Along with providing a non-partisan, pro-charter choice for teachers, AAE is dedicated to providing charter school administrators with the information they need. The document below outlines the realities of charter school and teacher unions.
What Charter School Administrators Need to Know About Unions
Click to download the entire guide in PDF form. The first page is pasted below.
In 2001, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) marked the 100th anniversary of a fire at New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory. The tragedy claimed the lives of nearly 150 garment employees—mostly young women. Work conditions at the factory were terrible; most worked six days a week in unsafe conditions. And when the fire broke out, the employees were trapped as doors and stairwells were blocked. The factory was also anti-union.
To be sure, the tragedy led to “greater awareness of the terrible conditions many workers endured,” noted Randi Weingarten, AFT president in a statement released by the teacher union last year. The labor movement also led to the end of sweatshops and better working conditions and standards for most professions.
The union leader then continued: “Yet today, numerous and outrageous attacks on workers' rights in state after state threaten to take us back to a time when individuals were powerless and hard-working people were denied decent wages and benefits,” she said. “Just as the Triangle fire 100 years ago solidified support for the [International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union], these modern-day attacks on unions are re-energizing the American labor movement as we fight for voice, dignity and fairness."
Click here to read the entire guide (pdf): Policy Backgrounder: What Charter School Administrators Need to Know About Unions