Bargaining for the common good is good for workers and communities


p 1 bargaining for the common good is good for workers and communities

What if unions might assist not solely their members but in addition the broader communities the place they work? That’s the idea of Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG), a observe wherein unions staff up with local people teams, racial justice organizations, college students, and different stakeholders to ascertain shared objectives and launch focused motion campaigns to see that they’re met. When staff aren’t properly paid, or undergo from poor working circumstances, the affect is “not simply on workers however on the those that workers serve,” says Stephen Lerner, a senior fellow at the Bargaining for the Common Good Community, a company born from the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown College. Listed below are three instances of BCG in motion.


Academics’ unions are a pure match for BCG: In 2014, United Academics of Los Angeles created Reclaim Our Colleges L.A., a coalition of academics, college students, and mother and father that spent greater than a 12 months researching and growing a marketing campaign referred to as “A Imaginative and prescient to Help Each Scholar.” When academics went on strike in January 2019, mother and father and college students joined in picketing in addition to sit-ins and rallies round the metropolis. The six-day motion gained the districts extra college nurses, counselors, and librarians; smaller class sizes; reductions in standardized testing; help for immigrant college students, and different modifications far past trainer pay (which additionally elevated 6%).



In October 2019, the Chicago Academics Union went on strike, searching for smaller class sizes and extra counselors and workers; it additionally referred to as on the metropolis to decide to constructing extra reasonably priced housing in response to the district’s 17,000 unhoused college students. “The mayor mentioned that the union was being utopian,” Lerner says. “And the union mentioned, ‘We are being utopian. We’d like transformational change.’ ” The union focused native billionaires and builders in its marketing campaign, arguing that tax cuts they obtained might have been used to fund faculties and social packages, even staging a sit-in at one actual property developer’s headquarters. Whereas the union’s reasonably priced housing calls for weren’t met, it did obtain higher sources for unhoused college students.


SEIU 1199—a 29,000-member union of important healthcare, clerical, and upkeep workers in nursing houses and healthcare services—has joined with Connecticut group schools, social workers, and retired folks to hunt funding for social packages akin to expanded psychological well being companies and reentry help for previously incarcerated people. To take action, they’re calling for greater tax charges for Connecticut’s resident millionaires and billionaires.