Unions’ Charter-School Push / Labor Looks to Organize in an Educational Sector That Has Largely Kept It Away

Source: Stephanie Banchero, Caroline Porter, Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2013
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Charter schools have spread across the country while generally keeping organized labor out, with operators saying they can manage schools better when their staffs aren’t unionized. But labor groups are now making a big push to get a stronger foothold in this educational realm. Here in Chicago, a branch of the American Federation of Teachers is looking to organize one of the nation’s largest nonprofit charter-school groups. … Labor leaders say they want to organize charters because teachers there complain about low pay and poor working conditions, and because unionized teachers can negotiate favorable conditions for students, such as small class sizes. But others say the push has as much to do with unions’ declining membership.