Strike! Public Workers Show Strength in West Virginia

Saving West Virginia” is a great article by Kathy Kunkel, WV Working Families Party, by far the best report on the so-called “work stoppage” become wildcat strike in the West Virginia public schools.

Kunkel calls this a wildcat strike, and so does WV MetroNews corporate cheerleader Hoppy Kercheval now, which it basically is, especially by now, going against the wishes of the school employees’ labor organizations so-called “leaders,” Dale Lee and the other two complicit bumblers.

But this could also be called a Social Media strike, given the crucial secret and private Facebook organizing that went on in recent months, noted in this article. This sharing of independent news and information among school workers statewide allowed even the employees and people in rural counties in West Virginia to be as informed as anywhere else, and helped lead to great unity and strength going far beyond what the state legislature and governor and even the labor groups’ “leaders” could understand, and the first ever 55 county walkout. Even in the 11 day West Virginia public schools strike of 1990, 8 counties did not strike. Those days are gone.
This is yet another sign that things are different now, as if Trump and Bernie Sanders’ rise didn’t make that clear two years ago. It’s Social Media politics and culture ever increasingly. Thus the recent frenzy among corporate media about the fear of “fake news.” They are the fake news generators as often as not, along with the officials whom they de facto lie for, not least in this instance where virtually all national corporate media reported that the strike was ended by the officials’ deal. False news. Even to this point there have been few prominent corrections, let alone retractions. 
Great and informative article by Kathy Kunkel: “Saving West Virginia.”

…when you compare teachers to other people with similar credentials, they are paid a whole lot less. Public school teachers make 17 percent less than other comparable college graduates. The more experienced teachers have it the worst, facing even larger pay gaps. And things have been getting worse, not better: teachers only suffered a 1.8 percent pay differential two decades ago. But while college graduates overall saw their pay increase between 1996 and 2015, teachers saw theirs decline.

The gap can’t be explained by educators having fewer credentials or doing valueless work. So what can explain it? One big reason we pay teachers at a discount is that we think of their work not so much as work, but as service.

Specifically, their jobs have come to be seen as an extension of women’s unpaid work. Elementary and secondary schools are teeming with women: Three-quarters of public school teachers are female. But in the more male-dominated field of academia, where women make up less than a third of professors, median pay is over $75,000 a year. On the other end, teachers in pre-kindergarten are paid far less than those who teach in K-12 education despite usually facing the same training and education requirements — and they are nearly 98 percent female.

In fact, teaching used to be a high-paid, high-status job when men held it. Then when women entered the field, the pay and prestige dropped. This is a phenomenon that has repeated over and over again — women push their way into a particular job, then the job starts to pay less — but it’s pronounced in work that requires taking care of other people. Such jobs are seen as “women’s work,” which both lowers its status because women are simply valued less, and also connects it closely to the work women are expected to do at home for free.

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