Category Archives: Labor

#CFP Workplace Special Issue: Third Space Academic Labor

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#CFP Workplace Special Issue: Third Space Academic Labor

Guest Editor: Aaron Stoller, Colorado College

You are invited to submit proposals for a special issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor focusing on Third Space labor in higher education. Despite most colleges and universities’ equity and inclusion commitments, labor in higher education is organized, valued, and supported along a false and exclusionary dichotomy. On one side, the “academic” domain — occupied by faculty — is the site of expertise, critical nuance, and knowledge production. On the other, the “non-academic” domain — occupied by staff — is the site of non-intellectual and largely replaceable managerial activity. This labor binary underpins most aspects of university life, radiating into a culture of exclusion regarding professional support systems, agency in governance structures, labor contracts, and policy environments.

Although this dichotomy pervades almost all college campuses, the nature of academic labor is far more complex (Stoller, 2021). Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, colleges and universities have increasingly depended upon what Whitchurch terms Third Space academic labor (Whitchurch, 2013).

Working through problems of division and exploitation between so-called First and Third Worlds, Bhabha (1990; 2004) introduced the concept of Third Space as a creative, disruptive space of cultural production. Following Bhabha, in social theory Third Space has been used to resolve a range of binaries through the conceptualization of identities that trouble conventional ways of being and behaving. Scholars have used Third Space to examine disability, race, gender, and sexuality, where fluid identities disrupt rigid social categorizations and the cultural hierarchies that inevitably follow. Third Space identities are risky and dangerous because they span and complicate defined cultural categories. They are also spaces of creativity and innovation that open new cultural possibilities (Soja and Hooper, 1993).

Whitchurch uses Third Space to identify a non-binary social class within higher education: emerging groups of professionals who disrupt the false distinction between “academic” and “non-academic.” Third Space professionals work in diverse areas of the institution, such as academic advising, writing programs and centers, quantitative reasoning centers, honors programs, first-year experience and transitions programs, women’s and LGBTQ centers, accessibility resources, and teaching and learning centers among others.

By spanning, interweaving, and disrupting traditional notions of academic labor, Third Space professionals bring tremendous value to their institutions and students. They hold deep academic expertise in teaching and learning, increasing the university’s capacity for immersive and engaged pedagogies (Ho, 2000; Gibbs and Coffey, 2004). They also support the DEI missions of colleges and universities. Almost all Third Space professions developed in response to traditional faculty being unable or unwilling to serve students from marginalized, minoritized, and under-resourced backgrounds (Astin, 1971; Boquet, 1999; Carino, 1996; Groark and McCall, 2018). Because of their organizational positionality and academic expertise, they uniquely understand the student learning experience, and they are positioned to advocate for policy, structural, or curricular changes needed to create more equitable learning environments. Third Space professionals work across departmental lines and can identify and develop opportunities for cross-campus partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations (Bickford & Whisnant, 2010). They create new forms of scholarship (Eatman, 2012, 2014) and have pluralistic forms of scholarly impact (Arguinis, Shapiro, Antonacopoulou, & Cummings, 2014). They advance multiple university goals, often using scholarly approaches to improve a campus’s understanding of an issue and use their knowledge to develop praxis-based scholarship that shapes national and international change movements (Janke, 2019). Because they have advanced degrees and often teach and conduct research, they also enhance the college’s portfolio and can enrich its curriculum.

Like other non-binary identities, Third Space professionals fall outside normative social categories and therefore face interpersonal, cultural, and structural challenges specific to their work and professional identities. Their work is consistently miscategorized within the academy’s false labor binary, resulting in it being reduced to a “mere” administrative activity (Stefani & Matthew, 2002; Green & Little, 2017), or an “illegitimate” form of scholarship (Rowland et al., 1998; Harland & Staniforth, 2003). Faculty often frame Third Space professional contributions in oppositional (rather than complementary) terms (Handal, 2008). Because they are coded as “non-academic” and not tied to “home” departments, their expertise is rendered invisible in the epistemic economy of the university (Solomon et al., 2006). They rarely have access to institutional support structures for their academic work (e.g., teaching, research, grants, and fellowships), although their contracts often include these activities as part of their professional duties (Bickford and Whisnant, 2010). Third Space professionals are often barred from receiving institutional recognition, such as institutional designations, named professorships, and teaching and research awards, simply because of their class category (Post, Ward, Longo, & Saltmarsh, 2016). Despite their academic expertise and connection to the teaching and research mission of the university, they are systematically excluded from university governance structures (Bessette, 2020a). They also have no clear pathways for professional growth (Kim, 2020; Bessette, 2020b) and yet are often criticized for “abandoning” their institutions for professional gain. Because their labor often performs a “helping” function, it is often coded as “feminine” and devalued as a result (Tipper, 1999; Leit et al., 2007; Bernhagen & Gravett, 2017). Conversely, because traditional academic labor is culturally assumed to be more desired and desirable, Third Space professionals are often coded as “failed” academics (Whitchurch, 2015, p. 86).

