New Visions of Collective Bargaining in American Education
When the first collective bargaining agreements in American education were negotiated a half century ago, they were largely focused on wages, working conditions and due process. School district officials resisted the inclusion of educational issues as encroachments on “management prerogatives.” Meanwhile, the fledging teacher unions modelled themselves after progressive unions, such as the United Auto Workers and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, using industrial-style contracts as a template for their own collective bargaining.
But the democratic idea that teachers should have a collective voice in their educational workplace could not be contained within such limited parameters. For a generation, teacher unions have struggled, with increasing success, to expand collective bargaining into the professional sphere. Our panel will investigate some of the most promising efforts on that front around the country, as teacher unions find new ways to negotiate contracts for educational innovation and improvement and build new partnerships with community around that work.
Mary Cathryn Ricker, Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers
Tom Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management; Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems; Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research
Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the Albert Shanker Institute and the AFT. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Below is the list of Conversations for the upcoming school year.