June 23, 2009
American Federation of Teachers' Largest Affiliate
and Green Dot Public Schools
Announce Contract Agreement for Green Dot New York Charter School
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers' New York City affiliate and Green Dot Public Schools today announced a three-year contract agreement for teachers at Green Dot New York Charter School in the Bronx, an agreement that AFT President Randi Weingarten said proves that unionized charter schools can be collaborative, innovative, and good for students and teachers.
The three-year agreement between Green Dot and the United Federation of Teachers was ratified by the school's faculty and by the Green Dot New York Charter School Board.
"This contract can serve as a blueprint for giving charter school educators a voice, for bringing innovations to the classroom, and for looking at new ways to improve labor-management relations in our schools," said Weingarten, who also serves as UFT president. The UFT represents New York City's 100,000 public school educators, including teachers at two UFT-operated charter schools as well as teachers at eight other New York City charter schools.
The UFT-Green Dot contract is rooted in the belief, held by the union and Green Dot, that establishing a collaborative and respectful labor-management environment in schools is essential in supporting the quality of teaching and learning.
"Green Dot has had great success in working with the unionized teaching force in Los Angeles, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Randi Weingarten and the United Federation of Teachers in New York," said Green Dot Public Schools founder and chairman, Steve Barr.
Nationally, the AFT represents teachers and staff in more than 70 charter schools. These include three run by Civitas in Chicago, where just last week teachers and staff voted to form a union, becoming the first group of Chicago charter school employees to unionize.
"Across the country, we are hearing from more and more educators who want the fairness and professionalism that comes with union membership and a collective bargaining agreement," said Weingarten.
Green Dot currently operates 18 charter schools in Los Angeles and is completing its first year operating in New York City.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.