From Silicon Valley, the Rocketship chain of charter schools is hoping to expand across the country. It’s backed by some of the biggest names in the tech world and claims high test scores.
Rocketship leaders brag that they think outside the box. Teachers, for instance—who needs them? The company says it saves half a million dollars a year by using fewer teachers, replacing them with non-certified instructors at $15 per hour.
Eighty activists, including members of the Steelworkers, Transit Union (ATU), United Electrical Workers (UE), Service Employees, and AFSCME, gathered Saturday for a day of trainings, workshops, and discussions: the Pittsburgh Troublemakers School.
The day’s activities focused on preparing members for active campaigns in the Pittsburgh area and at their worksites. Speakers highlighted fights against plant and factory closings and against cuts to education and services, and three labor-community partnerships that have emerged in the city.
Picture a union worker pulling up in a Cadillac, valet-parking at the city’s most prestigious hospital, and pulling out the gold card for lavish care. Plastic surgery, massages: all covered. Is that what the "Cadillac tax" is supposed to prevent?
Two years after Occupy Wall Street, unions and activist groups marched through the city demanding the Robin Hood Tax, a ½-percent tax on Wall Street financial transactions which could generate up to $350 billion annually.