covid / schools / worker organizing 

For those who haven't heard, Chicago Public Schools (the third largest school district in the US) is currently locking teachers out after the union took a stand and directed teachers to work remote due to covid conditions. Hundreds of kids and staff have become infected, and the union demanded testing options before staff returned to the site.

Some parents are suing calling it an illegal strike, to force them back onsite in unsafe conditions.

covid / schools / worker organizing 

Business and city powers are trying to frame the teachers as performing an illegal strike and refusing to work. However, they voted to work, but remotely.

This is really important imo about how much power workers have over workplace safety. If the teachers are forced back on site in unsafe conditions, then we could see a huge refusal to bargain for workplace safety (not just with covid) in the future.

covid / schools / worker organizing 

The union has more information about the fight at the link below.

As a union member in a different school, this matches what I'm seeing everywhere. Schools got covid relief money from the feds and the state. Expected budget shortfalls didn't happen. Yet reasonable worker protections, like testing, are not in place. Meanwhile, teachers are being forced back on site during the largest surge of the pandemic.

covid / schools / workers 

In Hawaii, where public schools are under one statewide district, 1,600 teachers and staff were absent Wednesday because of illness or pre-arranged vacation or leave. The state’s teachers union criticized education officials for not better preparing for the ensuing void. Osa Tui Jr., head of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said counselors and security guards were being pulled to go “babysit a classroom.”

covid / workers 

BTW, I'm mostly focusing on teachers because that is adjacent to where I am organized the most in labor. I recognize this isn't just an issue in schools, but across the board. We should have had a well funded comfy lock down (I even think some organized out door public events would be good as well) 2-3 weeks. Where everyone got the resources they need. More testing. More distribution of N95 masks, and increased vaccine distributions to the world.

covid / workers 

Instead we keep getting mini-parties with everyone bemoaning how it should have been over years ago, but at least we are free this time. Then it inevitably keeps goes back into pseudo lockdown again on and on because profit is put before people. We are getting locked down either way, be it by public health policy or sickness. We might as well try to minimize that time and take care of each other 🤷‍♀️

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