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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2004

Susan Moore Johnson

Certain features of collective bargaining have, over time, promoted uniformity and sometimes inflexibility in teacher policy and negotiated contracts. From the start, the…

Abstract

Certain features of collective bargaining have, over time, promoted uniformity and sometimes inflexibility in teacher policy and negotiated contracts. From the start, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – passed in 1935 to regulate unionization and collective bargaining in the private, industrial sector – served as the template for state labor laws regulating education. The framers of the NLRA never had the needs of the public sector or schools in mind. Yet the 35 states that now require collective bargaining for teachers have drawn on the NLRA’s procedures and standards. For example, they have used the NLRA for defining how teachers organize and are represented; what constitutes an unfair labor practice; and how obligatory membership or dues provide union security (e.g. agency shop, union shop). They have also drawn on the NLRA to define what range of issues can be bargained; whether strikes are legal; and what processes are used to resolve an impasse (e.g. mediation, fact finding, binding arbitration, or all three).1 Although the laws of the 35 states show some important variations, their similarity is more striking than their differences. Jessup (1985) concluded that the narrow scope of bargaining established by New York’s Taylor Law “severely restricted the range of concerns teachers could productively bring to the bargaining table” (p. 195).

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Teacher Unions and Education Policy: Retrenchment of Reform?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-126-2

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Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Eunice S. Han and Jeffrey Keefe

The research predicts which public school teachers are likely to resign their union membership since agency fees were found unconstitutional in Janus v. AFSCME. We compare…

Abstract

The research predicts which public school teachers are likely to resign their union membership since agency fees were found unconstitutional in Janus v. AFSCME. We compare teachers in right-to-work states with comprehensive collective bargaining laws with teachers in former agency shop states, using unique district-teacher matched data constructed from the School and Staffing Survey. We find that teachers who are male, Hispanic, part-time, with alternative certification, work either in charter schools or in schools with more students qualifying for free lunches are more likely to become nonunion. Teachers who are black, work under a collective bargaining, have post-graduate degrees, are more experienced, work in larger schools or in areas with a higher cost of living, perceive more school problems or a poor school climate, work in an elementary school, or teach special education are more likely to remain union members now that agency shop provisions are unenforceable.

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Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-132-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Charles Taylor Kerchner

US teacher unions have begun to depart from industrial principles. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have endorsed ideas such as…

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Abstract

US teacher unions have begun to depart from industrial principles. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have endorsed ideas such as peer review, training standards for teachers, job embedded professional development, and alternatives to the standard salary schedule. Union locals are experimenting with variations of these ideas and others. Still, the struggle to organize teaching as mental rather than physical labor is far from won, and it is argued that substantial policy intervention will be required. Changes in labor law and policy often pattern new organizational culture and practice. The conclusion of the article addresses the mismatch between industrial‐era law and contemporary teaching.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2015

Mark Paige

Collective bargaining significantly impacts education policies, especially at the school district level. Its reach extends to consequential issues such as teacher

Abstract

Collective bargaining significantly impacts education policies, especially at the school district level. Its reach extends to consequential issues such as teacher evaluation and pay, to name a few. Because of this close link, education stakeholders disagree about the role of bargaining in education. On the one hand, some argue for the complete elimination of bargaining rights of teachers. This, according to some, will allow administrators the freedom to implement necessary reforms without the obligation to negotiate with unions. On the other hand, some note that collective bargaining provides a channel for teachers to voice their expertise in education. Under this view, bargaining is an essential component of advancing policy initiatives. Regardless, because collective bargaining is a creature of state statute, any modifications to those rights must occur by operation of law. Put another way, the law concerning collective bargaining plays a pivotal role in moderating the influence of unions and administrators regarding education policy. Given this interrelationship, a thorough exploration of the issue is warranted. Accordingly, this chapter will: (1) discuss the historical and legal framework of collective bargaining in public education; (2) highlight the ongoing debate regarding the appropriate role, if any, of it (and unions) in education policies; (3) identify significant changes to collective bargaining statutes that have occurred or have been proposed; (4) suggest recommendations to policymakers and leaders that will assist them in understanding both the potential and the limits of collective bargaining in improving schools.

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Legal Frontiers in Education: Complex Law Issues for Leaders, Policymakers and Policy Implementers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-577-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2004

Charles Taylor Kerchner and Julia Koppich

Teacher unions’ departures from industrial organizing are documented in a series of case studies and collections on reform-minded locals’ practices and contracts (see…

Abstract

Teacher unions’ departures from industrial organizing are documented in a series of case studies and collections on reform-minded locals’ practices and contracts (see Johnson & Kardos, 2001; Kerchner & Koppich, 1993). Recently, investigators have collected data on union locals that belong to the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN), a group of NEA and AFT locals. For example, William Harju (2003), retired executive director of the San Diego Teachers Association, visited most of the TURN locals (working from a document collection schedule and case study format similar to the one in Kerchner & Koppich, 1993). Kerchner and Koppich, in recent unpublished work, visited Minneapolis, Columbus, and Rochester and made additional inquiries by telephone interview.1 TURN locals by no means represent the totality of union reform, and no encyclopedia of union reforms in the United States exists, but TURN locals are certainly among those with the longest experience and most extensive reforms.

