Teacher Unions Fight for Members, Not Students

Teacher Unions Fight for Members, Not Students
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File

When schoolteachers in Los Angeles went on a weeklong strike in January, the head of the local teachers union described it as a “battle for the soul of public education.” When Denver public school teachers went on a three-day strike in February, they did it in the name of “schools Denver students deserve.”

When teachers began their strike in Oakland on Feb. 26, the local teachers union repeated this message, voicing that they were “fighting for the schools Oakland students' deserve” and in a struggle for the “soul of public education.” The Oakland teachers' strike ended on March 1.

It's true, many of the demands the unions are making will likely benefit students. But beneath the rallying cries, unions in the public sector are facing a new reality that suggests they are actually fighting for something else.

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