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Session 3: Saturday, June 2nd: 2:00 - 3:50pm
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The wave of teachers’ strikes that began in West Virginia and spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado and Arizona has proven to be an incredible demonstration of working-class power in the face of austerity and privatization. Education workers have shown a willingness to take risks and withhold their labor to demand better working conditions and treatment on the job. And the strikes have been led by the rank-and-file, which in some cases have been in tension with union leadership. But should these labor actions be considered “wildcat” strikes? How can they inform organizing by other rank-and-file teachers across the country? And what can the labor movement learn from such militant organizing in “right to work” states when the entire public sector is under threat by the Supreme Court's upcoming Janus decision? We will discuss these and more questions with labor experts and teacher organizers.


Lois Weiner is Director of the Urban Education and Teacher Unionism Policy Project at New Jersey City University. She was a classroom teacher for 15 years before becoming a college professor, researcher, and teacher educator. She writes widely on education and labor, specializing in teacher... Read more
Shaun Richman, a former organizing director for the American Federation of Teachers, is the author of the Century Foundation report “Labor's Bill of Rights” an an op-ed contributor for the Guardian and the New York Times. Read more
Kevin Prosen is a chapter leader in the United Federation of Teachers and a member of the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators, the UFT's social justice caucus. Read more