Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time to galvanize our gains!

Teachers, we are elated that more and more are now coming out to add their voices to this struggle. We are delighted that many of you, our fellow teachers from different districts have now decided that the only right way to move forward is to stand up and assert our rights.

We congratulate all the teachers who found their strength and now are determined to push back. We congratulate those who have elevated this struggle from a battle for personal gains to a battle for principled justice. Let us remember that we are not only fighting for what we can gain personally but we are fighting so that Lulu Navarro, Mel Villarba, Universal Placement and PARS will be stopped from victimizing more Filipinos.

Now that our efforts are gathering steam and moving forward, it is time to galvanize our gains. It is time to build our organization. This blog is joining the efforts to organize our ranks so our shield is stronger and our swords are sharper.

Organizing ourselves does not only mean that we move together. But more so, it means that we move together with shared ideals and shared dreams. We dream of a system where migrant workers like us are treated as human beings with rights. We envision a system where no Lulus or Mels are getting rich at the expense of others.

We are now standing by a crossroad. We are now in a situation where we have to decide if we are going to go on fighting for our families OR just sit in a corner and whine. This will be decision between having more families victimized OR preventing this horrible experience from happening to others. This will be a choice between the path to apathy and indifference OR the path to cooperation and action.

Mabuhay ang migranteng mga guro at manggagawa!

-Gurong Sulong

We would like to feature some news stories:

Shreveport's Filipino teachers to stay

Three Filipino teachers who faced deportation received word of visa approvals, Caddo Parish school officials announced Friday.

However, about 20 Filipino teachers in the district are still awaiting word on whether they will be able to stay in the country.

In total, about 43 teachers from the Philippines found themselves possibly leaving the United States after paperwork from Universal Placement, the company that recruited them, sent the school district paperwork with a hodgepodge of problems. Some paperwork was missing and either the deadline for filing other paperwork was not met or had the wrong information.

(Read complete story)

200 Filipino Teachers in Louisiana Bilked of Excessive Recruiting Fees, Complaint Alleges

A Filipino recruiter had been charged before the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Louisiana Attorney General’s office in Baton Rouge Wednesday (Oct. 28) with cheating 200 Filipino teachers thousands of dollars in recruiting fees and held them in virtual servitude for keeping their visas, according to Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The recruiter had been convicted and jailed for money laundering in California and convicted of the same offense in New Jersey.

“The alleged behavior of this recruiter and the treatment of these teachers are quite frankly disgusting and an affront to basic American values,” Mr. Monaghan told a press conference as he announced the filing of the charges by the LFT and the American Federation of Teachers against Lourdes “Lulu” or “Linda” S. Navarro of the Universal Placement International Inc., which has offices in Los Angeles, California, and Quezon City in the Philippines.

Les Landon, LFT director of public relations, provided this news agency a copy of the seven-page complaint filed by Dan McNeil, the lawyer working on the case for AFT.

(Read complete story)