Teachers shouldn’t have to be superheroes, this week in the war on workers

Teachers shouldn’t have to be superheroes, this week in the war on workers

Care work was already work before the pandemic, and there was already a crisis. But the coronavirus pandemic made the crisis exponentially worse. Sarah Jaffe takes on the policy and personal roots of that crisis in a searing, rage-filled piece that you really should read, from the parts about motherhood and the men who get let off the hook, to the welfare rights movement, to—especially—the part about teachers during COVID-19 and the way they’ve been scapegoated in debates about in-person education.

This is the crux of it: “Get Covid and die, get written about in glowing terms,” she writes. “Collectively refuse to die (or to spread the virus to your students and their families), and your ‘allies’ will begin to threaten you.”

Teachers, she writes, have been “goddamn superheroes,” and, “If we, collectively, gave a shit about kids’ learning conditions, they would not be attending overcrowded schools with lousy ventilation; ancient, crumbling textbooks; ice-cold water in the sinks; and no nurses. Teachers would not be the ones bargaining for smaller class sizes and counselors in the buildings and green space and recess time. They would not be sharing photos of mold and mouse droppings in their buildings online. Or they would, but they’d have actual support from all the current scolds. They wouldn’t have to be superheroes; they could be human, grieving, depressed, struggling, messy, and mortal like the rest of us.”

That. All of that. Read the whole thing.

● New unemployment claims fell to 498,000, the lowest of the pandemic, but April jobs numbers were unexpectedly weak. It’s a mixed economic picture this week.

● How Chicago teachers won a safer reopening, reports Catherine Henderson.

● This old steel mill town is now a hub for green energy, writes Dharna Noor.

● Lauren Kaori Gurley continues doing exceptional reporting on the gig-and-tech economy: Amazon drivers are instructed to drive recklessly to meet delivery quotas.

● The MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL players unions are all supporting the PRO Act.

● United’s catering workers unionized. Now their jobs might be outsourced—after the airline took a government bailout. Reporting from Dave Jamieson.


Guillermo shared this video from the leek harvest in Ventura County. Workers spend 8 hours a day, 6 days a week kneeling on the cold muddy ground moving up and down the rows harvesting the crop. Leeks are labor intensive crop that requires skilled manual work. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/i1ykkWEy7z

— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) May 5, 2021

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