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Sam Bertocchi

Member At Large Elementary

What position are you running for in the WTU? Elementary at-large

If you are running on a slate, provide the name: Unity

What school(s) do you work at? Tubman ES

What is your current role at your school? ELS teacher

How many years have you worked for DCPS? 4

Describe your leadership experience, including what you have done in the WTU I’m currently the building representative at my school, a member of COPE and Vice President of the friends of Capitol view neighborhood library

Why are you running? (Max. 1000 characters) I’m running to work toward a member-driven union with an empowered, democratic rank-and-file. I believe we are stronger together, but our teachers have been disempowered. I want to push toward more meaningful engagement and reflecting on engagement to see if it actually achieved representation of members’ voices.

What is your vision for the union? (Max. 1000 characters) My vision is of a union where membership is in constant conversation with each other and leadership, and those conversations inform policy and priorities. I will work toward a union that is transparent and where every school feels heard and supported.

If elected, what are your top 3 priorities that you would focus on to achieve your vision for the WTU? (Max. 1000 characters) Empowering strong building reps through better training earlier, reviewing the budget with membership and listening sessions/engagement opportunities early and often around different contract articles.

What are your top 3 contract priorities for future negotiations? The overall umbrella is: our contract should actually provide protections in all of the discussed issues without loopholes that say the contract doesn’t have to be followed if the principal thinks it can’t. I see this most strongly in class size and leave policy. Additionally the grievance process is an area I would want to see refined and streamlined.

What is the strategy the WTU should take to achieve that vision? Organize, empower building reps, encourage connection between members.

If elected, what is your role in achieving that vision? Facilitating those conversations as appropriate, voting on issues in a manner that always acknowledges the authority of membership, collaborating with other board members as a model for the connection members should expect.

If elected, how do you see yourself working with caucuses like DC-CORE? As a member of DC-CORE, I see how the caucus has connected me to more members than I had been previously. I would want to continue that connection, but also hear from other caucuses as well. I believe multiple strong caucuses make for a strong union.

Do you believe that the WTU should organize and prepare to be "strike ready"? Yes

Sam Bertocchi
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