MORE Reading Series: How to Jump-Start Your Union

“How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers”

“How to Jump-Start Your Union” is specifically about a teacher’s union, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) whose leadership, like ours, had little connection to members on a workplace level, and was unresponsive to their concerns.

We will be reading Chapters 1 – 5. They lay out how an organization of rank and file members, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) was able to build bases of member support in the district’s schools, which allowed that organization to win a citywide election and become the union’s leadership.

As leaders of the CTU, CORE has been able to achieve much more than MORE, which remains only an organization of UFT members.  Using the resources of union leadership has enabled CORE to win many gains for teachers and students by organizing members for many tactics, including strikes.

In many schools where MORE members work, the chapters are weak.  CORE also faced this problem.  Their experiences can help us address these questions: how can we strengthen our chapters?  How can we establish ourselves as leaders, both informal and formal, in our chapter? How can we develop other leaders so we are not overwhelmed with all the work?  

MORE needs members in more schools, and to build a deeper and wider base in NYC schools.  This book can help us get ideas how to do this, by seeing how CORE did both successfully.  A layer of leaders recognized as such by the members of their schools, and a wider and stronger base, would enable MORE to do more organizing to win gains for staff and students. It would also promote a “virtuous cycle” of further growth of MORE. 

The book can be purchased from Labor Notes for $15

Session 1 will be Thursday, July 16, 2 p.m.  It will cover the following;
Chapter 1, “Why This Book and How to Use It,” Chapter 2 “What They Were Up Against,” Chapter 3 “The Rank and File Start Doing the Union’s Job.” (Total: 24 pages).

To sign up for the study group, and receive a study guide of questions, register for the first session using this link:

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