The Social Justice Unionism ItAG is an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of what social justice unionism is and how it can be adopted and embraced in our workplaces, as organized teachers within the PFT, as largely unorganized charter school teachers, and as members of other unions in the Philadelphia region. This ItAG will inform existing organizing and inspire new initiatives.
We will have 6 bi-weekly sessions centered on the Labor Notes book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers, which describes the work done by CORE in Chicago to transform the CTU (Copies of this book are available at a discount to iTAG members) and Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement, by Jane McAlevey and Bob Ostertag, which offers an insider’s detailed view of the work from an organizer’s perspective.
Session 1: Organizing around the issues. The political context of Chicago and how CORE built power through issue-based organizing across the city. (Mon 2/23 5:30-7pm)
Session 2: Running for office and winning. How CORE successfully ran a slate and won control of the CTU. (Mon 3/9 5:30-7pm)
Session 3: Assuming power, re-structuring the union, and re-framing alliances. How the new CTU leadership effectively assumed the reigns of power, re-configured the internal staff and leadership structure of the union, and re-positioned CTU as a central player in broad-based community alliances across the city. (Thurs 3/26 5:30-7pm)
Session 4: Articulating a vision, waging a contract campaign, and staging a strike. How the new CTU leadership systematically re-framed issues in an inclusive broad-based way to galvanize maximum support and buy-in during the contract campaign, which positioned the union to stage and win the strike. (Mon 4/6 5:30-7pm)
Session 5: Highs, lows, and next steps. What CTU won in the strike, what they did not win, and what the rest of us across the country can learn from their experience. (Mon 4/20 5:30-7pm)
Session 6: Wrapping up, reflecting, and action planning We will assess where we want to go from here, with the option to do more in-depth study or follow up. We will summarize some specific actions that grow out of our study. (Mon 5/4 5:30-7pm)
*Save the date:
Jane McAlevey will be speaking in Philadelphia
on Mon., May 18 (7-9pm) Place TBD
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