ATF Fall Membership Meeting Focuses on Our Union in the Context of Privatization

This year’s ATF Fall membership meeting placed ATF in a larger context of unionism throughout our nation. We know that locally, our unions are under attack. We’ve spent the past seven years under the Martinez administration that has only sought to cripple— if not, destroy— our unions. What the membership meeting brought to light, however, is that we are not the only state (or union!) fighting for our profession. Despite the fact that our governor was elected during a wave of tea-party candidates throughout the nation, our union has, in fact, thrived.

In cities like Chicago, Portland, Baltimore, Detroit, in states like Wisconsin and Connecticut and in school districts like Douglas County, CO educators have lost jobs, been furloughed, lost benefits, schools have closed or been charterized and some have completely lost their union and their collective bargaining rights.

In the face of mounting opposition to workers’ rights and in the context of privatization at any cost, our local union (yes, ATF!) stands out as one of the strongest in the nation. We’ve beat-back furloughs, resisted layoffs, defeated Right-to-Work legislation, won our School Board elections against Tea-Party candidates, and, in addition to playing defense, ATF has actually seen some gains. While they may seem like small wins, the weight of their strength in this context speaks volumes. And that’s something we should all be proud of.

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