Tuesday, February 27, 2018

WEST VIRGINIA TEACHERS TO GET 5% RAISE (Updated)

From CBS:

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announces teachers will go back to work on Thursday and teachers will get a five percent raise.
Gov. Justice says that they are taking Wednesday as a "cooling off day" because some counties have already canceled school.
According to his proposal, all state employees will receive a three percent raise, and any employees related to education will receive an additional two percent raise.
From further down in the updated article
(Governor) Justice's chief of staff says thanks to the president's tax plan, Governor's roadbond and improving GDP - revenue has been up these last two months. So now the state is expected to bring in $58-million more dollars this year. That money will go towards the raises.

$58 million magically found. I think the strike had something to do with that.

The Legislature still has to vote on the raises and there are other issues besides pay. However, I think it is clear that this illegal strike over money where the union held out and got the government to up its offer from 2% to 5% was successful. Educators also are getting 2% more than other government workers.

Can WV now be the go to model to look at on how to do an effective job action?

More on the strike from CNN.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Considering they were striking over the same raise pattern we *accepted* in our last contract, I’d say hell yes we should follow their lead. Janus can’t come soon enough. Time to dump the UFT leadership!

James Eterno said...

5% for this year or 10% over 7 years and a month. The same pattern? I agree the two situations are not totally comparable in that WV pay is so much lower than ours but the point of their action is that strikes can work as long as labor is united and prepared to stay out as long as it takes to gain something real. Labor loses when we are divided.

James Eterno said...

Also, by striking the teachers beat the pattern set for other government employees by 2%. That was a successful illegal strike from everything I can see.

Anonymous said...

Would the same UFT members who voted yes for the contract be willing to strike? WV had enough teachers willing to walk that the entire state's school system shut down. Does NYC have enough willing teachers to shut our schools down? Would our leadership be willing to take a strike vote even if teachers were willing? Unfortunately I do not see the same fortitude in NYC as we saw in WV. Anyone disagree? Roseanne McCosh

James Eterno said...

Roseanne that militancy has to come from the ground, from us. Leadership has it good as do some of us who are in schools where we are not at all under attack. However, conditions are awful in way too many schools.We need to stand up for each other. That change can happen. Today, the answer to your question is no, NYC teachers are not ready. After what happened in WV, maybe the answer will not be the same tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

The main element West Virginia teachers have in abundance that we lack is shared purpose. We specialize in arguing amongst ourselves.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

Miami schools chief Alberto Carvalho will be New York City's next chancellor

Anonymous said...

I think hes an illegal

James Eterno said...

Started out that way.

Anonymous said...

James, I've been in this system for almost 30 years. I know it has to come from us. Even in my school with a humane principal, it's a constant struggle to get teachers to demand respect for themselves when they perceive disrespect from an AP. I think city-wide things will have to get so much worse for us before people are willing to stand up and demand changes. I have led the charge at my school many times over the years. I got used to going it alone many times as well. As of now there are a few of us at our school that stick together no matter what and have the attitude "your fight is MY fight too." A few of us stuck together and used this strategy against an abusive AP several years ago and it was successful. The "few" emailed our union. Our dist rep showed up. Many members attended the meeting. The "few" continued to work together to help our collegaue combat her absusive administrator. We did not expect to our union to fight for us but to back us up in the fight we led. It was time and energy sucking but we prevailed. We were resigned to go down swinging TOGETHER. That AP is gone from our school. We are still here. I wish all of the abused teachers had the courage that my abused colleague had. The first thing I said to her was, "Don't start a fight you're not willing to go to the mattrresses for." She was willing and with the assistance of "the few" she was ready and able as well. I learned at a young age, you never back down from a bully and it's better to go home with a bloody nose when you've swung back than to go home bloody and your bully doesn't have a scratch on him. Roseanne

James Eterno said...

Roseanne, Thanks for all you do. I agree that you have to stand up to bullies. It is not easy. None of this is simple but labor militancy is the only hope to save what we have.

R M said...

James, you are the one in the trenches so I wholeheartedly thank you. I know it's not easy for teachers to take on bully admins--especially when no one has their back. There is such power in numbers. I don't know what it's going to take to unite most of us so our collective voice is heard. But like I previously said I think it's going to take things getting so much worse first. Roseanne