Troublemakers Blog

September 03, 2020 / Barbara Madeloni
Educators in Andover, Massachusetts, set up lawn chairs, folding tables, and laptops in the shade of trees and next to school tennis courts and got to work on their first day of professional development August 31. »
Compilation of two Zoom screenshots shows 50 people on a call. Most are smiling faces, some show text only
August 31, 2020 /
Undergraduate student workers—ranging from residence hall advisors, lifeguards, and library workers to art gallery assistants and student farmers—are organizing to form a union at Kenyon College, a small liberal arts college in rural central Ohio. »
Masked person holding sign "Honor Our Contracts" in front of trees, other masked demonstrators
August 27, 2020 /
All summer, our union of undergraduate workers has been battling UMass Amherst over its response to the coronavirus crisis. We won personal protective equipment (PPE), campus-wide COVID testing, and workers comp; then we won the reversal of an incredibly dangerous reopening plan. Now we’re battling retaliatory layoffs. »
August 27, 2020 /
Workers across the country are taking up the fight for health and safety and against furloughs, budget cuts, and concessions. Faced with unsafe school openings, educators are at the forefront of these struggles—and we can learn a lot from them. On August 25, Labor Notes hosted a discussion with labor activists organizing around safe reopenings. »
August 27, 2020 /
It was a pipe dream to think, when we went into crisis mode in March, that we could possibly have a vaccine for a rampantly growing and politically charged virus before school was due to resume in the fall. »
August 26, 2020 /
How should our university be funded? Should students be liable for its debts? Who are the winners and losers when public higher education is privatized? »
August 24, 2020 /
Graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin do not have formal union protections, but that has not stopped us from organizing to put demands on university administration during the pandemic. »
August 20, 2020 /
Whenever our overcoat is ragged
you come running up and say: this can’t continue,
you must be helped in every possible manner.
And, full of zeal, you run off to the bosses
while we who freeze are waiting.
And you come back and in triumph
show us what you have won for us:
a little patch.
—Bertolt Brecht
August 19, 2020 /
Five years ago, it was hard to imagine a successful union drive on our campus at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. But this spring, as the COVID-19 shutdowns and conversions to online teaching began, the United Faculty Alliance bargained protections that were more than what seemed commonplace at other campuses. »
A woman holds a bullhorn and a picket sign that says "On Strike for a Fair Contract," surrounded by dozens of picketers holding similar signs and marching in a circle on the sidewalk.
August 18, 2020 / Dan DiMaggio
Last week the United Electrical Workers (UE) published a new pamphlet, Them and Us Unionism, which argues that the labor movement needs to return to the class-struggle unionism that animated the founding of the industrial unions in the 1930s.