After a six-day strike by some 5,000 public school teachers and staffers in Seattle, the teachers union and school district officials reached an agreement allowing an estimated 53,000 students to return to school late last week.
On Tuesday, the World Socialist Web Site roundly criticized rank-and-file Seattle teachers union members for voting “to accept the sellout contract recommended by the union.”
In a nutshell, the self-proclaimed advocates for billions of workers say, the union “sought to keep the strike local and ineffective” and capitulated by accepting a contract that “includes a retreat on wage demands.”
About 3,000 of the 5,000 striking teachers and administrative personnel voted on the deal negotiated by the union. That’s a turnout of only 60 percent. Of the employees who bothered to vote, 83 percent of the teachers, 87 percent of assistance staff and 96 percent of secretaries and other staffers voted to approve the new contract.
The World Socialist Web Site spins this overwhelming approval as a growing dissident movement because approval was not 100 percent.
“The nearly one in five teachers who opposed the contract represent a growing opposition to the stagnant wages and declining living standards being imposed on educators as part of education ‘reform,'” socialist author David Brown proclaims.
Brown also maintains that housing prices in the Seattle area have increased dramatically in recent years. Yes, teachers have received raises, he admits, but these taxpayer-funded raises just haven’t been enough to keep up with the rising housing costs. (RELATED: Seattle Socialist Party Wants $20 Per Hour Minimum Wage, Offers $13 Per Hour For Website Manager)
In any case, the socialist site argues, the Seattle Education Association allowed its membership to be fleeced by bourgeoisie school district officials.
“The union has tried to cover over its capitulation on wages by promoting changes in the contract on standardized testing that are incapable of significantly changing the high-stakes testing environment in schools,” the World Socialist Web Site complains.
Comrades should not be fooled by talk of test scores and their now-diminished use in teacher evaluations, the socialist site warns.
“With no significant impact, these measures in the contract serve only as a cover for the union cave-in on wages. The nature of the contract is amply demonstrated by the union’s anti-democratic method of calling off the strike and sending its membership back to work — without a contract and before they had a chance to vote on it.”
Like most socialist websites, the World Socialist Web Site is long on 19th-century banalities about workers’ struggles and short on any explanation of ownership beyond declaring itself to be published by the International Committee of the Fourth International. A link provided to the Socialist Equality Party is malicious and infected, according to The Daily Caller’s Kapersky antivirus software.
There is nothing approaching a basic masthead.
On the other hand, the World Socialist Web Site boasts an online Marxist library.
Naturally, the World Socialist Web Site also features a webpage seeking donations. “Checks can be made payable to WSWS.” The address is “Socialist Equality Party” at a post office box in Oak Park, Mich.
“All transactions are carried out in US dollars” and the World Socialist Web Site uses the currency converter at Yahoo! Finance to handle foreign contributions.
Yahoo! is a large, publicly-traded multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. with a total market capitalization of $29.34 billion.
The Seattle teachers strike cost taxpaying residents over half a million dollars.