Could [striking Oakland teachers] have won more? No. The question is how could they have won more?…I congratulate them for what they did pull off…and I hope that … every critic of that strike has been knee-deep, building the structures since the day the strike ended, instead of just complaining about it, because that’s what it takes to win bigger next time. We win in relationship to the power we build.
—Jane McAlevey, author of No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age,
Interview from “The Dig” podcast, March 27, 2019
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
—Albert Einstein, LIFE Magazine, May 2, 1955
The recent seven-day strike by the Oakland Education Association (OEA) was eerily similar in key ways to its 26-day strike in 1996. Both strikes demanded that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) “chop from the top” of its bloated administration to fund better learning conditions and fair pay. In 1996 the learning-condition demand was smaller class size. In 2019 educators also demanded class size reduction, but also smaller caseloads for counselors, nurses, and other student-support services. Another focus this time was stopping the district’s plan to close 24 schools in Black and Brown communities. Both strikes had very strong picket lines and community support. And both strikes ended with a resounding “What just happened?”Read More »
Bank employees in Sudan participated massively in today’s strike. Photo: Sudanese Professionals Association
The two-day general strike which began in Sudan on May 28, saw the participation of over 90% of the workforce of the private and public sectors, including many government ministries. The strike was called for by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) in order to pressurize the military junta to make way for civilian rule. The SPA was one of the driving forces in the protests which ousted former president Omar al-Bashir on April 11.Read More »
As many as 50,000 teachers across New Zealand went on strike on May 29 to demand a pay hike and better working conditions. Members of education unions NZEI Te Riu Roa, which represents primary school teachers, and the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA), which represents secondary school teachers, voted to jointly call the strike when negotiations with the Ministry of Education reached a deadlock earlier this month. This will be the largest teachers’ strike the country has ever seen.
The teachers are demanding a pay increase of up to 15-16%. Apart from increased wages, they are also seeking reduced workload, and more classroom resources. The teachers are also calling on the government to devise long-term solutions to address increasing underemployment in the teaching sector. The average wage for primary school teachers is about USD 47,980 a year, which equates to about USD 23 an hour (USD 5.30 above the minimum wage).Read More »