Tag Archive: Union

Look for the union label

The union label. When I was little, I grew up with these ads. Look for the union label. And we did. Other things we saw on TV were slick. Professional. But the ads for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) used real people…
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Governor, Pay Your Bills

The Governor once again today tried to blame workers for the failure of the state to live up to the promises made regarding making payments into the funds of the pensions they earned. Instead of going into the weeds on details, the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA) kept it simple:

“Yesterday the court ordered Governor Christie to pay the bills but instead he is asking firefighters, teachers, social workers;l all those that make our state work to balance his checkbook,” Donnelly said. “Governor, pay your bills!”

More of this please.

White Shirt Day: Two Governors – Michigan & New Jersey

Before midnight, I want to acknowledge an important moment in history – 78 years ago today: the end of the Flint Sit Down Strike at General Motors. It happened in Flint, Michigan, but there’s something I heard in a video with aging participants that got me thinking about my own governor, Chris Christie, in a way I never have before.

First the teaser – honoring the end of the strike with White Shirt Day (today). White shirts – like management wore. Because before, only management dictated how long and under what conditions they worked. But after, they workers had a say, and they had the power to require management to listen. The teaser:

But it’s the second video about the strike that I want to talk to you about:

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia has no time to be patient – Part III

Cross-posted with Marie Corfield blog. Promoted by Rosi.

3T2A7823‘Absurd’ ‘Idiotic’ ‘Toxic’ ‘Voodoo’ ‘Abusive’

These are all words NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia used to describe education ‘reform’-particularly standardized testing-in her recent 90-minute meeting with NJ ed bloggers, and quite frankly, they were music to my ears. I’ve been waiting for the NEA leadership to draw a hard line in the sand.

Part I of this series focused on the devastating effects of high-stakes testing on special needs children, and how edu-preneurs-21st century carpetbaggers-are profiting from the testing boom. Part II focused on the ways billionaires and their ‘charities’ are controlling the media to push out their messaging to an uninformed public. Part III’s focus is on Lily’s visits to two very different New Jersey schools, and how NEA-and all its members-must fight back against destructive education ‘reform’.

As with the two previous posts, unless otherwise indicated, Lily’s quotes are in red.

A tale of two cities

REUTERS_Kevin LamarqueIn her tour of New Jersey, Lily stopped at two schools: Pyne Poynt Middle School in Camden, which shares a building with the co-located Mastery Charter School, and West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional High School. The median household income in West Windsor is $147,234, with only 2.5% of its residents living below the poverty level, while Camden’s median household income is $25,681 (no, that’s not a typo), and affluent_home45% of its residents live below the poverty level. Two years ago the state swooped in, took over the school district, and appointed as superintendent in the ‘Most Dangerous City in America’ Paymon Rouhanifard, a 32-year-old former New York City school system bureaucrat/former Wall Street analyst/Teach for America alumnus who spent a grand total of two years and one month in front of a classroom. Makes perfect sense, right?

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García has no time to be diplomatic – Part I

Promoted by Rosi. It was a privilege to be included in the meeting Marie describes below. Lily has always reached out to bloggers to talk about education, and in fact I spoke with her last at Netroots Nation in Detroit this July.

Cross-posted with Marie Corfield.

“This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency…” Yea, you know the drill. More on this later…


n-ETHAN-large570This is Ethan Rediske and his parents. Ethan is an 11-year old Florida boy who was born with cerebral palsy. He is also blind and brain damaged. He is perhaps the poster child for all that is toxic and outright dangerous in education ‘reform’-especially standardized testing. More on him later…


3T2A7823

This is Lily Eskelsen García, newly elected President of the National Education Association.

What do all three have in common? Keep reading…

CWA endorses Ras Baraka for Mayor, “for a better, more progressive Newark”

Ras Baraka, who counts himself as both community organizer and politician, today picked up the endorsement for mayor of Newark from CWA New Jersey, the union standing behind 70,000 working families, including 55,000 who work in NJ government. Almost 2,000 of those families live in Newark; thousands more work there. It’s a huge leap forward for Baraka, South Ward councilman and principal for 6 years at Newark Central High School.

Anibal Ramos, his colleague on Newark City Council, and one of his opponents in the race also picked up an endorsement; IBEW Local 1158, which reps about 3,700 white collar and blue collar employees around NJ. They endorsed Chris Christie in the November election, as did another endorsing Ramos, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825. Ramos also has Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC)’s nod.

But CWA is the bigger enchilada, capable of generating organized ground action, as they did helping to drive the campaign to raise NJ’s minimum wage in November, and powering behind Orange mayor Dwayne Warren’s defeat of incumbent Eldridge Hawkins. A few days ago, CWA announced the launch of an effort to organize taxi drivers in Newark. CWA tweets today that Baraka’s race is more movement than campaign and CWA supports that movement.

“Ras Baraka understands this isn’t just about an election, it’s about building a movement to revitalize urban areas and make our communities stronger. The thousands of CWA members who live and work in Newark are ready to roll up our sleeves to get things done. And we look forward to working with Ras Baraka for a better, more progressive Newark.”

                                – Hetty Rosenstein, CWA NJ State Director

Ras Baraka website. Twitter:@rasjbaraka. Election is May 13th, 2014.