NYC: Teachers at two charter schools want out of teachers’ union

by E Wayne Ross on March 25, 2009

Gotham Schools: Second set of KIPP teachers strike back, separating from union

Teachers at two New York City KIPP charter schools today asked state labor officials to sever their ties from the city teachers union, in petitions signed by every single teacher at the two schools. The move is a powerful response to efforts by teachers at another KIPP school in Brooklyn, KIPP AMP, who in the past few months have sought to join the politically powerful union, the United Federation of Teachers.

Teachers at KIPP Infinity and KIPP Academy charter schools, considered the two premier members of the high-profile charter network’s New York City branch, sent the petitions. The schools’ affiliations with the union were loose to begin with: KIPP Academy is represented by the union only because it was one of the city’s original charter schools, and it could only transition to charter status on the condition that it remained represented by the teachers union, and KIPP Infinity teachers are represented by the union only in order to get health benefits through the union’s services, KIPP leaders have told me.