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Where Teachers Strikes May Spread Next

 


Denver Classroom Teachers Association teachers and supporters rally at the Colorado State Capitol demanding better wages and urging the state not to get involved in a possible strike on January 30, 2019.
Photo: Andy Cross/Denver Post via Getty Images

The Red for Ed movement likely immortalized 2018 as a banner year for labor organizing among public school teachers. That fervor isn’t dissipating in 2019. Last month, the United Teachers of Los Angeles went on strike for six days, ultimately securing a 6 percent pay raise, lower caps on class sizes, and a commitment to hire more school nurses and counselors, among other concessions. Now, teachers in a variety of other cities and states are contemplating their own strikes and walkouts.

The roots of the Los Angeles strike are older than Red for Ed, and the same was true of December’s strike by unionized educators at Acero charter schools in Chicago. Educators are not newly dissatisfied with underfunded schools and pay inequities; these sentiments have built up for years, and strikes and walkouts that invoke Red for Ed are sometimes the result of months of contract negotiations and years of strategy. A collective anger was un-bottled last year, so it’s not surprising that teachers are continuing to take collective action. Here are few worth watching in weeks to come.





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