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November 22, 2005

Union Busting at NYC Charter Schools

One reason unions are more successful in pubic sector organizing is that governments generally refrain from the union busting tactics of the private sectors. Teachers and other public employees have the chance to vote on whether to unionize without the illegal threats and management intimidation that is the staple of private sector organizing campaigns.

But that may be about to change in New York City charter schools, where rightwing foundations are teaming up to bring modern union busting to attack teachers unions in the expanding charter schools around the city.

This EdWize post has the details, but here's the money quotes about the rightwing Atlantic Legal Foundation (ALF) efforts to promote anti-union attacks:

In its Charter School Advocacy Program, the ALF relies almost totally upon the work of the anti-union, management law firm, Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman...The conference unveiled the ALF’s “legal guide” to preventing unionization in New York Charter Schools, which was published under the same title as the conference. It was written by Jackson Lewis LLP, with Kaplan and Walsh functioning as the main co-authors.
Most disturbing, many mainstream leaders of the charter school movement, strongly tied to Mayor Bloomberg and the administration, participated in the ALF-sponsored conference and publicly proclaimed themselves dedicated to undermining teachers rights to unionize:
The consensus of this panel was, in the words of Norman Atkins, “good charter schools organize themselves in ways that keep unions out.” Only slightly more circumspect than the Jackson Lewis panel, this group declared as non-negotiable an “at will” employment process, with the right to hire and fire without any due process, the elimination of tenure, and a lengthy school day, week and year.
Read the rest of the piece. What is highlights is that privatization of schools is opening the door to the rightwing bringing in its corporate money to gut labor rights in the public sector.

Posted by Nathan at November 22, 2005 11:01 AM