Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teachers’ Union Presidents Call on Scholastic to Settle with Newspaper Guild


Weingarten (AFT) and Mulgrew (UFT) Demand Fairness for Scholastic Writers and Workers 

New York – The Newspaper Guild of New York released today letters from Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers, and Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, calling on Scholastic Inc. to reach a fair settlement in its long-running dispute with the Guild, which represents the employees who produce Scholastic’s educational materials that are popular purchases for millions of American teachers. 

“I am disappointed to learn that Scholastic is refusing to
AFT Pres. Randye Weingarten
AFT President Randye Weingarten
bargain with its employees,”
wrote Randi Weingarten in her letter to Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson. “As President of the American Federation of Teachers, representing 1.5 million educators and professionals throughout the United States, I appreciate Scholastic’s reputation as a developer of quality instructional materials…. Scholastic’s disrespectful and mean-spirited behavior toward your employees over the past two years seems out of character and counter-productive.”

Michael Mulgrew, UFT President
Michael Mulgrew, UFT President
“Teachers and students throughout the City use Scholastic’s products to achieve their educational goals,” wrote UFT President Michael Mulgrew.  “They expect and demand that Scholastic treat the people who create those products with the respect they deserve.  If Scholastic continues to refuse to sit down and bargain with the union representing its employees, if it no longer treats its employees with the respect they deserve, many members of the United Federation of Teachers may find alternative products to use in the classroom.”

Negotiations between Scholastic and the Newspaper Guild on a new contract began in 2012.  Guild members believed they had reached agreement with the company in June of 2013, when Scholastic representatives, in a stunning about-face, walked away from previous agreed upon contract provisions and halted all meaningful negotiations with Guild members.  Scholastic has refused to bargain in good faith with the Guild ever since, bringing progress on reaching a new settlement to a halt. 

NY Guild President Bill O'Meara
NY Guild President Bill O'Meara
“We are grateful to have the support of these two incredible leaders,” said Bill O’Meara, President of the Newspaper Guild of New York. “Teachers use Scholastic products in the classroom every day, and they will be surprised and concerned to learn how the employees who produce those materials are being treated.”

It is time for Scholastic management to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract for the Guild-represented employees.

Contact Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson at 212 343-6872
Tell him that the talented people who produce Scholastic’s educational magazines deserve a fair contract now

About the Newspaper Guild of New York

The Guild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, represents 2,800 employees at New York area-based media organizations, as well as the staff of the Writers Guild of America, East, retail workers at Hudson News in Manhattan and English teachers at New York’s Kaplan International Colleges.

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