Throughout the country, teachers are being forced back into schools before it’s fully safe. And while many teachers’ unions are waging valiant fights against unsafe reopenings, too many of them are losing.
Barbara Madeloni is the education coordinator at Labor Notes and a former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.
The energy that Karen Lewis brought to the labor movement through her Chicago Teachers Union presidency still vibrates through unions across the country. If you look closely at the fire in educators standing with students and community members in recent years, you can see Lewis’s unwavering determination in the flames.
Electing progressive leadership is nowhere near enough to transform the labor movement — drifting away from union democracy and militancy is too easy. Good left labor leadership must be rooted in the rank and file.
The start of the school year saw this year’s teachers strikes spread to Washington. Teachers across the state defied court injunctions and won large raises — and set the stage for a potential strike in Los Angeles.
Barbara Madeloni’s presidency of the Massachusetts Teachers Association is ending. But as she explains in an interview with Jacobin, the national rank-and-file teacher insurgency isn’t going anywhere.
In choosing Barbara Madeloni as president, the Massachusetts Teachers Association has elected a fierce opponent of neoliberal education reform.