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Are California Teachers Unions Using a Playbook in Contract Talks?

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California's teachers unions are employing similar tactics to win generous contract agreements. (AP File)
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School Boards in California negotiating contracts with teachers unions may find themselves on the receiving end of a series of tactics similar to those employed recently in Los Angeles and Oakland.

The 74 Million website reported that unfair labor practice strikes, so-called “common-good bargaining,” and getting leverage with School Boards are among the strategies that teachers unions have been employing, and those tactics could become more common.

Pages From the Playbook

“Union-friendly publications have articles on how to precipitate an unfair labor practice by an employer and so legitimize a strike. Among the suggested methods are to ‘pepper the employer with detailed information requests‘ or to cite employers for ‘refusing to bargain at reasonable times and locations,’ reported the74million.org.

Bargaining for “the common good” is another increasingly popular union tactic. The term covers union demands for contract provisions that are geared to benefit a wider community, not just teachers and school employees. Some examples: restorative justice, ventilation, affordable housing, and climate change.

In the Oakland strike, the union sought contract language regarding housing vouchers and the use of vacant district properties for housing students’ families.

The Oakland strike ended with all teachers getting a 10% salary increase retroactive to Nov. 1, 2022, plus a one-time payment of $5,000.

To read more, click here.

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