July 11, 2011
Around Town By Neal Tepel
New York City based teachers of English as a second language at the Washington Post’s educational subsidiary, Kaplan Inc., voted in favor of representation by the Newspaper Guild of New York.
The teachers, based at the three Manhattan facilities of Kaplan International Centers, voted for the Guild by a 2-1 margin, despite an intense anti-union campaign.
“These are professional employees, many with masters degrees, who are paid at an assortment of illogical hourly rates as low as the $7.25 federal minimum wage,” said Guild President Bill O’Meara. “They know they should be treated better and they deserve a lot of credit for maintaining their focus through Kaplan’s incredibly intense campaign.”
The National Labor Relations Board, will be certifying the Guild as the bargaining agent for the 95 teachers. No other Kaplan teachers in the United States are union-represented. “This is of course a great day for teachers at Kaplan,” said Kaplan teacher Danny Valdes. “But I hope that this shows teachers that we can increase standards industry-wide by coming together to organize.”
Kaplan Inc., with $2.5 billion in revenues last year, was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan and provides professional training courses around the world. The Newspaper Guild of New York, CWA Local 31003 represents more than 2,800 employees.