'Teacher voice' sways NYC charter board
The charter school board that oversees two Bronx high schools has proven true to its moniker, New Visions, by collaborating with the AFT to open the door for employee choice on a union. With a neutrality agreement in place, teachers at New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science and New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities voted in late May to form a union with the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. The key was dialogue early in the process. Read the full story on AFTacts.org
Read more from amsterdamnews.com
California charter teachers tell the IRS to protect their pensions (and yours)
In March, the Internal Revenue Service held a town hall meeting near San Francisco to hear comments during its review of rules on the eligibility of charter school teachers to participate in “governmental plans” like CALSTRS and CALPERS which serve California’s public employees. AFT charter school members joined other public employees in testifying at the meeting. In fact, participants in state teacher retirement plans nationwide could be affected by new IRS regulations. AFT’s legal department has filed written comments and is seeking to argue for protection of charter school teacher pensions at a Washington, D.C. hearing in July. Add your name to the AFT ACTS petition asking the IRS to protect your pensions.
Sign the petition!
Read the full story about the California hearing on aftacts.org
Chicago charter teachers win union, save school
Employees at the Youth Connections Leadership Academy voted unanimously to form a union on May 21, but the celebration stalled two days later when management, in retaliation, abruptly notified teachers that the school would soon close or be restructured. The union, Chicago ACTS, responded quickly by filing an unfair labor complaint and also hosting a press conference at the school’s public board meeting. Success came fast: The school is slated to stay open after all, says the charter holder, Youth Connections Charter Schools, which pledged to respect the decision of its teachers to unionize. Read the full story at chicagoacts.org.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune
Read more from catalyst-chicago.org
The contract is the key
In a new AFT ACTS video, “The Contract Is the Key,” AFT charter school members from around the country talk about significant improvements in their working environments which came after contract ratification. Watch the video here.
NJ teachers bargain a better school day for kids
Throughout protracted negotiations, charter teachers at Englewood on the Palisades Charter School in New Jersey held out for an enriched curriculum to accompany the extra hours they’d absorbed into their workweek. The contract they won on June 21 will help to shift the focus from high-stakes testing and instead will emphasize support for the whole child. Read the full story at aftacts.org.
Share My Lesson offers online access to vast resources
By teachers, for teachers: It's a formula for success that Share My Lesson, a new online resource, is counting on. Launched this month by the AFT and Britain's TES Connect, the new digital platform allows educators to collaborate and share teaching resources and innovative ideas straight from the classroom, each emphasizing Common Core State Standards. "Teachers are expected to do so much, often with very little support, and they are thirsty for the tools they need to improve instruction," says AFT president Randi Weingarten. "We know that when teachers share and collaborate—whether it is about the content of their lessons, or their strategies for reaching students—students benefit."
Watch a video
Sign up for this free resource