Thursday, October 08, 2020


Once again the headline is a little misleading, just as when we covered the start of the Brooklyn Friends School strike, but it is accurate. Having a real union like the UAW behind you, instead of the feckless UFT, can make a real difference. 

From Gothamist:

After striking faculty and staff caused the Brooklyn Friends School to close for three days this week, the administration at the Quaker private school finally ceded to the BFS union’s demands Wednesday evening. Head of School Crissy Cáceres and the school’s Board of Trustees promised to withdraw the petition they had filed with the National Labor Relations Board in August seeking to get the BFS union disbanded on religious grounds. 

In turn, school employees unionized with UAW Local 2110 said they would call off their strike.

“At the moment, all that matters is reopening our doors (virtual and physical) for our students,” Cáceres said in a statement on the decision. “They need school and the care that it offers. They need closure and an opportunity for a renewed beginning.” 

She added, “We will continue working towards a Collective Bargaining Agreement contract with the UAW that will allow us to open the lines of communication with the purposes of providing better care for our colleagues. That was always our aim and is consistent with our Quaker practices.”

When Cáceres and the school’s board filed the petition to decertify the union in August, they argued that negotiating with a “third party” would go against the school’s Quaker values—a statement members of the school and broader Quaker community have spoken out against in recent months.

In the three days that teachers and staff rallied outside the school, they have been  joined by parents, students, and other community members. A GoFundMe started by parents at the school to support the strike fund raised more than $58,000 and some parents even said that if classes did continue during the strike, they would keep their children from attending in solidarity.

“I think this speaks to our solidarity and our strength and I’m just very happy they’ve done the right thing,” Sarah Gordon, a third grade teacher at the school and member of the union negotiating committee, told Gothamist Wednesday night.

Efforts to reach a resolution earlier Wednesday evening were touch-and-go, teachers at BFS told Gothamist. At first, the administration offered to rescind the petition only if the union signed a contract that included several provisions that were “no-go’s” for union members. One teacher said the contract that was presented had no guarantee of basic benefits such as retirement and sick days.

After the union rejected that offer, the administration agreed to withdraw the petition and start contract negotiations anew...

Congratulations BFS Teachers!

Union power really can  work when you actually use it properly.

No to opting out of a union; YES to ousting the UFT leadership or replacing the UFT as the NYC public school teachers' bargaining agent with a real union. I'll help but all of you need to organize. A couple of teachers have contacted me. 


Anonymous said...

But pay dues
Dont opt out
Dont walk out
Dont decertify
Keep getting treated like trash

Anonymous said...

We arent getting the retro

Anonymous said...

No Retro

Anonymous said...

Now that the DOE has breached and will not pay us money from 11 years ago, why are you going to work tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

DOE shut us down. We opened 1 day later, worked around the clock while the pandemic raged.
No Spring Break.
No more per session.
No Summer PD.
No Teachers Choice.
Forced back into buildings.
We still teach every day!
When will we strike??

Anonymous said...

Couldn't keep us safe in march.

Can't keep us safe now.

Couldn't get us compensated for spring break work.

Can't get us retro money owed from 11 years ago.


Bronx ATR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valencia Wilson said...

So the City has finally announced that it cannot make our final lump sum payment!

Anonymous said...


VoteOutMulgrew&Unity&UselessChapterLeaders said...

@6:53 Yes to the four statements and No to the last. The problem is Mulgrew/Unity power corrupts. Unity members and CL get kickbacks for following along and selling out their chapters.

We need a new leadership and party platform. The people that we elect MUST stand with and for teachers.

It is complacent people like you that give up Or turn your backs instead of standing up and speaking out against injustices. As long as it doesn’t pertain to you, then you want union support. Well if there’s no union then all workers are screwed because the employer will screw them over. The union Serves a purpose when led correctly.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget a lot of the young teachers don't get anything so they are probably happy we old fogies aren't getting our back pay.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this post! I'm a worker at Brooklyn Friends and just wanted to clarify that we are a wall-to-wall union made up of office workers and maintenance and cafeteria staff, not just teachers.

Anonymous said...

There is a rumor that we may get half in October and the second half in July. Seeing is believing.

Anonymous said...

A few things pissing me off:

1- Where the fuck is the Spring Break compensation?
2- Where the fuck is the retro pay?
3- Bring back 8.25% TDA.

Have an idea!
Get rid of the consultants.
Get rid of all these principals PER building.
Get rid of all these superintendents and executive superintendents. One superintendent per borough is all that is needed.

The principal at my site gets paid about $165K or more for a school of about 275 students.

What the fuck is going on?

It's mismanagement of tax payer funds.

James Eterno said...

Duly noted how the whole staff at BFS is unionized.