‘An Oldie, But A Goodie’ Labor Perspective: NEA National President Lily Eskelsen García Says ‘Stop Writing That Obituary for Teachers' Unions.’ ‘We're Not Going Anywhere’
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME seeks to turn back the clock on almost a half century of progress for Working People.
I wish that the decision came as a surprise, but those of us in Teachers’ Unions have been anticipating this radical retrenchment by the Supreme Court on this key Labor issue for years.
Its 5-4 ruling, at the time, was just the latest in a string of attacks by billionaires and Corporate Special Interests against Workers.
We know what we are up against - and we are undeterred.
We will move forward, in solidarity, because American Families need Unions more now than ever.
Those who are ready to write Labor’s obituary in the wake of this decision were not with me as I walked shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of thousands of Educators in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina.
As the #RedForEd Movement caught fire, Public School Teachers, Support Staff, families and students said “no more” to leaky ceilings and mice-infested classrooms, “no more” to decades-old textbooks and taped-together technology, “no more” to corporate tax cuts that privilege the rich over the poor.
They rose up to fight for themselves, their students and their communities.
In historic numbers, in seas of red shirts, hand in hand with students and parents, our National Education Association (NEA) Members and other Educators flooded their State Capitol Buildings, urging legislators to pay attention to the unacceptable conditions students face.
These courageous Educators could no longer stand by as their students sat in overcrowded classrooms with broken desks.
They could no longer stand by as school weeks were shortened to four days.
They could no longer stand by as experienced colleagues left in droves the profession they loved because they could no longer afford to stay.
Teachers, Bus Drivers, Guidance Counselors, Cafeteria Workers and Custodians stood up, walked out and demanded action.
This is what Unions stand for.
This is who we are as Educators.
And we will not be silenced by those who seek to stifle our voices.
Educators were not alone.
The rivers of people that flowed through the state capitols wearing #RedForEd included small business owners, Fast Food Workers, religious leaders, Nurses, parents and students - all joining Educators in solidarity.
The walkouts not only brought attention to the inadequate learning conditions many students face, but they have also shown that Organized Labor, Communities of Color and Women are fighting an interconnected battle for a more equitable future.
To rise, we must join together.
We must also understand that we are up against powerful forces.
To Continue Reading This Labor Perspective, Go To: www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/07/09/stop-writing-that-obituary-for-teachers-unions.html?fbclid=IwAR0eGC1eVxKcDgBSo7l0Zppov3OwZJPbjvx4Q96Svwl1P6oS_4uCfEaTyOI