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Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee

The ERFSC is a nation-wide network of educators, students, parents, and workers spearheading the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 through schools and workplaces and save lives.

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Statements of rank-and-file committees

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Frequently Asked Questions

Teachers march in Chicago, 2019 (WSWS photo)
Join the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee!

Contact us now to join the committee nearest you. If there is not already a committee in your area, we will help you get one started.

In the US, we now have rank-and-file committees of educators in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

Don't wait! COVID-19 has spiraled out of control, but thousands of lives can still be saved through urgent action.

Our Demands

Our demands are based not on what the corporations and the politicians claim is affordable but what is necessary to protect the lives and well-being of children, educators and the entire working class.

● For the immediate closure of all public, private and charter schools to stop the spread of COVID-19!

● Full funding for public education, internet access and online instruction!

● Full income protection to all parents and caregivers who stay home with their children!

● No loss of income for educators who choose to stay home!

● For free speech and the protection of whistleblowers!

● Halt all nonessential production!

Read our founding statement
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Essential Reading
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Frequently Asked Questions
What does the term “rank-and-file” mean and where does it come from?

“Rank-and-file” is originally a military term. It refers to the lower “ranks” of soldiers, who literally stand in lines or “files”. These soldiers have a different set of interests in preserving their lives than the officers or “brass” who prosecute the wars on behalf of the ruling elite.

Rank-and-file committees are of, by and for the rank-and-file workers, who have a different set of interests in preserving their lives than management, the bosses, the politicians, and the trade union apparatus, who send workers to die while defending the profits of the ruling elite.

Is it legal to build rank-and-file committees of educators and other workers to stop the spread of COVID-19?

Yes. The formation of rank-and-file committees is 100% completely legal under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

The right to freedom of speech means you can say whatever you like about what you agree or disagree with. Freedom of association, also covered under the first amendment, means you have the right to associate with others who share your views, for political ends. You also have the right to petition the government for redress, to make demands on the government and tell them what you want them to do.

Does HIPAA law prevent schools or workplaces from disclosing information about the spread of COVID-19?

No. HIPAA has an exception for disclosures to prevent and control the spread of disease, but the state is deliberately not invoking this exception in order to conceal information from workers, so that they can pretend that what they are doing is safe when it’s not.

Rank-and-file educators have the right to know who’s gotten sick, where, when, and what happened. Rank-and-file committees have to demand this information, and have to share it with other workers as a matter of collective self defense.