I know, it's kind of a deceptive headline. Obviously, it isn't teachers represented by the UFT who are going on strike today. Teachers at The Brooklyn Friends School wisely chose the United Auto Workers to represent them.
From Gothamist yesterday:
Teachers and staff at the Brooklyn Friends School are getting ready to strike starting on Monday in response to administrators' ongoing opposition to their decision to unionize the Quaker private school.
The UAW Local 2110 -- representing school faculty and staff -- has urged parents to show their support by not sending their children to school during the strike, either in person or remotely. It’s unclear how many will take part, but some parents launched a GoFundMe page to support the union strike fund this week that raised more than $45,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
Katie Bednard, who has a 5th grader and an 8th grader at the school, said her children won’t be attending their remote classes on Monday. “Our teachers are what makes BFS,” Bednard said. “They are the ones who deliver the curriculum. They give meaning to the mission and I think that’s why there’s so much support.”
BFS staff said they intend to picket in front of the school during the strike. Administrators released a Safety and Security Plan on Friday that included hiring additional security and enlisting NYPD officers to come to the school, a move that alarmed some teachers and parents.
“You’re turning the police on teachers?” said Rachel Mazor, an English teacher and parent at BFS, incredulously. “Have you missed the entire BLM movement?”
The vote to authorize a strike was 120-5 according to the article.
There is much more background to this story. Please read all of the details. In addition, Gothamist has more this morning:
Update Monday, October 5th: Brooklyn Friends School leadership are closing the school on Monday and Tuesday "as negotiations are ongoing," according to a spokesperson for the school. However, the union is still striking and rallying each morning outside the school.
After assuring parents Friday that the school would remain open with substitute teachers during the strike, Head of School Crissy Cáceres sent out another email Sunday reversing course.
“We have made the extremely difficult decision to close school this Monday and Tuesday," Cáceres wrote. "This decision will allow for these conversations to take place and simultaneously avoid the stressful impact of a strike on our students, families, and colleagues.”
BFS leadership also sent out a statement Sunday saying that, over the weekend, "Brooklyn Friends School and the UAW, through counsel, began discussions about a potential resolution to the current situation with the hopes of preventing a strike beginning Monday, October 5."
A member of the union negotiating committee told Gothamist that there have not been negotiations between school leadership and the union.
The administration has been actively fighting the teachers' legal right to unionize. They are doing this through the Trump controlled National Labor Relations Board. The teachers are striking for their collective bargaining rights.
You see UFT opt-outers, having a union is crucial for workers. NYC public school teachers just need the right union or better union leadership that will support the rank and file.