Teacher’s Unions Abandon Rank & File To Reopen Schools [The Dispatch]

Candidate Joe Biden said he’d lead by science, and President Biden is. It’s just basic 7th grade Biology, but I suppose that’s still science. According to President Joe Biden, he would like open up schools within the first 100 days and make sure that parents can get back to work. But the science says otherwise. 

There is uncertainty on the level SARS-COV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, affects kids, but we do know that kids can contract it less frequently than adults but they can spread it around just the same. We can say that COVID-19 has upheld one aspect of normalcy and it’s that kids can be gross, and are basically adorable Petri dishes. According to a study published by Dr. Simona Bigami of Montreal University & Dr. John F. Sandberg of George Washington University, the issue is that kids are the vectors to community spread. 

This means by opening schools, kids can contract the virus, spread to Teachers and staff, go home and spread it their families and therefore their communities, which will lead to a massive resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the nation. And this is not some Commie-Pinko-Lefty-Antifa ideology, it’s the science that’s been talked about ad nauseam by professors, teachers, scientists and comedians. It’s the same idea that has been ignored by politicians, regardless of their party affiliation because the economy, their religion must be protected. Turns out SARS-COV-2 doesn’t give a shit about your rights, especially your First Amendment rights considering it affects your lungs and your ability to talk. 

Conservative UK Prime Minister and new spokesperson for Head & Shoulders shampoo, Boris Johnson has said that it’s best to keep schools virtual as they can be vectors for transmission. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats here in the greatest failed state say that schools need to be open because the kids and parents can’t cope with this new way of life. They both say it’s best to get the parents back to work, where the likelihood of spreading the virus would most certainly be increased.

Why not get them back to work during a pandemic with the most veracious virus this side of the century! You wouldn’t want to offer families a Universal Basic Income and paid leave or truncated work hours to cover their needs, so they’re are taken care of financially and in terms of health. This new administration is using schools to pit families in between economics and public health. But I do suppose it’s incrementally better than the previous administration that was making choose between the economy, public health or injecting bleach. 

In Chicago the Rank & File Teachers are on strike, as they move away from the Chicago Teachers’s Union, or CTU and form the Chicago Rank & File Safety Committee. Sure, CTU has an acronym that rolls off the tongue unlike CRFSC, but the CTU has joined with the Democratic Party to reopen schools, despite the science. In fact so has the American Federation Of Teachers, or AFT. Boy it really seems like most organizations that can get boiled down to a 3 letter acronym are detrimental to humanity; The CIA, FBI, NSA, AFT, CTU are getting us closer to extinction. The only one that might not be is BLM.  

Even America’s Science King, Dr. Anthony Fauci is for reopening schools. The President, the AFT & Fauci being for reopening doesn’t make sense since they were all talking about being guided by science. The science tells us that this is dangerous. This possibly just as dangerous as reopening bars, restaurants and nightclubs, which have contributed to the resurgence of COVID-19 in recent months. And nightclubs have been the number one cause of unwanted bathroom pregnancies and herpes. And because of these types of incongruous messaging, it’s easy for people to get confused and fall through the rabbit holes of conspiracy. The President & Dr. Fauci are manufacturing reasons for conspiracy theories to exist. 

In Chicago, there have been 150 infection cases in Chicago Public Schools and a custodian has died from COVID-19. And of course this raises concerns for the teachers and staff. It should raise concerns for parents too! Do you want your kids to be in an environment where people are contracting an evolving and veracious virus? Dr. Fauci doesn’t want teachers or kids to be vaccinated early, before the reopening of schools, but rather use a rapid antigen test to see what the conditions are in schools. Yes, let’s use rapid tests which have been proven to be less than 50% effective. Now that a Democrat is in office, I suppose we can say we care about safety but decide in the opposite direction and everyone will still cheer you for being “scientific” when you’re clearly ignoring the science!

It’s fun when satire becomes reality isn’t it? It’s not. It’s really not. 

Teachers expressing concerns are putting in requests for telework or teaching from home. These requests are being denied and result in a loss of pay for teachers, which is illegal. Now when this sort of stuff happens, the unions would be ones to represent the working class at the negotiating table and call for a strike, but in Chicago, they’re just collecting a list of grievances. Look, I understand we’re in a pandemic and people do weird shit, but collecting grievances has to be the strangest hobby someone has decided to take up. Besides do you file it away or do you have a special jar that you put all the grievances in? 

I hope it’s a jar. 

And I’m not particularly surprised that the Unions aren’t supporting a strike. In 2020 we saw thousands of strikes and some of them were teacher’s strikes. Randi Wiergarten, the President of the AFT, who also sits on the DNC, said we shouldn’t be striking but rather trying use the courts to get what we need. The same courts that usually legislate on behalf of corporations, big businesses and killer cops. The unions are failing their Rank & File members by supporting the oligarchy, which is the opposite of what Unions are meant to do. Randi Wiergarten has also said “If NYC can figure out in-person learning then so can Chicago!” Ms. Wiergarten, if NYC were to jump off a bridge would you expect Chicago to as well? 

