Monday, March 15, 2010
President Rafael Feliciano,
*Federacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico- FMPR
Grassroots Education Movement - GEM
March 23, Tuesday
4 – 7 PM
CUNY Grad Center - Rm 5414
34th St. & 5th Ave
#6 train to 33rd - Bring I.D.
In 2008, after a militant 10 day strike, the FMPR stopped the charter school privatization threat on the island-nation. Despite the Puerto Rico laws against public worker strikes, the FMPR (80% women) continues to represent and fight back as a democratic bottom-up rank and file union. Today the FMPR again resists privatization, charters invasions, violations of teacher & public worker rights, cutbacks and massive layoffs. As more draconian cutbacks loom, the FMPR leads protests along with debates on how to successfully build a united struggle nationwide.
In NYC, GEM has campaigned against the very same destructive federal government "No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top" policies that Puerto Rico also faces, despite different conditions. GEM addresses issues such as test-driven curricula, the displacement of seasoned veteran teachers (ATRs), school closing, private charters, dictatorial mayoral control, privatization and union-busting.
Over decades, the FMPR has worked to empower their members and school communities. The FMPR supports school teacher-parent-student committees with significant input. FMPR union chapters have autonomy and are supported when militant job actions are necessary. The FMPR consistently seeks to educate and organize through general meetings, educationals, media campaigns, litigation, legislative initiatives, guerrilla theater, militant job actions and more.
The FMPR model of social justice unionism provides many lessons for us here. We too have much to share. Join us in this important dialogue.