The union representing Newark teachers announced a five-year deal with its school district on Aug. 13 that eliminates merit-based bonuses and allows low-rated teachers to earn pay increases. The changes overturn key elements of a controversial 2012 contract and represent a shift away from former Mayor Cory Booker’s education reform agenda, which sought to introduce corporate-style accountability and compensation practices into public education.
Educators in California’s Bay Area ended their three-week strike on June 9, enabling them to be back in their classrooms for the final week of school. The strike, the New Haven Unified School District’s first, saw nearly 600 teachers, school counselors, psychologists, speech therapists and nurses join picket lines outside their schools in a fight over pay.
Public school teachers in California are forced by state law to pay for their own substitute teachers when they take extended sick leave.
Hundreds of McDonald’s workers walked off the job in 13 cities on May 23 to call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour and expanded rights in their workplace, including protection from sexual harassment. The labor action came the same week as employees in 20 cities filed sexual harassment complaints against the fast food company.
A week after tens of thousands of Oregon educators walked out of their classrooms on May 8 for a statewide “day of action,” the state's governor signed a $2 billion funding package into law to pay for smaller class sizes and more educational programs.
The wave of teacher strikes hit California’s Bay Area on May 20, when teachers walked out of their classrooms in the school district covering Union City and South Hayward for the first time in the district’s history. About 600 educators, represented by the New Haven Teachers Association, joined picket lines outside their schools to demand pay raises over two years totaling nearly 7 percent.
The nation’s first-ever strike by unionized charter school teachers occurred in Chicago in December and set a precedent for other charter schools in the Windy City struggling with low teacher pay, crowded classrooms and poor funding.