Eugene Debs and Mother Jones are screaming in their graves. The President of a Union sitting on the board the DNC goes against everything the Labor Movement fought for. 

So if the Teachers can’t depend on the unions where do they turn? Teachers from all across the nation have joined in solidarity with the Chicago Rank & File Teachers. Teachers from Tennessee, Texas, New York City, New Mexico, Washington D.C and more have come out in support of the Chicago Rank & File teachers and formed their own committees. Not only that but auto workers from Chicago, Indiana & Michigan have joined in solidarity to make sure that schools stay virtual, non-essential business stay closed and workers are compensated appropriately! At this point the American government owes everyone roughly $22k in back UBI payments.

In Montgomery, AL, the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement where Martin Luther King Jr. talked about anti-Capitalist and pro-Socialist ideologies through civil disobedience, has also seen rank & file Teachers thrown under the bus. 24-hours after it was decided that schools would be virtually taught, the board and union decided that Teachers have to come in once a week and an extra half day for faculty meetings. Alabama has seen more than it’s fair share of COVID related deaths of their staff, so coming into this environment seems like a bad idea…because it is. 

The state of New Mexico is in a similar position to Chicago and Montgomery and much like them has form a Rank & File Safety Committee. In Washington DC, the Washington Teacher’s Union, or WTU, tried to restrict a strike but ultimately failed as most of the rank & file members voted to strike. But the union once again is not stepping up to take direct action. 

Before we get a little deeper into this, I get that strain of virtual education on students and parents. I understand the psychological toll not being able to see friends, explore the world to expand curiosity can have on a child. I also understand the difficulty for parents to manage a work-life balance. But this is not the fault of the educators and the school staff. This is the unwillingness of a government to have foresight to figure out reasonable solutions to real problems. This is the fault of politicians who have failed to do their jobs, which are funded by the tax payers.

IF they really cared about the lives of students, teachers, staff and parents alike, the Biden Administration and the AFT could’ve formulated a plan for virtual learning. Instead of hiding in a bunker, Candidate Joe Biden could’ve worked with tech companies that have profited magnanimously during the pandemic to develop a platform for educators and parents to use that would make virtual learning and teaching a lot easier. He could’ve also learned what the Internet is. He could’ve used his first day to enact a legislation that would’ve given American families a Universal Basic Income instead of invade Syria again.  

So why is it that there is such a bipartisan push for reopening schools? From top to bottom this is about the Democratic Party co-opting the workers movement. The President of the American Federation of Teachers is a part of the Democratic National Committee, a corporate entity that controls the Democratic Primaries and debates. This means that the Teacher’s Unions aren’t working on behalf of Teachers but rather large corporate interests. 

The Democrats much like the Republicans are a pro-corporate, pro-capitalist, pro-war party.  This means they too believe in profit over everything else. The Democrats want the world to go back to normal. The normal in the Obama era was still rampant climate change, police brutality, failing education system where teachers were under funded and school shootings were the norm. We ignored the root causes of these issues because a handsome, debonaire, Democrat who could finish a sentence without stumbling into a racial epithet was President. Normal was complacency to real issues and wearing a rainbow flag pin on your lapel, while turning a blind eye to real strife of ALL workers.  

In order to reach this normal, the Democrats are lining up with Republicans to get parents back to work, which means the kids have to be at school. If there is no working class, who will the Capitalists exploit to seize the means of production? All this proves is that both parties could give 2 shits less about Science, safety and welfare. And there are only 2 shits to give. You can’t have a 3rd shit, just like you can’t have a 3rd Party. And with the Unions absorbed into this party, the rank & file can’t depend on them to collectively bargain for the working class. 

Teachers, Nurses, and any frontline worker are called Essential. Yet these Democrats and their corporate Union cohorts are willing to throw their lives away like a teenager throws aways a used tissue. Every action taken by the Democrats is antithetical to their words. So what options do the working class have? The options are laid out by the Teachers across the nation. They’ve formed a Rank & File Safety Committee that can be translated to every industry and are organizing sick outs and strikes. 

The Capitalist system has blatantly showed the world that it has not intention of caring for the lives of its workers. So now is the time for parents, students, community leaders to join in solidarity with the Rank & File teachers, factory workers, nurses across the nation and strike against these homicidal policies to open schools, when vaccines are behind schedule and there’s no plan to inoculate kids and educators. This is the time for a General Strike that puts the working class at the negotiating table, where safety and compassion are a vital part of economics.