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Archive for September, 2010

RWDSU Local 220 Members Declare Victory at Mott’s, End Strike

From the RWDSU press release:

Today, members of RWDSU Local 220 at the Mott’s plant in Williamson, NY voted to accept a new contract and to end their strike against Mott’s (part of the Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group).

Among the provisions of the new agreement are restored wage levels and the continuation of the pension plan. Other details of the agreement will not be disclosed.

The Mott’s workers will return to work on Monday, September 20, 2010, on what would have been the 121st day of the strike. The workers went on strike on May 23, 2010.

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Hate Speech and Union Busting

“Hate Speech” an elusive yet glaring concept that legal codes have difficulty pinning down, is, according to Word IQ, “intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.”

Let’s add “union organizers, advocates and rank and file members” to the list of vulnerable groups that need to be protected for the same reasons.

As targets of a coordinated blitz of demagogues that is disturbingly broad-based among factions of multiple political parties, corporate and even “charitable” foundation and other fronted entities, we unionists are in the midst of an unrelenting onslaught. This is not to trivialize the historical spoils of “hate speech” and by so doing abandon the moral imperative of tender memory and reverence for its victims. More »

Getting Ready for a New Year

[Editor’s note: Ms. Socrates is a science teacher in a high school in Brooklyn entering her second year. She blogs at Teacher’s Diary where this post originally appeared.]

The day after I got back from my trip to Europe, I was already feeling the pressure to start getting ready for my upcoming year. As I have reflected on my first year this summer, I feel I have grown a lot as an educator — I will certainly start this coming year off very differently than last year. Still, everyone says the second year is in some ways harder than the first. In the first year, I was not as hard on myself when things went wrong, telling myself it was a rookie mistake that I would learn from. In my second year, however, I know I will not be as forgiving. I’ll still be experimenting a lot, trying new techniques and lesson ideas, but after seeing how poorly my students did on the Regents last year, I am determined to do much better with my second crop of students.

Here’s what I’m thinking about as the new school year approaches: More »

UFT Reaches Settlement with Merrick on Dismissed Teachers

The UFT and Merrick Academy Charter School on Sept. 2 reached an agreement in the case of 11 staff members dismissed this summer by the school. The UFT charged that Merrick had fired the workers — who make up approximately one-third of the professional staff of the school — for union activity. The union had asked the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to order Merrick to rehire the fired staffers.

Under the terms of the agreement the UFT obtained the reinstatement of the teachers who wished to return to Merrick this fall. They will be reinstated at their old salaries. Other teachers and staff have had their cases resolved to their satisfaction. Further details of the settlement remain confidential. More »