Detroit Teachers Approve Strike; Teachers In NYC, Iowa Push Back
Public-sector employees are legally barred from striking in New York, but teachers have threatened to hold sickouts, The New York Times reports. In Iowa, the statewide teachers union announced a lawsuit over Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mandate that districts offer at least 50% classroom instruction.
The Detroit News:
Detroit Teachers Authorize Strike Over Safety Fears
Detroit teachers voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to authorize a safety strike over concerns they have about reopening school buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers participated in the vote, which was 91% in favor and 9% against a safety strike, DFT president Terrence Martin said. (Chambers, 8/19)
The Washington Post:
The New York City Teachers Union Opposes Mayor Bill DeBlasio's Plan To Reopen Schools Sep. 10.
The union representing New York City’s public-school teachers said its members would not return to classrooms next month unless the city met their health and safety demands — including testing all students and staff for that coronavirus and ensuring all schools have a nurse. The announcement from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which represents 75,000 professionals, comes a week after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that schools would reopen Sept. 10 for in-person classes. UFT President Michael Mulgrew threatened legal action against the city and said teachers would strike if the mayor tried to force them to return to classrooms. (Balingit, 8/19)
Iowa Governor's Push To Reopen Schools Descends Into Chaos
An aggressive push by Iowa’s pro-Trump governor to reopen schools amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak has descended into chaos, with some districts and teachers rebelling and experts calling the scientific benchmarks used by the state arbitrary and unsafe. At issue is Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mandate in July that districts offer at least 50% classroom instruction. The conflict intensified Wednesday when the statewide teachers union announced a lawsuit challenging the governor’s ability to make such decisions for local districts. (Foley, 8/20)
The New York Times:
As U.S. Schools Move To Reopen Despite Covid-19, Teachers Threaten To Strike
Educators and families around the United States continued to grapple this week with the complicated realities of opening schools in the middle of a pandemic, as teachers’ unions threatened strikes, colleges rethought reopening plans on the fly, and school districts, discovering new cases, improvised quarantines and classroom cleanings. The voice of teachers in the reopening debate took center stage Wednesday in Michigan, where the Detroit Federation of Teachers voted to authorize their executive committee to call for a strike over plans to open public schools for in-person learning. (8/19)