved Black and Brown students and their families.”

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Library union questions $200K admin office reno as possible branch relocation looms

The Saskatoon Public Library may be moving its Frances Morrison central branch to a new location. So why were behind-the-scenes workers' offices recently renovated?
That's what the union representing library workers wants to know.

Library union questions $200K admin office reno as possible branch relocation looms

Monday, December 18, 2017

Drabinski, Emily (2017) "An Organizer's Tale:

Drabinski, Emily (2017) "An Organizer's Tale: LIU Brooklyn's Lockout and Union Contract Negotiation," The Political Librarian: Vol. 3 : Iss. 1 , Article 6. 
Available at:

Fwd: Re: Photos from LIU Strike | Martin Burch | Fort ...

Here’s what I learned from this experience, our one big success—we are the only unit on campus with a negotiated contract. Our big failure—the livelihood of much of our casual labor force has been devastated. Management is highly organized. They were single-minded in their efforts to control us. They have more money than us and more power than us, but we outnumber them. In order to push against forces that have more power than us, we have to organize each other. We have to all be together, working consistently in a forward direction over time. We were not organized enough to force management to offer us a contract without concessions. We cannot let that happen again. When we look at the world as it is right now, there is so much we cannot let happen ever again. We all have so much to stand against, to fight for, to resist, and to organize to change for good.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Union workers unite to build Temple’s new library

Union workers have become familiar faces on campus as they arrive every day to work on the new library. Meet six of the professionals responsible for various parts of the project.
Sitting in a construction trailer known as the “meeting room,” workers wearing boots covered in dirt and dry mud talk about what it’s like to build one of the biggest capital projects in Temple history: the new library. The four-story, 225,000-square-foot academic commons, at Liacouras and Polett walks, is being built by hundreds of union workers.
Meet six of those workers, who have a combined more than 180 years of experience in their trades. From carpenters and electricians to steel workers, meet the builders making this massive project at the heart of Main Campus come to life.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Oakland Public Library strike

OAKLAND — Striking Oakland city employees announced late Monday that they would be back on the job Tuesday (Dec. 12, 2017) after a work stoppage that shut down city services for seven days.
“…While we didn’t settle a contract tonight, city negotiators have adopted a new tone and demonstrated openness to continue negotiations,” said Felipe Cuevas, president of the Oakland chapter of SEIU 1021 and a heavy equipment mechanic for the city.
The city and the union met with mediator David Weinberg all day Monday. Cuevas said the union and city negotiators would continue to meet with Weinberg in an effort to resolve issues about wages and working conditions that precipitated the strike. More than 3,000 city workers represented by the SEIU 1021 and IFPTE Local 21 had been striking since Tuesday
The strike involves about 3,000 city workers represented by two unions, SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21, said Chris Fink of SEIU. Union officials said the strike originally was expected to take place only on Tuesday, but was extended to a second day because the two sides had not returned to the bargaining table.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Florida Education Association Urges Action Against Decertification Bill

Urgent and Fast Action Needed – 
Information regarding this dangerous and anti-union legislation!

TAKE ACTION Against Decertification Bill
December 5, 2017

The House Government Accountability Committee will hear HB 25 on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at 10:30 am. This bill—sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon—, if passed, would add an additional requirement to an employee union’s annual renewal with the Public Employees Relations Commission. That requirement is that each certified bargaining unit of a registered employee organization (UFF) must provide the number of eligible employees for union membership and the number of members who pay dues or do not pay dues. If that information is not presented then the certification for that bargaining unit is revoked.

If the certified bargaining unit dues paying membership is less than 50%, the unit is decertified and that bargaining unit must petition PERC for recertification as the exclusive bargaining representative within one month after the date on which the bargaining unit applied for renewal. Application for PERC recertification requires either voluntary recognition of the union by the employer or petition to PERC for recertification upon submission of call for union representation election cards from at least 30% of the full bargaining unit. If sufficient cards are submitted to PERC, then an election would be held to re-establish or decertify the union. Note: The application for recertification must occur within one month of the initial date of application for annual renewal.

If this sounds like déjà vu, it is. Rep. Plakon sponsored the same legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session!
Talking Points:

  • This bill (H.B. 25) comes as no surprise as we have seen efforts like this before in Florida – and numerous nationwide attempts -- to take away workers’ rights.  This politically motivated legislation is a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist in Florida.
  • We are a union of members who choose to participate – no one can be forced to join our union. Florida is a right-to-work state where union membership or payment of union dues cannot be compelled.
  • The Florida Constitution gives employees the right to join a union to give them a strong voice regarding wages and working conditions. This measure would take away that right.
  • The bill is also potentially unconstitutional as it exempts first responder unions and is a direct attack on FEA unions and displays strong gender bias since 75% of FEA members are women.
  • This bill is not needed. Florida is a right-to-work state, which means people join only because they want to join. 
  • Our union is the voice of our members and their students – every student, every school, every college, every university, and every day. Our teachers’ working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.  You cannot separate the two. 
As was stated by FEA in 2011, Florida law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify and exclusive bargaining representative. “Any employee or group of employees which no longer desires to be represented by the certified bargaining agent may file with the commission a petition to revoke certification. FEA believes legislative proposals that target unions representing public employees by requiring recertification of unions with membership below 50 percent of the employees is unconstitutional. These measures are simply to make life more difficult in as many ways as they can so in the end member unions go away.”