Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Teachers Strike in LA, Stop the Shutdown
January 16, 2018
Teachers Strike in L.A.
The streets of Los Angeles are packed with the sights and sounds of collective action this week. Braving the cold rain, some 30,000 United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) members turned out for picket lines across the city yesterday, joined by more than 10,000 parents, students and community members. Every L.A. school site—more than 900—participated in the strike, culminating in a 50,000-person march to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD’s) headquarters.
Oregon labor is proud to stand in solidarity with L.A. teachers. Click here to do your part and tell Superintendent Austin Beutner to meet the demands of Los Angeles teachers, parents and students.
Teachers and their allies aren’t letting up. From the leaders of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and California Labor Federation to working people across the country, the entire labor movement is showing solidarity with UTLA’s fight for better lives, schools and communities. Here are just a few of the realities they’re working to change:
- The cost of living has increased 27% since 2008.
- California’s student-to-teacher ratio ranks 48 out of 50 states.
- Students in transitional kindergarten to sixth grade take more than 100 standardized LAUSD tests.
- California is the richest state in the nation, yet ranks 43 out of 50 in per-pupil spending.
- California’s student-to-counselor ratio is 945:1.
- L.A.’s charter school industry has grown by 287% since 2008, draining nearly $600 million from public schools each year.
Take action today and tell Superintendent Austin Beutner to meet the demands of Los Angeles teachers, parents and students. Ready to step up and do more to help? UTLA is asking for unions across the country to stand in solidarity by adopting schools, spreading the word on social media and more. Click here for a list of ways to help out.
A Manufactured Crisis
It’s day 26 of the government shutdown, and the gridlock in Washington D.C. does not appear to have an end in sight. Across the country, working people are marching and rallying for an immediate end to the government shutdown. Already the longest funding lapse in American history, this manufactured crisis has put the weight of ideological extremism on federal workers and their families. As we continue fighting to reopen the government, the labor movement is also joining together to support our brothers and sisters as they go without a paycheck.
In an article for the Northwest Labor Press, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain explains why this shutdown is a manufactured crisis that comes at the cost of the livelihoods of federal workers:
“Working people and their livelihoods should never be used as political pawns, but that is exactly what the shutdown has become due to President Trump’s incessant demand for $5.7 billion to start building a wall along our nation’s southern border. The fact of the matter is that walls and enforcement-only policies such as the workplace raids, cruel family separations, and massive deportations we have seen from the Trump Administration escalate fear. These policies and actions divide us. They inspire campaigns like Ballot Measure 105, which Oregonians squarely defeated last year. They embolden prejudice in communities across the nation. They push people underground, into a shadow economy where unscrupulous employers take advantage of a climate of fear to undermine the rights of migrant workers. It is far too common and is exactly why union members across the country stand united against fear and division, while fighting for a better tomorrow for all working people.”
Click here to read President Chamberlain’s article about the shutdown on the Northwest Labor Press’s website and click here to take action to help stop the shutdown.
Tentative Agreement for Bend Nurses
Bend nurses successfully reached a tentative agreement on a new four-and-a-half-year contract with hospital administrators at St. Charles Bend on January 12. The agreement follows two straight days of federal mediation. Nurses and hospital administrators have been meeting since June 2018 to try and reach a fair agreement that improves patients’ care.
“This agreement is a win for our community’s health,” said local nurse leader and ONA bargaining unit chair David Hilderbrand, RN. “I’m very proud of nurses and hospital administrators who came together to reach an agreement that puts patients first and gives us new tools to address shared concerns like staffing and practice standards. We have more work to do, but this is a promising step in our shared efforts to make sure high-quality, affordable health care is available to everyone in Central Oregon.”
As part of the tentative agreement, nurses have agreed to cancel the informational picket scheduled for Jan. 21 and want to thank the entire Central Oregon community for their support throughout negotiations.
Nurses will continue their planned food drive this month to support Central Oregon families in need. More details on the food drive will be shared on the nurses’ Facebook page when it becomes available.
Save the Date 2019 Oregon AFL-CIO Convention
The 2019 Oregon AFL-CIO will be held at the Seaside Convention Center from September 19 to September 22, 2019. Click here to see a list of hotels with discounted group rates and stay tuned for more information about convention.
Congressman Blumenauer Wins Top Trade Spot on Ways & Means Committee
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer was elected Tuesday to lead the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. The following is a statement from Congressman Blumenauer on his new role:
“Most important is what we do going forward. There are differences of opinion on the committee when it comes to trade. I believe in involving unions, environmentalists, human rights advocates and the American people. Working to bring us together and showing our differences are not as great as they may appear or as some interest groups would lead you to believe. Done right, trade can and should be a winning issue for Democrats, our workers, and most importantly, for America. My commitment is to work with you on reform that unites us."