R&F.ca Weekly Update

R&F.ca Weekly Update r1 ... The West Virginia teachers' strike reader | Winning $15 at the University of Toronto | Phoenix finally nixed? | Labour in Nova Scotia has its work cut out s16
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Teachers in West Virginia went on strike on February 22 against low-pay and attacks on their healthcare. After nine days of a statewide strike which shutdown public schools in West Virginia teachers won a substantial pay increase. This victory is significant because the teachers struck and won in the heart of Trump country. West Virginia is also a right-to-work state and the successful teachers strike shows that you can organize and win even if the law is against you.

This is an important lesson for all unions as the unions in the United States will most likely see the Supreme Court expand right-to-work conditions to the entire public sector in the United States via the Janus case. West Virginia’s teachers went on strike, rejected a rotten deal and have now lit a fire under teachers unions across the country. Teachers and all trade unionists should look to the West Virginia teachers’ strike for lessons about how to organize and win even when the law and politicians are lined up against you. RankandFile.capresents a list of readings about the strike, how it was organized, what it won, and why it is significant. Read more!


By Souzan Mirza and Jared Ong

On January 1, 2018 the University of Toronto raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour for the majority of their non-union casual employees. This comes in the wake of CUPE and USW locals at UofT bargaining and winning $15 minimum for all unionized employees. This is a tangible example of how when unions push up the minimum standards, it helps raise the floor for all workers. We spoke to Colleen Burke, President of USW 1998, and Leanne MacMillan, CUPE Servicing Representative to understand how they fought and won the fight for all workers at UofT. Read more!


By Crystal Warner

As one of the largest components of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), with over 88% of our members directly affected by the beguiled Phoenix pay system, members of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) in Vancouver had been quietly making plans to occupy a federal government building for several weeks on February 28.

“Our members have long been calling for us to take increasing, escalating direct action tactics in response to the problems with our pay,” said Vanessa Miller, the regional CEIU Vice-President for BC. Read more!


By Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Look at it whichever way you want, the decision by the NSTU not to strike was a retreat. Government gave up very little. The pent up anger of 83% of all teachers willing to engage in civil disobedience will remain untapped. 

This is not to argue with the NSTU decision not to strike. I don’t know what lawyers told the executive, and I don’t know how ready the membership was to face an unfriendly public and an unfriendly press. Read more!

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