Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about the potential de facto shuttering of the National Labor Relations Board. I suggested that, while an effectively powerless NLRB might be very bad for unions in the short run, that institutional change could result in additional labor movement mobilization in response. Since President Obama made three new board appointments to replace the expiring recess appoints, the board is still up and running (for now), averting the specific scenario I suggested. But that same process is now transpiring in a different setting.
On Friday, the New York City school system made public highly controversial effectiveness ratings of some 18,000 teachers–with their names attached. Responses from teachers union members have been swift, strong, and voluminous, and the United Federation of Teachers is continuing to mobilize in opposition to Mayor Bloomberg and administrative proponents of the ratings (here’s a full page ad the union recently ran in the New York Post, Daily News, and Wall Street Journal). It remains to be seen if this recent loss turns into future wins for the union, but the potential for mobilization certainly seems to be swelling.