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Teacher Unions and Education Policy: Retrenchment of Reform?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-126-2

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Saul A. Rubinstein and John E. McCarthy

Over the past decade the policy debate over improving U.S. public education has focused on market solutions (charter schools, privatization, and vouchers) and teacher

Abstract

Over the past decade the policy debate over improving U.S. public education has focused on market solutions (charter schools, privatization, and vouchers) and teacher evaluation through high stakes standardized testing of students. In this debate, teachers and their unions are often characterized as the problem. Our research offers an alternate path in the debate, a perspective that looks at schools as systems – the way schools are organized and the way decisions are made. We focus on examples of collaboration through the creation of long-term labor-management partnerships among teachersunions and school administrators that improve and restructure public schools from the inside to enhance planning, decision-making, problem solving, and the ways teachers interact and schools are organized. We analyzed how these efforts were created and sustained in six public school districts over the past two decades, and what they can teach us about the impact of significant involvement of faculty and their local union leadership, working closely with district administration. We argue that collaboration between teachers, their unions, and administrators is both possible and necessary for any meaningful and lasting public school reform.

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Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-378-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2004

Mary Futrell, Fred van Leeuwen and Bob Harris

The way in which the international teacher organizations evolved suggests both the advantages and the difficulties of maintaining a coherent and purposeful international…

Abstract

The way in which the international teacher organizations evolved suggests both the advantages and the difficulties of maintaining a coherent and purposeful international organization for education advocacy (the abbreviations and acronyms for all the organizations are spelled out for reference in Appendix A to this chapter; the complex succession of organizations is traced in a table, presented as Appendix B to this chapter). The international teacher organizations began at the outset of the 20th century in Europe.1 The first of these, founded in 1905 and centering on the concerns of primary school teachers, was the International Bureau of Federations of Teachers (IBFT; it became the International Federation of Teachers’ Associations [IFTA] in 1926). The second, founded in 1912, was the International Foundation of Secondary Teachers (known by its French acronym, FIPESO, the Fédération internationale des professeurs de l’enseignement secondaire officielle).

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Teacher Unions and Education Policy: Retrenchment of Reform?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-126-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2004

Randall W. Eberts, Kevin Hollenbeck and Joe A. Stone

What evidence is available to assess the concrete effects of teacher unions on public schools and to provide a basis for the most reliable conclusions? Other reviews of…

Abstract

What evidence is available to assess the concrete effects of teacher unions on public schools and to provide a basis for the most reliable conclusions? Other reviews of teacher unions often ask related but different questions that emphasize the institutional context, evolution, and operation of collective bargaining in public schools. Two prominent examples of this genre are Teacher Unions in Schools (Johnson, 1984) and The Changing Idea of a TeachersUnion (Kerchner & Mitchell, 1988). Other contributions to the present volume offer related perspectives.

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Teacher Unions and Education Policy: Retrenchment of Reform?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-126-2

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Ed Dandalt, Marybeth Gasman and Georges Goma

This study seeks to explore the union perspective of a group of unionized young Canadian teachers to understand their belief system about trade unionism.

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to explore the union perspective of a group of unionized young Canadian teachers to understand their belief system about trade unionism.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used herein consists of collecting and examining the interview data of participants (n = 37) through the theoretical lens of radical perspective.

Findings

The findings suggest that participants positively associate unionism with bargaining for their special interests, providing professional development services and opportunities for professional socialization. But this pluralist perspective has not translated into an engagement in the union life.

Research limitations/implications

So far, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to the whole population of Canadian young teachers because the participants’ sample size is not large enough. In consideration of this limitation, unions need to survey the union opinions of their young rank and file members at a large scale to draw a clear understanding of the needs of these members to adequately adjust their renewal and revitalization strategies to those needs.

Originality/value

The findings of this study are significant because the intersection between young teachers and organized labor is underresearched in Canada.

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Personnel Review, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Eric Blanc and Barry Eidlin

Labor unions play a key role in combating inequality. Recent research focuses on unions' ability to shape “moral economies” that make greater inequality socially…

Abstract

Labor unions play a key role in combating inequality. Recent research focuses on unions' ability to shape “moral economies” that make greater inequality socially inappropriate. But this research largely hypothesizes moral economy pathways for combating inequality, rather than showing them in action. Through a case study of the 2018 teachers' strike wave, we identify mechanisms that allow unions to shape moral economies. Based on analysis of in-depth interviews with key strike leaders, social media discussion groups, and contemporaneous media coverage, we find that the interaction of sustained mass disruption and worker–organizer intervention were the key mechanisms that allowed the teachers and their unions to reshape moral economies. Externally, the strikes created a social and political crisis to which political elites had to respond, while tying the teachers' struggles to broader community issues, galvanizing public support for the strikes. As disruptions escalated, the teachers' experience of collective action created a positive feedback effect, reshaping workers' understanding of what they wanted, what they deserved, and what they could win. The 2018 teachers' strike is analytically useful because it managed to reshape norms and expectations around educational and economic inequality rapidly, on a large scale.

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The Politics of Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-363-0

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