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What Teachers in Beirut Can Learn From Ohio Teachers Unions and the Fight Against SB 5

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

A Lebanese teacher demonstrates in Beirut during a national strike protest in 2011.

The president of Ohio's second largest teachers union is traveling to Beirut to explain what teachers there can learn from last year's successful campaign to repeal Ohio collective bargaining legislation.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper will speak about union and community organizing and, in particular, about the union's fight against SB 5, which would have sharply limited the power of Ohio public employee unions.

The OFT says the fight against SB 5 has lessons for Beirut teachers, who are currently in the midst of a weeks-long public strike.

Cropper is speaking at a session organized by Education International, an international federation of education employee unions.

The OFT says:

The workshop is intended to help members of the Teachers’ Syndicate of Lebanon develop an action plan for Education International to support newly emerging unions as they build capacity for mobilization to support economic and social justice and quality education.

Lebanese workers have hosted strikes recently to draw attention to their struggle to ensure decent living and working conditions for themselves, as well as quality public education for their students. This workshop will highlight the need for national authorities to understand that cutting spending in education and other public services, such as health, is a short-term view, and in no way the solution.

OFT spokesperson Lisa Zellner says the OFT is not paying for the trip.

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