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Let’s Talk Our Next Contract: Building Member Voice & Power

Purpose: Hold 1-1 or small group discussions around the contract and gather that information in our survey (see below).

By getting members talking we will:

  1. Build trust and connections by getting to know each other.

  2. Learn what members care about to make our collective contract proposals.

  3. Build organizing and member power by using the data from our conversations to build up our comfort and ability to talk about the contract.

Discussion Steps

  1. Open the survey document (or have the questions ready below)

    1. Questions

      1. What brings you joy in the work you do with students?

      2. What sucks the life and joy out of working in our schools?

      3. What can we propose through bargaining that could increase the joy and reduce the stress in your work?

      4. What action should we, as a union, take to win a contract without going 3 years past expiration?

  2. Pick somebody to take notes for the group

  3. Ask the group the questions and give them time to discuss their ideas - this is a brainstorming phase, so nothing is off limits or too pie in the sky. Build off each others’ ideas, be honest, and listen to each other.

  4. See if the person you talked to would be willing to host their own small discussion with a colleague or two and fill out the form with more ideas.

  5. Make sure to fill out the form and submit it.

Prepare for the discussion

  1. Decide who to reach out to in your building/teacher networks

    1. See if you can reach a diverse audience at your school - Include related service providers, counselors, ESL teachers and more!

    2. If you have colleagues at other schools who might want to talk about the contract, consider reaching out to them for a virtual contract discussion.

    3. Who do you have a good relationship with?

  2. Decide when you will meet

    1. Before school?

    2. Lunch?

    3. Afterschool?

    4. Weekend?

  3. Decide where you will meet

    1. Somewhere at school?

    2. Virtual?

    3. Off site? Coffee shop? Bar?

Sample Text/Email

Hello _________________! I am working with DC-CORE and we want to know what you think should be in our next contract. Can you join me on _______ at ________ to talk for about 15-20 minutes on your thoughts?

If yes - set it up!

If no - That’s ok. If you have some time, please fill out this survey so we can know what you care about:

Possible FAQs

Why is DC-CORE doing this survey?

We are a caucus of WTU members who want to build member power. One tried and true strategy is to get our members talking to each other to make sure our voices are heard on the contract. We will use the results of the survey to push the WTU to listen to members about what we want in our next contract. Make sure to give us your email at the bottom of this survey if you want to be a part of this action.

Who is DC-CORE?

DC-CORE is a diverse group of anti-racist educators from all 8 wards. We are united by the belief that the Washington Teachers Union is in a unique position to create a public school system that better serves our educators, students and their families. Together we can effectively achieve fully funded public education by building a strong member driven union that organizes and empowers its members to fight for change in and outside of the classroom. Join us!

What is the status of the current contract?

The Council has the contract. They held a roundtable on Feb 1 and will likely be voted on it on Feb 7th. If it passes, DCPS will then have 30 days to deliver the funds.

Instagram: @dccoreunion

Twitter: @DC_CORE

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