Without unions, teachers lack the power to act in the best interests of their students and themselves.
Rochester, IL (PRWEB) September 03, 2012
Oscar Weil has dedicated his life to securing Constitutional rights for one of the most overworked, under supported and expansive labor pools in the country. In his new book, “Teachers Beyond the Law: How Teachers Changed Their World” (published by iUniverse), Weil tells of his time advocating for teachers as executive director of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT). Under Weil’s leadership, IFT went from having no teachers under contract to more than 45,000 union-represented teachers and professors.
Thus, IFT led the way in establishing collective bargaining rights for all public employees in Illinois.
As executive director, Weil fought for teachers’ Constitutional rights to collectively bargain and strike at a time when union leaders were threatened with court orders and jail time for leading strikes.
“We would never accept teachers being kept in a separate category of citizens without equal rights,” Weil says. “Without unions, teachers lack the power to act in the best interests of their students and themselves. Instead, they are at the mercy of forces outside the classroom, which waste money and do great harm to public education.
“The American system of public education has been the most democratic in the developed world while providing the foundation for the greatest economic system, which, in turn, created the strongest and, until recently, the most prosperous middle class in history.”
In the book, Weil focuses on the years that he spent taking IFT from a protest organization to a union with a broad program for change. Today, he sees that union efforts need to be reinvigorated as more programs are implemented that compromise the integrity of the system.
“I want to inspire teachers to use unions to build support for education and fight against efforts to regiment teachers and students,” Weil says. “I am dedicated to the proposition that a free union of teachers, in affiliation with the rest of the labor movement, can preserve, strengthen and continue the system for our children and our children’s children.”
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“Teachers Beyond the Law: How Teachers Changed Their World”
By Oscar Weil
Softcover: $38.95 | Hardcover: $48.95 | E-book: $3.99
About the author
As executive director of the IFT, Oscar Weil organized teachers’ unions and bargained strike settlements and contracts, often in defiance of courts. He was also a lobbyist for teachers and an official of other union groups, such as the American Federation of Teachers. Oscar resides in Rochester, Illinois, where he enjoys gardening and staying updated on current events.
For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Email: lcascio (at) bohlsengroup (dot) com