Posted @withrepost • @unionize_yoga 🦄“Unions, by and large, are democratic organizations with freely chosen leaders and policies determined by the membership. They concern themselves with individual dignity not only in their aims but in their method.” - Robert Kennedy ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I often say that I am in the business of empowerment yet without a voice, I have allowed myself to become disempowered in my work. Back in the early 2000’s when I first trained to become a yoga teacher, trainees were expected to hang around the studio for “karma yoga” duties. This meant doing unpaid work like stacking backjacks, sweeping floors, taking inventory, etc. We now know that was illegal. We didn’t know it then because we didn’t have a voice or anyone advocating for us. Yogis-in-training were expected to assist senior teachers for free. We’d cross our fingers that hanging around the studio long enough would demonstrate our commitment and therefore put us in consideration for acquiring a coveted yoga class on the schedule. That class would either pay nothing or next to nothing. Which teachers scored new classes, why they were awarded those classes and how much they were being compensated has always been an enigma. Performance reviews were occasional, if at all and until recently organizing together we had no idea how much money our colleagues were making. Now that we are talking amongst ourselves, the inequities and illegalities that we’ve collectively put up with over the years are far too numerous list here. We are not magic fairies who can live off of prana and the kindness of our hearts. We are highly-trained professionals and we deserve to be treated and compensated as such. The majority of my yoga, pilates, fitness and therapeutic movement colleagues are highly-educated, with thousands of hours of training and teaching experience plus oodles of continuing education credits. Yet we are neither acknowledged nor compensated for our teaching seniority, nor our advanced degrees nor our specialized therapeutic skill sets. I see unionization as an exciting new way to grow collaboratively with our studio employers and I am proud to be part of this new framework to im
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