This cultural denigration of their labor means they are frequently the subject of bullying and micro- aggressions by traditional faculty, but because faculty enjoy the protections of tenure there is no possibility of accountability for workplace abuses suffered by Third Space professionals (Henderson, 2005; Perry, 2020).

This issue seeks articles that identify and conceptualize problems cutting across the diverse forms of Third Space labor, and articles that propose pathways forward. Questions addressed by articles might include but are not limited to:

  • How might we redefine the nature of academic labor from a Third Space positionality, or how might we create language that more adequately describes Third Space academic labor?
  • What are the theoretical and practical connections that unify diverse forms of Third Space labor and professional identities?
  • What are the material, structural, and cultural barriers to supporting and legitimizing Third Space

academic labor?

  • How might we organize and create solidarity between Third Space laborers nationally and internationally?

Inquiries or to Submit:

 For inquiries or to submit proposals, contact Aaron Stoller at astoller@coloradocollege.edu. Prospective contributors should submit a proposal of 1-2 pages plus bibliography and a 1-paragraph author bio to Aaron Stoller astoller@coloradocollege.edu. Final contributions should be between 5,000 – 8,000 words and follow APA style.

Timeline

  • Call for Proposals: April – June 2022
  • Peer Review and Acceptance of Proposals: July – October 2022
  • Full Drafts of Papers: February 2023
  • Issue Publication: March 2023

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor is a refereed, open access journal published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES) and a collective of scholars in critical university studies, or critical higher education, promoting dignity and integrity in academic work. Contributions are aimed at higher education workplace scholar-activism and dialogue on all issues of academic labor.

Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education

Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education

Brill has just published the Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education, edited by Alpesh Maisuria, who is a professor in Education Policy in Critical Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

“This encyclopaedia showcases the explanatory power of Marxist educational theory and practice. The entries have been written by 51 leading authors from across the globe. The 39 entries cover an impressive range of contemporary issues and historical problematics. The editor has designed the book to appeal to readers within the Marxism and education intellectual tradition, and also those who are curious newcomers, as well as critics of Marxism.

The Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education is the first of its kind. It is a landmark text with relevance for years to come for the productive dialogue between Marxism and education for transformational thinking and practice.”

I co-authored, with Sandra Mathison,  a chapter titled “Critical Education” for EME. In this chapter we define critical education broadly as a field or approach that works theoretically and practically toward social change that anticipates a post-capitalist world. We explore multiple foundational sources for critical education including Marxism and critical theory, but also democracy and anarchism. And finally, we provide an overview of several manifestations of critical education. While many conflate critical pedagogy with critical education, we contend critical education has a broader reach.

