Here are just a few ideas that Labor Professor Lois Weiner shared during her keynote address at the Education for Liberation conference:
- Unions need a "sense of urgency and a laser-like strategic focus" in these times.
- They must remain militant: "There can be no negotiating with people who aim to destroy you. To negotiate with them is surrender."
- There is no formula or silver magic bullet for this work -- it simply takes work.
- Our African-American teachers are a "valuable, scarce resource" that are being pushed out. The union needs to defend them!
- When it comes to school district budgets, unions need to be on the offensive. Why is interest paid to banks (also known as "debt servicing") sacrosanct, and pensions and staff members are not?
She ended her talk with these words: what's morally right is politically essential.
Those of us who were present walked away inspired by her talk. To continue the conversation about social justice union work with us, sign up for one of our regional discussion groups today!