EdMedia Commons Archive

Hechinger Report, GothamSchools Explore Challenges to Teachers’ Unions Influence

Teachers unions are facing new challenges to their influence, even as pressures mount on their members to demonstrate their effectiveness on the job. In a joint project, The Hechinger Report and GothamSchools teamed up to explore the shift sphere of teachers unions, with a special focus on New York City, the nation’s fifth-largest school district. Here’s a roundup of the coverage:

UFT Grapples With Change While Staying a Political Powerhouse

March 4, 2013

In recent years, the United Federation of Teachers’ power has been under threat, both locally and nationally. This kickoff to a multi-part series looks at the challenges faced by the union’s leadership

As UFT Elections Get Underway, Dissenters Face an Uphill Climb

March 5, 2013

Backed by the dominant party, Michael Mulgrew is likely to be elected to a second term. 

In Retirees, UFT Finds Loyal – and Unusual – Support

March 12, 2013

Retirees make up a large portion of the UFT, which allows retirees to vote in leadership elections. How does their support influence the UFT’s platform?

Where Do City Teachers’ Union Dues Go?

March 13, 2013

In a detailed breakdown,  a teacher’s union dues are shown to be allocated to a wide range of expenditures including loan repayments and political contributions. Over 50% of dues go to national unions and general overhead.

Teachers Unions Wield Much Power in Elections But Can Still Lose

March 18, 2013

Teachers’ unions influenced the outcome of elections but weren’t able to sway all of the races in which they became involved. This story examines where the unions were most effective, and where they fell short.

For Teachers, the Perks of Union Membership Can Get Personal

March 19, 2013

Unions often provide a wide range of services to members other than representation.

Grassroots Groups Funded By Unions Often Join Its Causes

March 22, 2013

Teachers unions are not only generous to their members and politicians, they also give to outside groups whose political views and activities mesh with their own.

Behind UFT’s Robust Operations, a Small Army of Chapter Leaders

April 2, 2013

There is a small army of “chapter leaders” who represent the union at each school,. Often, they are many teachers’ only contact with their union.

Seven Moments in UFT History Might Be More Pivotal Than This One

April 5, 2013

Turning points in UFT’s history, including historic strikes, and an “oft-cited moment of cooperation” in 1975 when the union kept the city from declaring bankruptcy.

Q&A: Union Chief Mulgrew Readies His Union for “Seismic Shift”

April 12, 2013

Michael Mulgrew discusses the biggest challenges facing the union, and what the future holds for the UFT.

New Era of Labor: Hawaii’s Powerful Teachers Union’s Multi-Front War

June 8, 2013

A dramatic showdown is unfolding in Hawaii, one of the most labor-friendly states in the nation, and demonstrates how radically the nation’s education landscape has changed in recent years.

In New Haven, a Teachers Union Embraces Change

June 11, 2013

New Haven’s teachers union’s collaborative approach to reform gives a glimpse into the possible future for teachers unions, as other unions search for ways to respond to a national push for greater teacher accountability without ceding too much power. 


This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.