Can Weak Unions Get Teachers More Money?

Sunday May 6, 2018
By Noam Scheiber, NEW YORK TIMES

On Thursday, a weeklong walkout by teachers in Arizona resulted in a major victory, as the state’s governor approved a 10 to 20 percent wage increase and a significant investment in public schools.

That followed a roughly $6,000 salary increase that Oklahoma teachers won by threatening a walkout (and later following through). Which in turn came on the heels of a 5 percent raise for teachers in West Virginia, who had shut down schools for almost two weeks.

The teachers were intent on making a statement. “No funding, no future!” they chanted in Oklahoma. And their mantra seemed to carry the day.

That all this took place in so-called right-to-work states, where the power of unions is limited, raises some interesting questions: Do weak unions go hand-in-hand with more effective political activism? Would strong organized labor prevent teachers from getting their way? After all, in Wisconsin, a state where unions were famously powerful, public sector workers suffered a historic defeat at the hands of Gov. Scott Walker in 2011.

Yet the reality is closer to the opposite.

Read the full story from New York Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *