September 15, 2015

Solidarity for striking locals

Author: Kara Smith
Source: NYSUT Communications

Committed unionists, standing as a bulwark against some of the most egregious attacks on public education ever seen, are fighting to defend hard-won gains. Some are putting their very lives on the line for the principles in which they believe; the principles for which NYSUT and other labor organizations hold sacred. 

Two local unions are just now coming off grueling strikes in support of their workplace rights. Another is in the fourth day of its strike while, still, another is poised to hit the picket line today if necessary. And, in an extraordinarily brave action, 15 hunger strikers in Chicago entered their fifth protest week on Monday. 

"There are union brothers and sisters, and other activists, willing to become martyrs for a cause in which they strongly believe," It is an incredible show of commitment and selflessness," said NYSUT President Karen Magee. 

Magee continued: "Being on strike can be a very lonely place - even if you know you're standing up for what's right, it's not easy bucking the tide." 

She urged NYSUT members and other supporters of public education to send words of encouragement to the strikers. "I know your support will be appreciated." 

  • At Dyett High School in Chicago, the 15 educators and parents oppose city plans to convert the facility to an open-enrollment arts high school. Tweet at #‎FightForDyett and sign the petition.
  • Members of the Shamokin Education Association in Pennsylvania are on the fourth day of a strike over salary, health care and class size. Members have worked without a contract since 2013. Send messages of support to SEA President Mary Yohe at myohe07@gmail.com.
  • In southwest Washington state, the 300-member Kelso Education Association voted overwhelmingly last night to go out on strike Wednesday if they do not have an agreement by 11:59 tonight.
  • Meanwhile, two other locals in Washington state - the Pasco Association of Educators,golson@washingtonea.org, and the Seattle Education Association, jknapp@washingtonea.org - reached contract agreements this week, the result of a successful strike action. Congratulations to them.