Please contact me if you would like a copy of our chapter on critical education, as I have a limited number of offprints I can share.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Alpesh Maisuria
2 The 4th Industrial Revolution, Post-Capitalism, Waged Labour and Vocational Education
James Avis
3 Alienation and Education
Richard Hall
4 Alternatives to Capitalism
Peter Hudis
5 Capital Accumulation and Education
John Fraser Rice
6 Colonialisms and Class
Spyros Themelis
7 Communism: The Party – Pedagogy and Revolution from Marx to China
Collin L. Chambers and Derek R. Ford
8 Corporate State: “Downhill All the Way” – Education in England from Welfare to Corporate State
Patrick Ainley
9 Critical Education
Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross
10 Critical Realism
Grant Banfield
11 Cuban-Marxist Education
Rosi Smith, Leticia de las Mercedes García Rosabal and Maikel J. Ortiz Bosch
12 Dialectical Materialism (Materialist Dialectics)
Constantine (Kostas) Skordoulis
13 Disaster Education
John Preston
14 Early Childhood, Feminism, and Marx
Rachel Rosen and Jan Newberry
15 Employment: Education without Jobs – Young People, Qualifications, and Employment in 21st Century Britain
Martin Allen
16 Ethnography of Education and Marxism: Education Research for Social Transformation
Dennis Beach
17 Freire, Paulo (1921–1997) as a Marxist Revolutionary for Education
Juha Suoranta
18 Gramsci, Antonio (1891–1937): Culture and Education
Peter Mayo
19 Green Marxism
Simon Boxley
20 Guevara, Ernesto “Che” (1928–1967)
Peter McLaren and Lilia D. Monzó
21 Intersectionality: Scaling Intersectional Praxes
Gregory Martin and Benjamin “Benji” Chang
22 Lenin, Vladimir (1870–1924) and Education
Juha Suoranta and Robert FitzSimmons
23 Liberation Theology
Peter McLaren
24 Luxemburg, Rosa (1871–1919) and Education
Julia Damphouse and Sebastian Engelmann
25 Managerialism and Higher Education
Goran Puaca
26 Marxism and Education: [Closed] and … Open …
Glenn Rikowski
27 Marxism and Human Rights against Capitalism
Daniel Hedlund and Magnus Nilsson
28 Marxist Feminism and Education: Gender, Race, and Class
Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab
29 Middle Classes of the World
Göran Therborn
30 Neo-Liberalism and Revolution: Marxism for Emerging Critical Educators
Alpesh Maisuria
31 New Left, Anarchism and Education
Nick Stevenson
32 Palestine: Education in Mandate Palestine
Bernard Regan
33 Plebs League: Towards a Modern Plebs League
Colin Waugh
34 Postdigital Marxism
Petar Jandrić
35 Poverty: Class, Poverty and Neo-Liberalism
Terry Wrigley
36 Public Pedagogy
Mike Cole
37 Public University: The Political Economy of the Public University
David Harvie, Mariya Ivancheva and Robert Ovetz
38 Social Class: Education, Social Class and Marxist Theory
Dave Hill and Alpesh Maisuria
39 State and Private Capital: Education, State and Capital
Ravi Kumar and Rama Paul
40 World-Systems Critical Education
Tom G. Griffiths

Index

Call for Papers: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace (Deadline Extended)

As instructors and students brace for a fall semester taught on-line, the effects of COVID on the labour of post-secondary learning continue to set in. Course outlines and assessment criteria are being reworked. Students wrestle with rising tuition and the prospects of prolonged periods of unemployment. As recent Canadian Association of University Teachers survey results suggest, the pandemic is making higher education even less tenable for current and prospective students. International students stuck in their home countries will be forced to participate in classes across time zones. Research programs are being put on hold. Making matters worse, the gutting of teaching and learning resources at some universities have forced administrators to piece together support for instructors and staff ill-equipped to make the transition on-line. Workloads have increased.  But in the midst of this crisis, some post-secondary institutions seek opportunity to advance particular agendas. It was only after significant backlash from students and lecturers that the UK’s Durham University halted its attempt at providing online-only degrees in its effort to significantly cut in-person teaching. In Alberta, the government has merely delayed a performance-based funding model as a result of COVID, signaling that austerity, not improving the quality of education, is driving policy decisions. Meaningful interventions by faculty associations have been limited as the collegial governance process is sidelined for the sake of emergency pandemic measures. And what of academic and support staff who face increase workloads and the prospects of limited child care when the fall semester resumes? To this concern, what are the gendered effects of COVID? What do these circumstances mean for precariously employed sessional and term instructors? This special edition of Workplace invites all academic workers to make sense of COVID through a work and employment lens. Possible themes include:

  • Faculty association responses to a shift towards on-line education
  • “Mission creep” and the lure of distant learning for post-secondary institutions: opportunities and threats
  • The gendered and racialized implications of COVID in the classroom and on campus
  • Implications for sessionals, adjuncts and the precariously employed
  • COVID and workplace accommodations: from child care to work refusals
  • Student experiences and responses
  • COVID and performance-based funding policies
  • COVID and the collective bargaining process
  • Internationalization and the COVID campus

Aim and Scope: Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor is a refereed, electronic, open access journal published by a collective of scholars in critical higher education promoting a new dignity in academic work. Contributions are aimed primarily at higher education workplace activism and dialogue on all issues of academic labour.

Invitations: Contributions from all ranks of academic workers – from tenured and tenure stream to graduate students, sessional instructors, contract faculty, and administrative support staff – are encouraged to submit.

