Teachers Union | St. Louis Public Radio

Teachers Union

A student leaves Dunbar Elementary School in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood Jan. 9, 2019. The district has proposed closing the school after this year.
File Photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:30 p.m., June 19, with results of recall vote — The president of the union representing St. Louis’ traditional public school teachers survived a recall vote Wednesday night. But the effort to oust her has created a clear fissure in the union.

Sally Topping is only two years into her first term as president of American Federation of Teachers Local 420. An executive board that predates her failed to oust her on charges she’s misled members and lacked financial transparency. Topping calls the claims weak and exaggerated.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The union representing St. Louis Public Schools educators says half its members are being underpaid in violation of its contract.

American Federation of Teachers Local 420 will take their grievance against the district to an arbitrator beginning Tuesday. It’s seeking more than $10 million worth of salary increases and back pay for nearly 1,000 teachers and support staff.

c_ambler | Flickr

Members of public employee unions would have to provide written consent each year to have union fees deducted from paychecks, according to legislation passed by the Missouri House Thursday.

"This is historic," said state Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Charleston and the bill's sponsor. "I think it's great labor reform. ... It makes the union leader provide a service to the worker." Because people would have to affirm the deduction, the legislation has been called the paycheck protection act.

A dance class at Grand Center Arts Academy
Grand Center Arts Academy website

Updated at 11:10 a.m. Nov. 11 with details of the upcoming election: 

Teachers at Grand Center Arts Academy will vote Dec. 4 on whether to become the first faculty members at a charter school to join a union.

The faculty first announced in September that they wanted to join the American Federation of Teachers,. Since then, have dealt with the board of Confluence Academies, which operates the arts academy and four other charters in St. Louis.

Alton school board finance committee director Chris Norman said though negotiations went long, a teachers strike would have still been weeks away.
Courtesy Alton Community School District #11 Facebook

A teachers strike in the Alton School District has likely been averted, and a new two-year contract for teachers is one step closer to being approved.

At a special meeting Friday morning, the school board's finance committee tentatively approved a counter proposal from the Alton Education Association, which is representing district teachers.

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

The Highland, Illinois teachers’ union reached a settlement with the district’s board of education late Thursday afternoon, ending a week-long teacher strike.  Students will be back in class Friday after missing six days of school.

In a press release, Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton said the new teacher contract is good for three years and includes a provision to make up the missed school days. With school back in session Friday, school-sanctioned activities are now back on the weekend schedule, including the high school football game.

Film about Janesville plant should spark discussion

Oct 1, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 1, 2012 - When General Motors shut the doors of its assembly plant in Janesville, Wisc., in 2008, about 2,000 residents who were used to good-paying union jobs making SUVs and pickup trucks were now in a town with more people than jobs. The story of what happens to this population is captured in the documentary “As Goes Janesville,” which is playing Oct. 3 at the Missouri History Museum.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 19, 2012 - The kind of change that only came through a teachers’ strike in Chicago has been achieved more easily in St. Louis through greater cooperation between the school system and the teachers union, the president of the American Federation of Teachers said Wednesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2012 - The teachers of Chicago seem to be winding down their strike, and voices on all sides have been using "best interests of the kids" to claim moral high ground. Even though everyone should be going back to school this week, the rest of us should wake up to this refrain for the next time around. Because the minute adults start talking about "the best interests of the kids," I start thinking, "Whose kids are we talking about?"

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2011 - Sallie Clark of Edwardsville stood outside the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield early Saturday afternoon, bundled up against the biting cold and holding a sign demanding "a voice for all educators."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 24, 2011 - In Wisconsin, the governor and public employees are in a bitter standoff while Democratic state senators are holed up in Illinois and Republican state legislators cheer the governor on. The fight centers on the collective-bargaining rights allowed under the state and Wisconsin's major role in providing pensions and public-employee benefits.

Since protests began in Wisconsin, trouble has also started brewing in Indiana and Ohio. Could it also erupt in Missouri and Illinois?