Since the 1960s, teachers unions across the United States have used strikes or the threat of strikes to influence the terms of collective bargaining agreements with local school districts. In the spring of 2018, teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and elsewhere changed their tack, staging walkouts designed to secure salary hikes and increased school funding from state legislatures. Will teachers unions increasingly shift their focus away from local districts and toward state policymakers? And how will unions adapt, now that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision has banned agency fees for teachers who decline to join?
Jeffrey R. Henig and Melissa Arnold Lyon of Columbia University’s Teachers College discuss possible union comeback strategies post-Janus, while Sarah F. Anzia of the University of California, Berkeley, foresees geographical differences in union tactics.
Adaptation Could Bring New Strength
by Jeffrey R. Henig and Melissa Arnold Lyon
Statewide Strikes Are a Shot Across the Bow
by Sarah F. Anzia
This article appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Education Next. Suggested citation format:
Henig, J.R., Lyon, M.A., and Anzia, S.F. (2019). After the Teacher Walkouts: Will unions shift their focus to the statehouse? Education Next, 19(1), 52-60.
Last updated October 30, 2018