DC-CORE taking action to build a more democratic union
Upcoming opportunities to build a more active and democratic union:
Tuesday, December 13th at 4:30 PM: WTU Membership Meeting via Zoom. DC-CORE Members will be presenting the resolution that we passed at the DC-CORE General Body meeting last week (see below). WTU wants us to register to attend in advance and we will need at least 150 present to vote.
Thursday, December 15th at 5:30 PM: DC-CORE Communications Committee Meeting via Zoom. Join the communications committee in creating content for social media and the website that can educate and activate our members. Text of the resolution:
Non-Binding Resolution for the Upcoming Contract Negotiations Passed by the DC Caucus of Rank and File Educators (DC-CORE) on 12/8/2022
The contract between the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) and DC Public Schools (DCPS) working conditions have remained largely unchanged since 2009 and includes outdated and ambiguous language;
Building a strong and democratic union that respects and includes members (teaching and non teaching) in decision making creates stronger bargaining proposals;
Increasing WTU membership engagement and ownership over our contract to build member power and organizing will strengthen the WTU’s bargaining position;
DC Public Schools does not negotiate in good faith and needs to be held accountable for their practices.
RESOLVED, The Members of the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) call on the WTU President and Executive Board to carry out the following for the upcoming contract negotiations in 2023 to build transparency, democracy, and union power:
Starting in January 2023 put together and publicize a timeline and process for contract proposals and feedback from membership that includes:
Getting regular feedback from Building Reps on “hot topics”
District-wide area Meetings (led by Area Vice Presidents and other leaders) around specific areas of the contract to solicit and create specific contract language changes
Work with members to create a report that details the major contract priorities and proposals before negotiations begin through a robust and open process that involves all interested members in drafting proposals led by the elected Area Vice Presidents and additional designees as needed.
Groups are advised to use principles from Bargaining for the Common Good to engage our own members, fellow DCPS unions, parents, students and the community in coming up with our contract priorities.
Ideas include: Coming up with topics for Building Reps to discuss and get feedback on to give back to the WTU, who will work with the organizing committee to compile and report top issues.
Have the WTU Membership vote to approve the report and release the report publicly to the press and engage the WTU Membership and broader school community further in disseminating and discussing the report.
Set up Contract Action Teams (CATs) at each school to communicate contract engagement opportunities and solicit contract priorities and ideas, as well as get feedback on existing contract ideas.
Conduct a full debrief on how negotiations have gone in the past - hear from members of the negotiations teams past and present and hear from their experiences.
Have future negotiations team, chief negotiator take intensive formal training on negotiations
Ensure that the negotiations team covers a broad range of areas, including all of the executive board should be represented in negotiations and include groups whose interests have been historically underrepresented in the contract:
English Language Learner Teachers
Related Service Providers (SLP, Physical Therapist, Social Worker)
Early Childhood Educators
Refuse to sign any ground rules agreement with DCPS that would prevent the WTU contract negotiating team from sharing detailed discussions, written language and other non-compensation items with the WTU membership on a regular basis throughout negotiations. WTU should push DCPS to allow for open negotiations and/or having observers for part or all of the contract negotiations.
Publicize the ground rules to membership.
Share detailed reports after each negotiation session on the progress of negotiations with the WTU Executive Board and Representative Assembly to be disseminated to members for regular feedback to monitor how it aligns with the wishes of members from the building rep led meetings Empower the organizing committee to work with the school based CATs to create and execute an escalating campaign directed at strong labor actions alongside our school communities to take place before the contract expires to pressure DCPS to sign a new contract without going past the deadline.
If Negotiations go over the expiration
Prepare for, signal to DCPS and execute major labor actions approved by the WTU Governing bodies to fight for a fair and timely contract.
Contract Negotiations Resources:
Open Bargaining: https://www.labornotes.org/2016/02/seven-steps-opening-bargaining
Organizing For Contracts: https://www.spfe28.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Power-of-Community.pdf
Contract Action Teams: https://utla.net/app/uploads/2022/07/Contract-Action-Team-handout_7-20-2017v1.1-1.pdf
DC Caucus of Rank and File Educators