Interview with Ed Muzik

The interviewer, Ed Muzik, first asks Al Shanker to discuss his background. Shanker gives a brief biography and then goes into the organization of the AFT, citing the benefits of unionization to the teachers. In addition to concrete benefits such as wage increases and breaks from work, Shanker discusses the benefits of professionalization that unionizing gave teachers. Muzik then asks Shanker about the unionization of higher education professionals. Shanker challenges various concerns to organizing by higher education workers such as a feared loss of academic freedom. Finally Shanker discusses 'educare,' a notion he promotes that would provide education to people throughout their lives, not just during the typical schooling years. He argues to allow people to go back to school for retraining and further education, stating that this would help return them to the workforce so they could pay taxes instead of collect unemployment benefits. Muzik, a higher education professional from Wisconsin who recently joined AFT with his colleagues states his hopes that more higher education professionals will join and influence the direction of AFT in the long run.

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