Carmen Workers Collective

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Carmen Workers Collective

Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We are the nearly two hundred teachers and professional staff at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology, spread out over six schools located in Milwaukee, WI.

We are committed to providing the highest educational standards that will allow our students to grow and thrive both before and after graduation from Carmen schools.

We are seeking to bargain collectively with Carmen Administration in a spirit of mutual benefit and trust. We are concerned about the impact of serious workplace issues that can impede teachers’ ability to meet the high educational standards that Carmen students deserve.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a union?

A union is an organization of workers united around common demands. Workers are stronger together.  Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace.  The employer can no longer dictate these things. A labor union’s most public role is to collectively bargain a contract between the employer and employees on the terms of employment.

What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a process in which a group of workers – a bargaining unit – negotiate a contract with their employer to determine the terms of employment. These terms then apply to everyone within the bargaining unit in order to negotiate a contract that is as fair as possible for everyone. Every year, millions of America’s workers negotiate or renegotiate their bargained contracts.

Like any other contract, it can be enforced by law. A Union Contract is a reflection of the power of the workers and their willingness to fight in a workplace at a given time. 

What can union members bargain with their employers over?

By law, employers are required to bargain over “wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.”  This includes:

  • Wages
  • Health and safety procedures
  • Discipline and grievance procedure
  • Arbitration
  • Seniority


Fringe benefits are also negotiable.  This might include:

  • Vacation
  • Holidays
  • Pensions
  • Health Insurance
  • Sick Time
  • Severance Pay

How does collective bargaining work?

After the Union is certified, one of the first things that happens is that all the workers will fill out a bargaining survey to identify issues and problems they would like to see addressed during negotiations.  A negotiating committee is elected by the workers who will then work with an IAM Business Representative to start contract negotiations.  Once a “tentative agreement” is reached, the workers will vote on whether to accept or reject the contract offer.

Why do teachers at Carmen want to form a union?

A union will empower teachers and staff to work with Carmen leadership to create a school that works in the best interests of all stakeholders, from students and families to staff and administrators. We want to provide input on decisions that affect our schools and the students we serve. We want to create schools and classrooms that are healthy spaces for everyone and the chance to participate in determining our future at Carmen.

We can use collective bargaining to fight for:

  • Livable wages consistent with assigned work
  • Sustainable work schedules that promote a healthy work-life balance
  • Affordable healthcare
  • Equitable hiring practices, and due process and job security
  • School policies that promote equity for staff, students, and families
  • A dedicated space for social justice organizing and community partnerships

News and Updates

You Made It Happen
You Made It Happen

You Made It Happen! Our union election will be held.We have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a secret ballot election. We reached this significant milestone because of your effort and care for your fellow workers. You had the courage...

Press Release – Carmen Workers Collective 1-12-22
Press Release – Carmen Workers Collective 1-12-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Workers at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology File for a Union ElectionMilwaukee, Jan. 12, 2022 -The Carmen Workers Collective is excited to announce that they have taken the next step in the process to be represented by the International...

Press Release – Carmen Workers Collective 1-5-22
Press Release – Carmen Workers Collective 1-5-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Teachers at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology Announce Organizing Campaign to Join the IAMAW Milwaukee, Jan. 5, 2022 - Today the teachers at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology are announcing their intent to unionize with the...