Deadlines: Submissions will be considered for peer review and publications on a rolling basis. The deadline has been extended to May 15, 2021. A complete volume of The Labour of COVID will be complete and made available in the spring of 2021. Formatting and submission guidelines can be found here

https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/information/authors

Please direct questions about the special issue to Dr. Andrew Stevens at Andrew.stevens@uregina.ca

 

Call for Papers: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour

Call for Papers: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour

As instructors and students brace for a fall semester taught on-line, the effects of COVID on the labour of post-secondary learning continue to set in. Course outlines and assessment criteria are being reworked. Students wrestle with rising tuition and the prospects of prolonged periods of unemployment. As recent Canadian Association of University Teachers survey results suggest, the pandemic is making higher education even less tenable for current and prospective students. International students stuck in their home countries will be forced to participate in classes across time zones. Research programs are being put on hold. Making matters worse, the gutting of teaching and learning resources at some universities have forced administrators to piece together support for instructors and staff ill-equipped to make the transition on-line. Workloads have increased.  But in the midst of this crisis, some post-secondary institutions seek opportunity to advance particular agendas. It was only after significant backlash from students and lecturers that the UK’s Durham University halted its attempt at providing online-only degrees in its effort to significantly cut in-person teaching. In Alberta, the government has merely delayed a performance-based funding model as a result of COVID, signaling that austerity, not improving the quality of education, is driving policy decisions. Meaningful interventions by faculty associations have been limited as the collegial governance process is sidelined for the sake of emergency pandemic measures. And what of academic and support staff who face increase workloads and the prospects of limited child care when the fall semester resumes? To this concern, what are the gendered effects of COVID? What do these circumstances mean for precariously employed sessional and term instructors? This special edition of Workplace invites all academic workers to make sense of COVID through a work and employment lens. Possible themes include:

  • Faculty association responses to a shift towards on-line education
  • “Mission creep” and the lure of distant learning for post-secondary institutions: opportunities and threats
  • The gendered and racialized implications of COVID in the classroom and on campus
  • Implications for sessionals, adjuncts and the precariously employed
  • COVID and workplace accommodations: from child care to work refusals
  • Student experiences and responses
  • COVID and performance-based funding policies
  • COVID and the collective bargaining process
  • Internationalization and the COVID campus

Aim and Scope: Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor is a refereed, electronic, open access journal published by a collective of scholars in critical higher education promoting a new dignity in academic work. Contributions are aimed primarily at higher education workplace activism and dialogue on all issues of academic labour.

Invitations: Contributions from all ranks of academic workers – from tenured and tenure stream to graduate students, sessional instructors, contract faculty, and administrative support staff – are encouraged to submit.

Deadlines: Submissions will be considered for peer review and publications on a rolling basis. The final deadline is February 28, 2021. A complete volume of The Labour of COVID will be complete and made available in the spring of 2021. Formatting and submission guidelines can be found here

https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/information/authors

Please direct questions about the special issue to Dr. Andrew Stevens at Andrew.stevens@uregina.ca

 

Deadline extended for Critical Education Special Series on Transforming Unions, Schools & Society

DEADLINE EXTENDED:

Critical Education

Call for Manuscripts: Contemporary Educator Movements: Transforming Unions, Schools, and Society in North America

Special Series Editors:
Lauren Ware Stark, University of Virginia
Rhiannon Maton, State University of New York College at Cortland
Erin Dyke, Oklahoma State University

Call for Manuscripts:

Throughout the past two years, educators have led the most significant U.S. labor uprisings in over a quarter century, organizing alongside parents and community members for such common good demands as affordable health care, equitable school funding, and green space on school campuses (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019a; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019b). These uprisings can be seen as evidence of the growth of a new form of unionism, alternately called social justice or social movement unionism (Fletcher & Gapasin, 2008; Peterson, 1999; Rottmann, 2013; Weiner, 2012). They can also be understood as evidence of contemporary educator movements: collective struggles that have developed throughout the past decade with the goal of transforming educators’ unions, schools, and broader society (Stark, 2019; Stern, Brown, & Hussain, 2016).

These struggles share much in common with other contemporary “movements of movements” (Sen, 2017) in that they develop in networks, utilize new technologies alongside traditional organizing tools, integrate diverse groups and demands, and often organize through horizontal, democratic processes (Juris, 2008; Wolfson, Treré, Gerbaudo, & Funke, 2017). They have been led by rank-and-file educators, who in many cases have organized in solidarity with parents and community members. While some recent scholarship on contemporary educator movements has conceptualized these movements as a unified class struggle (Blanc, 2019), other scholarship has emphasized heterogeneity, intersectionality, knowledge production, learning, and tensions within these movements (Maton, 2018; Stark, 2019).

This Critical Education special series builds on the latter tradition to offer “movement-relevant” scholarship written from within contemporary educator movements (Bevington & Dixon, 2005). Our aim for the series is to offer resources for contemporary educator movement organizers and scholars to:

  • understand the links between contemporary educator labor organizing and earlier struggles,
  • study tensions within this organizing,
  • explore how educator unionists are learning from each other’s work,
  • highlight urban and statewide education labor struggles in the U.S., as well as major struggles in Canada and Mexico, and
  • connect local education labor struggles to broader power structures.

