Apr 17, 2014
Teachers at Kaplan International Centers, who teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and are members of TNG-CWA Local 31003, voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to ratify a first contract that would provide raises, workplace protections and a voice on the job.
The teachers joined the Newspaper Guild of New York in June 2012 and are among a small handful of teachers in for-profit education who have union representation.
"By banding together to form a union and taking bold steps to fight for a first contract that provides basic workplace protections, these teachers, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s, are an inspiration to their generation," said TNG-CWA Local 31001 President Bill O'Meara. "These are educated workers who knew they deserved more than they were getting and knew they needed a union to get it."
The two-year contract includes a wage increase, access to a matching 401(k) plan, job security protections and more. It also would make some part-time teachers eligible for benefits for the first time.
"I am proud that my colleagues voted to ratify this contract, and for their actions over the past two years demanding that Kaplan provide basic fairness to teachers," said Emily Lessem, a teacher who chairs the Guild unit at the school. "While this contract is far from perfect, it will provide job protections and benefits and have a powerful impact on Kaplan teachers in New York City and across the country."