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Detroit: NLRB Rules Charter TFA Has Right to Join Union

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Author: dianeravitch

The Walton Family Foundation is not going to like this. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Teach for America teachers in a Detroit charter school have the right to unionize.

The charter operator fought the TFA newbies, claiming that they weren’t “real” teachers.

“The National Labor Relations Board ruled Friday that Teach for America teachers in a Detroit charter school have the right to be a part of a union.

“According to a statement from the Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, the NLRB said Friday 14 Teach for America corps members should have been able to vote in an election last spring. That election was held to determine if teachers at University Prep Schools, a charter school network in Detroit, wanted to form a union.

“Detroit 90/90, the private company that operates the schools, argued the Teach for America members, as well as long-term substitutes, were not professional employees.

“We are really pleased to be recognized as professional teachers,” said Patrick Sheehan, a TFA corps member and second grade advisor at the time of the election. “U-Prep hired us to teach just like other teachers. Making the legal argument that we are not professionals means one of two things — either Detroit 90/90 doesn’t respect the work we do with students or they lied to prevent us from organizing a union.”

The vote to unionize at University YES caused their sponsor to abandon the school:

“University Yes Academy teachers voted to unionize earlier this year, despite their parent company — New Urban Learning — announcing it was walking away from the school. The announcement of New Urban Learning walking away from University Yes took place days after the school’s teachers announced they planned to hold a vote on unionization.”

Why won’t the Walton Family Foundation like these developments? The Waltons, owners of Walmart, don’t like unions. They like charters, because 90% or so are non-union. They have given more than $50 million to TFA to supply the workforce for non-union charters.

Kids! What’s the matter with kids today?

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