Timeline of Origins and Actions of DC-CORE
The Origins of DC-CORE.
The DC Caucus of Rank and File Educators began in the summer of 2020 as a discussion amongst members who wanted the WTU to organize the members to take more direct actions in response to DCPS statements on reopening school buildings in a pandemic.
Summer - Fall of 2020
Organizing and Taking Action
As DCPS made plans to fully reopen with few to no health considerations. WTU Members - many of whom became DC-CORE founders - stepped up and planned a series of actions.
WTU Members - many who are now a part of DC-CORE - organize multiple car caravans across all 8 wards going to schools and the homes of council members, the DCPS Chancellor and the Mayor.
Sending messages of positivity, concern and remaining questions we visited schools around the District to make sure our message was clear: Only When Its Safe!
Asking for anonymous stories from educators across the District, a wall of stories was created and brought to the DC-Council to make sure our voices were heard.
Educators bravely spoke truth to power about our concerns returning to in person instruction at the height of the pandemic.
DCPS leadership was not listening to our concerns, intent on reopening in August of 2020 with almost no mitigation strategies. Frustrated with the callous lack of care for our lives, educators displayed body bags outside of DCPS Central Office.
Educators planned and executed an outdoor classroom outside the Wilson Building to demonstrate how difficult it would be to teach in the middle of a pandemic
While many wanted to go back to in person, showing how different it would be was important.
Teachers gathered outside of Noyes ES to conduct a model lesson which was turned in to a video for display.
In 2020 there was not enough guidance on social distancing, masking and more, making it hard to know how we would keep our students safe.
Fall of 2020
Using Democracy to push the WTU to further take action.
Knowing it would take a united membership voice to convince union leaders that a labor action was necessary and would be successful, WTU members planned and then pushed for emergency membership meetings where a "Sick Day" was proposed.
Winter of 2020-2021
Challenges and Pushback
After a highly successful sick out, where over 70% of educators reported participating, that resulted in a delay to in person learning for Term 2, educators began to plan again for further action to fight for no educator returning before they were vaccinated. But some in elected union leadership allowed their fear of DCPS reprisals to undermine those efforts.
Spring - Summer of 2021
Building Together for a Stronger Union
Disappointed in the undermining of union members' actions, we increased our efforts to organize DC-CORE. We held weekly meetings, worked with organizers, engaged in 1-1 conversations with fellow members, and built the caucus in earnest. From book clubs to building this website, our members decided on our principles, bylaws, leadership and learned how to make decisions together.
School Year 2021-2022
Reforming our union for a brighter future
After hosting an official launch picnic in August, we are off and running! Our committees continue to meet and plan member-led actions and engage in organizing. Now we are getting to work around our principles and beliefs for a stronger Democratic Union. Join us!