Archives For solidarity

The Movement of Rank and File Educators stand in solidarity with the people’s fight for environmental justice in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. The Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (FMPR), a teachers’ union of Puerto Rico, is decrying the injustice occurring in the Peñuelas community with the unapproved disposal of coal ashes in Peñuelas Valley Landfill. The community has been taking a stand against the dumping through peaceful acts of resistance. So far, sixty three people have been arrested and jailed, including Puerto Rican Senator Maria de Lourdes Santiago.

We stand with the FMPR and affected community who are requesting their governor support and back Bill #340 on the Senate floor, which would prohibit coal ash disposals in their landfills. The coal ash pose dangers to the health and life of the people who reside nearby. The ash, left in mounds, is blown by the wind contaminating the air and water. Deadly and chronic diseases such as cancer have been linked to these disposals.

MORE is the social justice caucus of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. We believe that our working conditions are inextricably linked to our students’ learning conditions. Clean and healthful communities are a basic human right that must be prioritized over convenience and profit. We stand with FMPR and the Peñuelas community.

MORE-UFT supports the efforts of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association and other unions to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sister educators on strike in Seattle. MORE-UFT chapters are showing support in their own ways.

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Below is the resolution passed by the PJSTA:

At today’s Representative Council meeting the PJSTA’s governing body passed a resolution in support of the Seattle Education Association who are currently on strike in Seattle as they fight for the schools Seattle’s students deserve.  Additionally the PJSTA pledged to launch a solidarity campaign in our schools and asked NYSUT to similarly support the SEA while encouraging it’s locals to issue their own resolutions in support of the SEA.  Details on the solidarity campaign will hit the buildings tomorrow.

Here is the text of the resolution…

Whereas the Seattle Education Association is locked in a contract battle that has important consequences for educators everywhere; and

Whereas Seattle teachers have worked diligently to build coalitions within their communities and have won the support of parents, and mobilized for a contract that includes not only fair compensation and secure working conditions, but a decrease in high stakes testing, and increased services for their students; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association is seeking to install site based teams in each school to address structural inequities and institutional racism that plague their school district; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association is seeking caseload caps for school psychologists and counselors to better meet the needs of the students that they serve; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association has not had a cost of living adjustment in 6 years and the district has $50 million in reserves and has recently received $40 million in new monies from Washington State; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association went on a one day strike last spring in protest of the current reform movement that is damaging public education and, therefore stood tall for all public school teachers across the country facing similar reforms, including members of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association is a fellow affiliate of the National Education Association; and

Whereas a victory for Seattle teachers would greatly encourage teachers everywhere, including members of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association and the New York State United Teachers, to continue in our increasingly stronger efforts to combat damaging and abusive public education reforms in our own communities; and

Whereas a victory for the Seattle Education Association would be a victory for public-sector employees across the country who continue to oppose the privatization of public resources and the plundering of public assets; and

Whereas the Seattle Education Association membership has voted unanimously to authorize the strike; therefore be it

Resolved that the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association supports the Seattle Education Association in its fight to negotiate a contract that meets the needs of its members, their students, and their communities; and be it further

Resolved that the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association will launch a solidarity campaign, to be shared via social media, in its schools and encourage all of its members to participate in the campaign as a show of support and solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Seattle; and be it further
Resolved that the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association urges NYSUT and its affiliates to adopt a similar resolution.

"solidarity mean: uniting chapters, not setting them up to compete for merit pay by another name from management"

We do not consent to divide and conquer

"solidarity means not making 151 other municipal unions negotiate with the insulting pattern we'd set vote NO on the UFT contract"

"solidarity means not making 151 other municipal unions negotiate with the insulting pattern we'd set vote NO on the UFT contract"

"MEMO to UFT President Michael Mulgrew from Movement of Rank and FIle Educators MERIT PAY ≠ Solidarity"

and a interest-free loan to the City is not retroactive pay

Jia Lee, MORE candidate and teacher at the Earth School is one of the conscientious objectors who refuses to administer the NY State Test this year.

Jia Lee, MORE candidate and teacher at the Earth School, is one of the conscientious objectors who refuses to administer the NY State Test this year.

New York City public school students in grades 3-8 are currently taking the controversial New York State (NYS) Common Core tests.  

MORE opposes the administration of these corporate-created high-stakes exams, and we stand in support of parents who are refusing to have their child(ren) take the test, and in support of those teachers who are refusing to administer them.

Jia Lee, one of the MORE candidates running for NYSUT (state union) office this weekend, is one of these brave teachers. Jia and two other teachers at the Manhattan’s Earth School, as an act of conscience, are declining the role of test administrators for the 2014 NYS Common Core tests. In a letter to Chancellor Fariña, they write “we are acting in solidarity with countless public school teachers who have paved their own paths of resistance and spoken truthfully about the decay of their profession under market-based reforms. These acts of conscience have been necessary because we are accountable to the children we teach and our pedagogy, both of which are dishonored daily by current policies.”  Please read their thoroughly researched position paper on the Teachers of Conscience blog.**  Continue Reading…

Panelists Anthony Lackhan, Marcus McArthur, Sean Petty, and moderator Kit Wainer sparked an insightful discussion about unity and fair contracts during the forum.

Panelists Anthony Lackhan, Marcus McArthur, Sean Petty, and moderator Kit Wainer sparked an insightful discussion about unity and fair contracts during the forum.

NEW YORK: Over 75 rank and file union members gathered on Thursday (3/7/2014) night to mobilize against

Those rank and file workers have already garnered over 1,000 signatures on a letter demanding that union leaders prioritize retroactive pay.  Furthermore, they urge Mayor de Blasio to stay true to his campaign promise of “ending the tale of two cities,” and ask him to demonstrate his commitment to ending income inequality, starting at the bargaining table.

The forum was organized by the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), the ACS Coalition of Union Members, 99 Pickets and rank and file activists from NYSNA, District Council 37, and the Professional Staff Congress.  Members of TWU Local 100, Organization of Staff Analysts, Teamsters Local 237, 1199 SIEU and other city unions were represented in a lively discussion.

“It’s clear that the anger that city workers feel about losing ground for the past five years is starting to find expression,” said Sean Petty, a nurse at the HHC. “The fact is that we’ve given up our free time, we’ve come in during snowstorms, we’ve stayed overnight in hospitals, and we’ve worked overtime to cleanup the city after Superstorm Sandy. That is being repaid with a new mayor who is saying there is not enough money for the raises we deserve. What tonight showed,” he continued, “is that there is a growing unrest among city workers and that we are not going to accept the status quo excuses from the administration.  It’s clear to all of us there is enough money to pay for the things that we all need, whether you are a city worker or depend on city services.”

Anthony Lackhan, a member of Local 1549, DC37 said,“Tonight I learned that there are a lot more of us willing to fight for what we’ve earned. I’m excited that I’m not alone and reinvigorated to find brothers and sisters of like mind.”

“Its okay for us to ask for more right now.  It’s OK for us to demand a strong middle class.  It’s our duty as public sector unions to demand it,” said Marcus McArthur, a city teacher and member of the MORE caucus of the UFT.

“De Blasio campaigned on a tale of two cities.  Well, here’s the other city coming forward,” said Lucy Herschel, a member of 1199 SEIU. “I don’t think I’ve ever been at a meeting of this many rank and file union members from different unions before,” she added.

“The thing we all have in common as teachers, as city workers, as nurses, is that we all care about the people we serve, and the people in our community care about our services, so we need to work together and really build locally.” said Rosie Frascella, a teacher and member of the MORE caucus of the UFT.

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The Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.  For MORE information: https://morecaucusnyc.org/about/