Types of Submissions:

Specifically, we seek to include interviews with organizers, movement art, and empirical studies that engage critical and engaged qualitative methodologies (for example, autoethnographic, ethnographic, oral history, and/or participatory methodologies). We especially encourage submissions with and/or from rank-and-file education organizers.

  • Empirical research (4,000-8,000 words)
  • Interviews or dialogues with organizers (2,000-4,000 words)
  • Creative writing, including poems or short prose essays (<2,000 words; maximum three poems or one essay)
  • Art, including images of banner art and photographs (minimum 300dpi for images in .jpeg file format)

Examples of Possible Topics:

  • The significance of caucuses and/or labor-community organizing within a specific local context,
  • Challenges and possibilities for radical democratic or horizontal decision-making in contemporary educator movements,
  • Possibilities and challenges in transforming teacher unions to more radical entities,
  • Political education with and for rank-and-file educators,
  • Rank-and-file educator organizing to engage issues of race, indigeneity, language, and culture in education,
  • Issues of gender and/or sexuality in contemporary educator movements,
  • In-depth studies of rank-and-file educator-led campaigns and organizing experiences,
  • Tensions and possibilities between contemporary educator movements and specific North American social movements (i.e., climate justice movements, movements for decolonization, queer and trans liberation movements, prison abolition movements),
  • Critical whiteness studies and education labor organizing/movements,
  • Among others.

Timeline:

  • April 1, 2020 – Manuscript submissions due. (Note: Manuscripts will undergo a double blind peer review process. Invitation to submit a manuscript does not ensure publication.)
  • August 1, 2020 – Authors receive reviewer feedback and notification of publication decision (accept, accept with revisions, or reject for this particular series.)
  • September 1, 2020 – Manuscript revisions due.

Submission Instructions:

All submissions must follow the guidelines described here. Submissions should be maximum 8,000 words and use APA format (6th edition). All work must be submitted via the Critical Education submission platform.

Use this link to submit papers: http://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions)

References:

Bevington, D., & Dixon, C. (2005). Movement-relevant theory. Social Movement Studies, 4(3), 185-208.Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019a, February 15). Major Work Stoppages (Annual) News Release. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/wkstp_02082019.htm

Blanc, E. (2019b). Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics. London & New York: Verso Books.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019b, March 07). Eight major work stoppages in educational services in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/eight-major-work-stoppages-in-educational-services-in-2018.htm

Fletcher, B., & Gapasin, F. (2008). Solidarity divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Juris, J. (2008). Networking Futures: The Movements Against Corporate Globalisation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Maton, R. (2018.) From Neoliberalism to Structural Racism: Problem Framing in a Teacher Activist Organization. Curriculum Inquiry, 48 (3): 1–23.

Peterson, B. (1999). Survival and justice: Rethinking teacher union strategy. In B. Peterson & M. Charney (Eds.) Transforming teacher unions: Fighting for better schools and social justice (pp. 11-19). Milwaukie, WI: Rethinking Schools.

Rottmann, C. (2013, Fall). Social justice teacher activism. Our Schools / Our Selves, 23 (1), 73-81.

Sen, J. (2017). The movements of movements: Part 1. Oakland, CA: PM Press; New Delhi: Open Word.

Stark, L. (2019). “We’re trying to create a different world”: Educator organizing in social justice caucuses (Doctoral dissertation).

Stern, M., Brown, A. E. & Hussain, K. (2016). Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements. Workplace, 26, 1-4.

Weiner, L. (2012). The future of our schools: Teachers unions and social justice. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books.

Wolfson, T., Treré, E., Gerbaudo, P., & Funke, P. N. (2017). From Global Justice to Occupy and Podemos: Mapping Three Stages of Contemporary Activism. TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 15(2), 390 – 542.

Cultural Logic launches new issue #CulturalLogic21

Cultural Logic is a journal of marxism, literature, and radical politics, which has been an open access journal since it was founded in 1997.

The new issue, Cultural Logic 21, features the following articles and poetry.

Articles

Anthony Barnum
“Identifying the Theoretical Development of the League of RevolutionaryBlack Workers for a Pedagogy of Revolution”

Paul Diepenbrock
“Consolidating US Hegemony:A neo-Gramscian of Pantich and Gindin, and Konings”

Rich Gibson
“Sudents and Teachers! The Unasked Question:Why Have School?”

Matthew MacLellan
“The Gun as Political Object:Transcoding Contemporary Gun Culture and Neoliberal Governmentality”

Larry Schwartz
“The Ford Foundation, Little Magazines and The CIA in the Early Cold War”

Alan J. Spector
“Campus Activism Today — Some Lessons from Students for a Democratic Society”

Poetry

Alzo David-West
“1932, A Pseudo-Revolutionary Poem”

Cultural Logic 22 will be a massive 20th anniversary triple issue on “Schol-Activism” produced in collaboration with Works & Days. Look for it in the coming months.

Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements

Never a dull moment these days in Education activism! Parallel with the fallout from records regarding the governance and management of UBC and calls for accountability by our Faculty Association is the BCTF’s work in holding the government to account for its legislation of bargaining rights

Of course, our Institute for Critical Education Studies has provided extensive analysis and commentary on both cases.

Keeping activism in context, we are thrilled to launch this Special Issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour:

Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements

Special Issue Edited by Mark Stern, Amy E. Brown & Khuram Hussain

Table of Contents

Forward: The Systemic Cycle of Brokenness
Tamara Anderson

Introduction to the Special Issue: Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements
Mark Stern, Amy E. Brown, Khuram Hussain

Articles

Principles to Practice: Philadelphia Educators Putting Social Movement Unionism into Action
Rhiannon M Maton

Teaching amidst Precarity: Philadelphia’s Teachers, Neighborhood Schools and the Public Education Crisis
Julia Ann McWilliams

Inquiry, Policy, and Teacher Communities: Counter Mandates and Teacher Resistance in an Urban School District
Katherine Crawford-Garrett, Kathleen Riley

More than a Score: Neoliberalism, Testing & Teacher Evaluations
Megan E Behrent

Resistance to Indiana’s Neoliberal Education Policies: How Glenda Ritz Won
Jose Ivan Martinez, Jeffery L. Cantrell, Jayne Beilke

“We Need to Grab Power Where We Can”: Teacher Activists’ Responses to Policies of Privatization and the Assault on Teachers in Chicago
Sophia Rodriguez

The Paradoxes, Perils, and Possibilities of Teacher Resistance in a Right-to-Work State
Christina Convertino

Place-Based Education in Detroit: A Critical History of The James & Grace Lee Boggs School
Christina Van Houten

Voices from the Ground

Feeling Like a Movement: Visual Cultures of Educational Resistance
Erica R. Meiners, Therese Quinn

Construir Y No Destruir (Build and Do Not Destroy): Tucson Resisting
Anita Fernández

Existential Philosophy as Attitude and Pedagogy for Self and Student Liberation
Sheryl Joy Lieb

Epilogue

No Sermons in Stone (Bernstein) + Left Behind (Austinxc04)
Richard Bernstein, Austinxc04

Thanks for the continued interest in and support of our journals, Critical Education and Workplace, and our ICES and Workplace blogs. And please keep the manuscripts and ideas rolling in!

Theory into practice: Social justice, solidarity & AESA

The American Educational Studies Association is currently facing a dilemma that forces its leadership and membership to decide just how committed they are to the principles of social justice, principles upon which the organization has built its reputation.

How much are the organization’s principles worth?

Should AESA members cross the picket lines and hold its 2016 meeting at the Grand Hyatt Seattle to save itself from an $83,000 cancellation fee? Or, bite the financial bullet in the name of walking the talk on social justice, solidarity, allyship?

Yesterday the AESA membership voted to punt these questions back to the leadership. But before that decision was made there was a long and sometimes puzzling discussion of these issues. Below are some musings on that discussion.

Spot the similarities: AESA 2015 / CUFA-NCSS 1998

Similarities between the AESA’s financial versus principles dilemma and the one CUFA-NCSS faced in the 1990s are striking.

I was deeply involved debates/actions related to the boycott of California in the 1990s in response to the racist, anti-immigrant Proposition 187. Prop 187 was passed in 1994. The College and University Faculty Assembly of National Council for the Social Studies was scheduled to meet in Anaheim in 1998.

At its 1994 meeting in Phoenix, the membership of CUFA-NCSS voted to boycott Anaheim and then lobbied NCSS to do the same. NCSS, which is a profoundly conservative organization, rejected the boycott arguing that it had “contractual obligations.”

Despite that fact that CUFA leadership had four years to make arrangements for an alternative meeting site (CUFA is an affiliated group of NCSS and while it meets in conjunction with the larger organization, it functions as an autonomous group), it took no substantive action.

The delay tactic worked, creating a crisis situation.

In 1997, the combined efforts of the leadership of CUFA and NCSS convinced the CUFA membership to rescind its boycott and meet in Anaheim. Every African American member of CUFA-NCSS (and a few others) in the room quit the organization the night of the vote.

NCSS did not condemn the racist, xenophobic Prop 187 until 1997. It also promised not to meet in California while Prop 187 was in effect, with the exception of the 1998 meeting in Anaheim.

