Monday, October 3, 2022

Ontario education workers, including librarians, vote overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate


Ontario education workers vote in favour of strike mandate

Ontario education workers, including librarians, custodians, and administration staff, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate on Monday morning.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says more than 80 per cent of its 55,000 worker members voted, with 96.5 per cent of them supporting the demands made by the bargaining team to the provincial government.

The union has asked for annual wage increases of $3.25 per hour — or 11.7 per cent – to help address the increase in inflation, as well as minimum staffing requirements, a designated Early Childhood Educator for every kindergarten class, and $100 million to create between 1,500 and 1,700 new jobs.

Laura Walton, the president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says the team can now go back to the table with a clear indication of the level of support members have for CUPE’s proposals.

The union still contends it does not want a strike. CUPE has bargaining dates scheduled with the government on Thursday, Friday, and Oct. 17 and 18.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Every school needs a librarian — Chicago Teachers Union


Chicago Teachers Union’s latest policy paper

This summer, CPS laid off eight school librarians, bringing the number of schools with a library staffed by a certified school librarian to just 90. Access to libraries in CPS has long been one of the district’s deepest resource disparities, with Black schools systematically robbed of librarians by budget cuts over the last decade. The latest cuts meant that as of this summer only 10% of majority Black schools had a librarian, compared to 27% of majority white schools. Building back libraries in our district cannot just be left to the discretion of school leaders and subject to potential future budget cuts. Instead, they should be treated and funded as an essential element of the infrastructure of school resources and curriculum for all our students.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Skidmore College Librarians vote to Unionize with SEIU

 Daily Gazette, 9/28/2022 by Andrew Waite.

Includes librarians.

Non-tenure-track Skidmore College faculty votes to unionize

In a major milestone for an organizing effort that began in 2018, full-time and part-time, non-tenure-track faculty and other Skidmore College staff voted this month in favor of unionizing.

The National Labor Relations Board conducted two separate mail-in elections – one for full-time staff and one for part-time staff – and 65% of full-time staff voted to join with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 200United, while 67% of part-time employees voted in favor of joining the union, according to an SEIU news release.

The votes, announced Sept. 27, affects approximately 215 full-time and part-time non-tenure-track faculty, librarians and accompanists who make up nearly half of Skidmore’s total faculty, according to SEIU. Overall, 83% full-time non-tenure-track faculty and 65% part-time adjunct faculty voted in the election. The results were 64-35 from full-time non-tenure-track faculty, and 38-19 from part-time faculty in favor of joining the union, according to a Skidmore spokesperson.

Unionization is seen as a way to improve wages and working conditions for the non-tenured workforce.

“These are victories for the whole Skidmore community – faculty, staff and students. Collective bargaining rights will allow us to secure the support that we need to do the jobs that we have – as non-tenure-track teachers and scholars,” Ruth McAdams, a teaching professor of English and a Skidmore Faculty Forward organizing committee member, said in a statement. “We’re excited to get to the bargaining table right away to address some of the underlying needs that led us to organize – issues around pay, precarity and a voice on campus.”

Skidmore’s leaders are ready to begin talks, according to a spokesperson.

“The college will move forward with collective bargaining in a good-faith effort to reach mutually agreeable terms,” spokesperson Sara Miga said in an email. “Our support of our non-tenure-track faculty colleagues remains a priority for the college. We respect and admire their individual and collective contributions to our mission.”

Ballots in the mail-in election were sent out on Monday, Sept.12, and eligible faculty had two weeks to return their ballots. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are blocked from unionizing by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared some of their duties as managerial.

Skidmore Faculty Forward/SEIU went public with their organizing drive earlier this year in May after starting the effort in 2018 following moves toward unionization by faculty at other colleges and universities in New York.

In 2014, 160 part-time and full-time contingent faculty at Siena College voted to unionize. In 2017, 800 adjunct and full-time, non-tenure-track faculty at Fordham University voted 16-to-1 to unionize, according to SEIU.

Andrew Waite can be reached at and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Studies in Working Class History-Magonistas


LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History

The Georgetown Americas Institute


The Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, DC


LABOR: Studies in Working Class History's 2022 Big Book Forum: Kelly Lytle Hernández's Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire & Revolution in the Borderlands

September 23rd 2022 from 2 to 4 pm EST

Please join us online as a distinguished panel of historians join Kelly Lytle Hernández to discuss her recent groundbreaking study of the magonistas, the migrant rebels who sparked the 1910 Mexican Revolution from the United States.

Discussants will include:

Sonia Hernandez, Texas A&M University

John Tutino, Georgetown University

Elliott Young, Lewis & Clark College

Leon Fink, Georgetown University (Moderator).

Link here to RSVP 

Friday, September 2, 2022

Barbara Ehrenreich has died: "love one another, and fight like hell"


Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of more than 20 books on social justice themes ranging from women’s rights to inequality and the inequities of the American healthcare system, has died at the age of 81. (August 26, 1941, September 1, 2022)

The news that Ehrenreich had died on 1 September was released by her son, Ben Ehrenreich, on Friday. He accompanied the announcement with a comment redolent of his mother’s spirit: “She was never much for thoughts and prayers, but you can honor her memory by loving one another, and by fighting like hell.”

Ehrenreich battled over a half a century as a writer committed to resisting injustice and giving a voice to those who were typically unheard.

  • The Uptake, Storage, and Intracellular Hydrolysis of Carbohydrates by Macrophages (with Zanvil A. Cohn) (1969)
  • Long March, Short Spring: The Student Uprising at Home and Abroad (with John Ehrenreich) (1969)
  • The American Health Empire: Power, Profits, and Politics (with John Ehrenreich and Health PAC) (1971)
  • Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers (with Deirdre English) (1972)
  • Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness (with Deirdre English) (1973)
  • For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women (with Deirdre English) (1978)
  • Women in the Global Factory (1983)
  • The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment (1983)
  • Re-Making Love: The Feminization of Sex (with Elizabeth Hess and Gloria Jacobs) (1986)
  • The Mean Season (with Fred L. Block, Richard A. Cloward, and Frances Fox Piven) (1987)
  • Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class (1989)
  • The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed (1990)
  • The Snarling Citizen: Essays (1995)
  • Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (1997)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America (2001)
  • Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy (ed., with Arlie Hochschild) (2003)
  • Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005)
  • Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (2007)
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (2008). This land is their land : reports from a divided nation. New York: Metropolitan Books. 
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (2009). Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America. New York: Metropolitan Books.. (UK: Smile Or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World)
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (2014). Living with a wild God : a nonbeliever's search for the truth about everything. New York: Twelve.
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (2018). Natural causes : an epidemic of wellness, the certainty of dying, and killing ourselves to live longer. New York: Twelve..
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (2020). Had I Known-Collected Essays. New York: Twelve. 

Labor Day & Labor Hall of Honor

Hall of Honor Inductees | U.S. Department of Labor (

Dolores Huerta (2012)
Bayard Rustin (2013)

Peter J. McGuire

 History of Labor Day | U.S. Department of Labor (