UAW 2865 Letter of Solidarity with Teachers in Palestine

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March 14, 2016

UAW 2865 Letter of Solidarity with Teachers in Palestine

Whereas we believe that all teachers deserve a living wage and merit pay increases, as well as to have a democratic union whose leadership is elected by its members, and

Whereas teachers’ labor has been historically undervalued and current global trends around the privatization of education have only further devalued this labor, and whereas the UAW 2865 is committed to the defense of quality public education in the United States but also all over the world, and

Whereas the BDS Caucus of UAW 2865 affirms and stands in solidarity with the rights and wellbeing of Palestinian workers, including Palestinian teachers, and

Whereas thousands of Palestinian teachers have entered their 4th week of a heroic and exemplary strike initiated on February 10th 2016, with the demands of a) Granting an occupational allowance of 2.5%; b) Granting a 5% increase of wages, which should be implemented retroactively from 1/1/2014 until 31/12/2015; c) Enabling teachers to progress on the salary scale as is the case for other categories of governmental workers; d) Paying a cost of living allowance for 2014 and 2015; and e) the Organization of free and democratic elections in the Palestinian Teachers’ Union and accountable leadership that represents rank-and file interests, and

Whereas the striking teachers, which provide primary and secondary instruction to 700,000 students in the West Bank, have managed to organize an overwhelming support of students, principals, parents and other fellow workers for their strike and demands, and

Whereas the crucial frontline educational work of these primary and secondary teachers in grossly undervalued, given that their demands for a living wage go ignored while other unions representing university teachers, engineers, and doctors have all won pay increases, and

Whereas the Palestinian Authority is interrupting and obstructing the right to strike in multiple ways and has begun to attack the striking teachers as “anti-government agents,” thereby intensifying repression for Palestinian teachers who already are denied basic rights and freedom because of Israeli occupation, and

Whereas Palestinian labor unions, including teachers, have initiated calls for international labor solidarity against Israel’s historic and ongoing colonial dispossession and occupation of all Palestinians, most recently witnessed during the July 2014 massacre in Gaza;

Let it be resolved that, we, UAW Local 2865, the UC Student-Workers Union representing 14,000 teaching assistants, readers and tutors of 9 campuses of the University of California in the United States, stand in full solidarity with the striking teachers until their demands are met, and demand the Palestinian Authority to respect labor rights and accept all the demands of the union.

Finally, we recognize that demands of dignity through social justice reforms can only be achieved so long as all Palestinians attain universal freedom including an end to occupation, dispossession and life as second-class citizens

In Solidarity,

UAW 2865 Joint Council

(UAW 2865 Solidarity with Teachers in Palestine)

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