With their actions the NCSS-CUFA leadership was boldly saying something like:

Sometimes doing the right is inconvenient, so we’ll make our commitment to social justice when it doesn’t hurt our pocketbook. Don’t you know we have contractual obligations!

In the AESA 2015 business meeting (held in the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt San Antonio), many folks offered up similar lines of reasoning as CUFA-NCSS leadership on why the organization can’t take a stand in solidarity with the workers at the Grand Hyatt Seattle:

  • contractual obligations / sizeable cancelation penalty
  • financial hit would have deleterious effects on the organization
  • let’s wait and see what happens
  • boycotting the hotel will not accomplish anything
  • boycotting the hotel will hurt the workers
  • let’s illustrate our solidarity by our academic discourse, not a boycott
  • not all organizations are boycotting, etc.

In addition, as was pointed out at yesterday’s meeting, AESA’s leadership has been aware of the union boycott of the Grand Hyatt Seattle for years, but never developed any viable alternatives.

To be fair the AESA Executive Council (EC) offered up several options, including a “shadow conference,” but none of these were thought through. There was not even a detailed assessment of the impact of the cancelation fee on the AESA finances. (Although one EC member stated AESA has the funds to pay the cancelation fee, which was supported by the financial report distributed to members).

Rather than providing concrete details to members about risk factors and logistical options, the EC members raised the spectre of members having to cover the costs of the cancelation fee via increased conference/membership rates and the difficulty of finding alternative spaces for the Seattle meeting, implying that honouring the boycott meant cancelling the 2016 meeting.

Perhaps the most appalling leadership tactic was a long harangue by an EC member that argued Grand Hyatt Seattle workers already had a pretty good hourly wage and being able to form a union would not increase their wages much. This EC member also offered up the twisted logic that drinking coffee from un-unionized Starbucks wasn’t much different from crossing a picket line at the Grand Hyatt Seattle … and everybody drinks coffee from Starbucks, right?

The leadership of AESA is correct that there’s not much time left to make a plan for an alternative site for the 2016 meeting, which begs the question of what they’ve been doing the past 4 years. Likely, just hoping that situation would resolve itself and save AESA from having to make a tough choice.

In some ways the membership endorsed that strategy by refusing to take a vote on the motion to honor the boycott and instead kicking the issue back to the EC.

Some EC members repeatedly stated their concern for the Hyatt workers and their desire to be responsive to members who support the UNITE HERE Local 8 boycott. But, these sentiments were weakened in the face of repeated statements that the EC wanted to investigate the circumstances of boycott before they took any action.

Which side is the AESA EC on? After yesterday’s meeting I have a strong feeling this is a repeat for the CUFA-NCSS California boycott debacle.

Allyship

AESA is an organization whose members frequently write about social inequity, privilege, and allyship. But there was a stunning lack of sensitivity to these issues in the business meeting discussion of the boycott.

I am convinced that if one substituted people of color or LGBTQI folks for the members of UNITE HERE Local 8, many of the comments made in the business meeting would be immediately rejected by most AESA members has reflective of the privileged telling oppressed people what their problems are and how they should be solved.

Indeed many comments were the opposite of allyship:

  • UNITE HERE Local 8 wants to make this an either/or question and it’s not;
  • We want to support the workers, but I don’t think the boycott is the best way;
  • The union is not interested in other ways we can support the workers.

These kinds of expressions ignore what the workers have requested of would be allies, namely not to eat, sleep, or meet at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

Many members of AESA obviously think they have better ideas for how they might support Local 8, and are offended when the union isn’t interested in what they think.

As the Anti-Oppression Network argues:

allyship …is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people. Allyship is not self-defined—our work and our efforts must be recognized by the people we seek to ally ourselves with …

Is There Potential for an Organizational Split in AESA?

I heard lots of talk at AESA about holding an alternative meeting (and protesting) if AESA goes ahead with its plan to meet at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

The circumstances have significant differences, but the CUFA-NCSS boycott collapse was a significant factor in the creation of the Rouge Forum, which worked within CUFA-NCSS for a years, but ultimately went its separate way.

While remote, I do believe there is possibility of a faction within AESA looking elsewhere if the current plans for AESA 2016 are not changed. At the very least there might be reduced commitment to the organization by some members if AESA cannot find the will to walk its talk.

Based upon yesterday’s dialogue, some members of the EC seem quite sincere in their pledge to lead AESA out of this dilemma, while preserving its credibility as an organization committed to social justice.

What AESA needs right now is a little less conversation and a little more action.

