They are doing it for their students. That’s the sentiment that brought a group of nearly 200 dedicated teachers, social workers, and specialists from Milwaukee’s Carmen School of Science and Technology to announce their intent to organize with IAM District 10.
“The biggest detriment to our students is the high turnover of teachers,” said Alexis Garcia, a Social Studies teacher at Carmen High School of Science and Technology Northwest. “When teachers are valued and supported, it creates consistency for students and creates classrooms where both students and teachers can thrive. The pandemic only exacerbated the problem and if Carmen truly wants to follow its mission, they need to do right by their teachers.”
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Carmen Schools of Science and Technology are a network of charter schools with five campuses ranging from elementary to high school. According to their organizing campaign website, better working conditions will allow this group to provide the best educational experience for their students, creating an environment of growth that will be beneficial to all. It will also allow these educators to further protect those underrepresented on staff and in the classroom.
“These educators should only have to worry about taking care of their students’ education and nothing else,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “A union contract will do that. It speaks volumes that these educators are taking these steps to secure a brighter future, not only for their current students but for those who will come later.”
“We agree with the educators of Carmen. The best way to take care of the students is to make sure the teachers have everything they need to do their job,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “An IAM contract that outlines items like equity, pay and workload rules is going to benefit everyone in the Milwaukee community. We are proud of this group for going above and beyond to take care of the children in their care by joining the Machinists Union.”
To learn more information about this organizing campaign and support their effort, you can log onto carmenworkerscollective.org.