WE organize. Organizing means building relationships to solve common problems. When we build relationships, we learn about each other’s values and priorities, strengths and challenges. We find out what the people in our schools need, and we work together to make it happen. When we organize, we become better connected and better informed. When we organize, we harness the power of millions of people (teachers, students, parents, citizens) who care about Philadelphia’s schools. When we organize, we build the power we need to make real change.
WE believe in democracy. We believe that we, the members, are the union. Our active participation is what makes our union strong. We believe that union leadership must listen and respond to members’ concerns and priorities. We believe in transparency. All members deserve access to information about how decisions are made and how union funds are spent. Philly’s schools belong to all of us, and we should all have a voice in the decisions that affect our school communities.
WE fight for justice. Our schools and our society are crippled by racial and economic injustice. Our students grow up in segregated neighborhoods, in poverty, in families burdened by inadequate healthcare and torn apart by the criminal justice system. The majority of our students are people of color, who face systemic racism, racial bias in school funding, and a disproportionately white teaching force. We fight for racial justice in our schools because we want to be able to promise our students a brighter future. We fight for schools where every student can feel safe and ready to learn, and every staff member can feel safe and ready to work, regardless of race, gender, immigration status, or sexual orientation.
WE fight for the schools Philly families deserve. Philly families deserve safe public schools that support our young people and challenge them to grow. In every school, students deserve caring, well-qualified adults who have time and support to collaborate, plan engaging lessons, and assess work carefully. Philly’s families deserve the robust funding, the safe and vibrant facilities, and the healthy school communities that the suburbs demand for their families.