 

UNITE HERE Local 8 and the AESA 2016 meeting in Seattle

The American Educational Studies Association is meeting in San Antonio this week and the key issue of its business meeting on Saturday was how the organization should respond to the ongoing union boycott of the site of its 2016 meeting in Seattle.

UNITE HERE / Hyatt Dispute and Settlement

Several years ago AESA entered into a contract with the Grand Hyatt in Seattle for its 2016 meeting. The Hyatt hotel chain has for some time been an organizing target of UNITE HERE, whose 265,000 members work primarily in the hospitality industry.

In July 2013, an agreement was reached between Hyatt and UNITE HERE that ended a years long stalemate between the union and Hyatt as well as ending a national boycott of Hyatt-managed properties.

Doug Patrick, senior VP of human resources for Hyatt said of the agreement:

The national agreement between Hyatt and UNITE HERE is great news for our associates in markets where they haven’t seen wage increases in four years … The associates will see the increases in wage and benefit enhancements they deserve.

UNITE HERE described the key provision of the agreement as establishing “a fair process,” which includes a mechanism for employees at a number of Hyatt hotels to vote on whether they wish to be represented by UNITE HERE.

David Sherwyn, associate professor of law and academic director for The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration has described the deal as good for both sides. He told Hotel News Now (HNN),

What it also shows is the belief of the inadequacy of the NLRB election. UNITE HERE was adamant that they didn’t want to go to an NLRB election where you can do all kinds of mean and nasty stuff.

HNN reported that that Hyatt didn’t want to authorize card-check voting. According to Sherwyn, Hyatt wanted employees to go into booths to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for elections. Card check involves a lot of peer pressure because voting is done in public, which Hyatt was against.

“(UNITE HERE is) giving them an election, and I’m sure that they set some sort of ground rules about what they can and cannot be said and how the election is going to be done and so on,” Sherwyn told HNN. “What I’m inferring is that Hyatt feels good because at the end of the day their employees are getting a vote.”

The rub for AESA’s 2016 meeting in Seattle is that the national agreement applies only to Hyatt-managed hotels and the the owner of the Grand Hyatt Seattle, Richard Hedreen, has refused to allow employees access to that fair process (e.g., card check).

The response from UNITE HERE Local 8 in Seattle has been to ask customers to boycott the Grand Hyatt Seattle (and Hyatt at Olive 8).

UNITE HERE Local 8 says the Boycott of Grand Hyatt Seattle is based on the following issues:

  • Heavy workloads. Hotel housekeeping work is difficult work that can lead to debilitating pain and injuries. Hyatt at Olive 8 Houseman Yuan Ping Tang reports that he turns over up to 38 rooms a shift.
  • A slippery slope of subcontracting. In the past year, the Hyatt at Olive 8 has used more temporary, subcontracted workers, a precedent that can threaten full-time jobs.
  • Workers want their say. Workers at the Grand Hyatt Seattle and the Hyatt at Olive 8 have called on the hotels’ owner, Richard Hedreen, to give them a fair process to decide for themselves whether they want a union. This is a process that Hyatt agrees will be implemented if and when Mr. Hedreen gives the OK. So far Mr. Hedreen has refused.

Discussion at AESA 2015 Business Meeting

At the AESA 2015 business meeting this afternoon in, ironically, San Antonio’s Grand Hyatt, I made the motion that “AESA honor the UNITE HERE Local 8 boycott and not hold its 2016 meeting at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.”

There was a long and vigorous discussion of the issue, with many members stating their support of the motion and others offering supportive sentiments for the Grand Hyatt Seattle workers, but arguing against the boycott because of the financial implications for AESA (which, because of contract provisions, would be on the hook for over $80,000 if they canceled).

After a long debate, the members in attendance voted to refer the boycott motion back to the Executive Council of AESA, thus stopping the discussion among the general membership and by-passing an up-or-down vote on the motion.

Previously, AESA members had participated in a straw poll on honoring the UNITE HERE Local 8 boycott, with the anti-boycott position winning by a slim margin, although fewer than 100 members participated in the poll.

Read more about the boycotts of Grand Hyatt Seattle here:

Attorneys honor Hyatt boycott rather than attend Bar awards | October 4, 2013
The Stand
Hotel Workers Say: Boycott Hyatt! | August 30, 2013
Seattle Gay News
Update! Hyatt Hotel Owners Respond to Boycott | August 30, 2013
The Stranger
Union activists call for boycott of 2 Seattle Hyatt hotels | August 28, 2013
The Seattle Times
Hyatt workers urge boycott of Seattle hotels | August 28, 2013
The Stand
Workers Call for Boycott on Two Seattle Hyatts | August 27, 2013
The Stranger