Tag Archives: UFT

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UFT Members Receive Tuition Assistantship for MA in Labor Studies at Murphy

During the Fall 2017 semester, the UFT presented its first annual tuition assistance award to four of its member-leaders to pursue a Master’s Degree in Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute, CUNY.  Paul Egan, UFT Political Director announced this annual award: — $1,000 to go to five UFT members — at a Chapter Leader meeting this past summer.  Applause to the UFT for their foresight and congratulations to the first awardees, Mr. Dexter Braithwaite, Mr. Brandon Davis, and Mr. Robert Hardmond and Mr. James Van Nort.  These UFT teacher/students have expressed a motivation to enhance their contributions to their students and their Union.  These are their stories: Continue reading UFT Members Receive Tuition Assistantship for MA in Labor Studies at Murphy

Unions, Workers, and the Democratic Party

The Murphy Institute is known for its public programming, bringing thinkers, leaders and policymakers together to discuss the issues vital to making change in our city and our world. 

This past September at Murphy, Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers, and Larry Cohen of Making Progressive Politics Work and the former President of the Communications Workers of America discussed the future of the Democratic Party. Watch part of the conversation below.

Regardless of who becomes the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2016, organized labor is poised once again to spend millions of dollars on the Democratic candidate. What is labor shopping for? What is it likely to get for its political money? How will it determine whether or not its resources were wisely spent? Will the larger, diverse working-class find a distinct voice in a political environment dominated by big money?

UFT Seeks Senior Reporter

Major education union seeks an experienced journalist with computer-assisted reporting skills to join its communications staff. The candidate must demonstrate substantial knowledge of New York City public education. Excellent writing, research and investigative reporting skills are essential. Experience as a public school teacher a plus.

Duties include writing news and features for the union’s website and its monthly newspaper and providing research assistance to the UFT’s external press department as needed. The reporter will use Twitter and other social media as a logical extension of their reporting work.

The reporter will file breaking news stories on deadline, write compelling features on educators’ working lives and noteworthy school programs, and write news stories and analysis on education funding and city and state policies that affect public schools. He or she will research and write news analysis with accompanying charts on test-score results, teacher attrition and other education topics.

The candidate will support other communication initiatives and perform other related duties as assigned by the director of member communications.

Qualifications:

  • Must be versed in urban education issues and able to demonstrate knowledge of the issues confronting the UFT and public education
  • At least five years of reporting experience
  • Graduate degree preferred
  • First-rate writing and research skills
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the labor movement
  • Attention to detail and ability to juggle tasks in a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment
  • A team player who contributes ideas and feedback in a productive manner and pitches in to help projects move forward
  • Willingness to occasionally work weekends and late nights

The strongest candidates will also be able to use proprietary and public data to report, uncover trends and make comparisons. Knowledge of Excel, Access or other statistical software and an ability to create simple, compelling charts and graphics is a major plus.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. Competitive salary and benefits.

Submit your resume, 3-4 clips and cover letter to reporterjob@uft.org.

A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case

By Donald LaHuffman 

Produced for “Labor and Media Studies” with Prof. Ari Paul, Fall 2014

The United States recently exploded in protest around the country as citizens mobilized to show displeasure at the Staten Island Jury findings. The jurors decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. Pantaleo had allegedly held Garner in an illegal choke hold until his death, despite Garner’s pleas of not being able to breathe during the encounter. Ensuing local and national demonstrations connected Garner’s death to the earlier police shooting of Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Community organizers have included mothers in New York City who have lost their sons to alleged police brutality in previous years in these actions. In my graduate Labor Studies class “Labor and Media” taught by Ari Paul during the fall 2014 semester, my classmates and I met five mothers who told their stories. These mothers told the stories to make sure that they were not forgotten. Continue reading A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case

Newark Students Sit-In to Protest Charter Schools

Dr. Stephen Brier is part of the Consortial Faculty at The Murphy Institute

The current political struggle over charter schools has often pitted poor parents and students of color against teacher unions. That division has a long and bitter history that can be traced back almost half a century to the divisive 10-week long strike in fall 1968 by the United Federation of Teachers against local community control efforts to improve the New York City public schools. That epochal struggle profoundly changed the city’s racial and ethnic politics. And over the past four decades the relationship between teachers unions and communities of color has frequently been marked by sharp disagreements and sometimes open battles about the best ways to improve the public schools.

The recent charter school movement has sought to take advantage of this breech between communities of color and the labor movement, using smart tactics and a lot of hedge fund and private capital funding to develop charter schools that use public money and public spaces for private gain, all under the guise of improving education by giving parents “school choice.” The charter school movement has been able to drive a wedge that keeps the forces fighting for vital educational transformation at odds with unionized teachers and their leaders.

But in Newark, New Jersey, students recently decided to take a forceful stand on this issue. They inserted themselves directly into the charter school struggle, staging a dramatic sit-in last week against the school superintendent, Cami Anderson, because of her uncritical support for charter schools in their city. When Anderson attempted to address a Newark school board meeting last week in support of expansion of charter schools, she was confronted by Newark Student Union President Kristin Towkaniuk, who shouted “We will not move until we have justice.” It’s important to remember that the Newark public schools received a huge $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, funds that were earmarked for expanding “school choice” in the troubled city. Newark students are telling Zuckerberg, Anderson and other charter school supporters loud and clear that charter schools are not the answer to the systemic problems with the city’s public school system.
Photo by Paul Sableman via flickr (CC-BY).