Platform: A Democratic Union for All
Why are we running?
For nine days in 2018, we experienced the power that comes from standing up together and speaking up for our jobs, students, and communities. We saw teachers, service personnel, public employees, and community members come together to demand something better for West Virginia. We believe that unity is the foundation of a strong union.
Why are we running as a group?
A union is ALL of us--not just one person. In a similar way, our platform is about a shared vision for WVEA. We’re running as a group because we know it will take ALL of us to make the vision a reality.
Build power: The members are the union, and we will look to the union for power in dealing with school, county, and state issues. Our union will only be as strong as our local associations. We will spend time in locals--listening to local issues, helping them to win fights, offering training opportunities specific to their needs, and building power.
Partner with other unions and community groups: The 2018 strike taught us that power comes from numbers. We will work to expand existing coalitions, and forge new partnerships with others fighting for strong public schools. Our strength lies in all of us continuing to communicate and support each other.
Create new opportunities for involvement and develop new leaders: Member participation is key to a strong union, but members can only participate when they are made aware of ways to get involved. A thriving union needs more leaders, not fewer, and we will work to expand and democratize training opportunities so new leaders can grow.
Modernize communication and share information widely: We will use all available tools to increase communication--including videoconferencing, online voting/polling, and social media to connect members with each other. We will make WVEA’s constitution and bylaws easily accessible to members, and will release reports from meetings in a timely manner, with opportunities for immediate feedback. We are our own best teachers, and therefore local victories (and lessons from defeats) should be shared with all members.
Organize for progressive taxation and fight tax cuts: We will oppose any tax cuts that takes revenue away from public schools and gives it to corporations, and we will organize for revenue from sources that don’t hurt working families (i.e. raising the natural gas severance tax, raising the corporate net income tax, instituting a wealth tax, etc). Progressive taxation is the basis for healthy public schools.
Use WVEA’s political power to fight for things that strengthen our members and schools: We will work to take power away from the legislature and give it to our members by organizing for collective bargaining (with the hard-earned employee rights in state code as a starting place) and a permanent funding solution for PEIA.
Fight school and PEIA budget cuts due to COVID-19: We will adamantly oppose any cuts to school or PEIA funding. Our schools in WV are already lacking funding; they certainly cannot afford more cuts. We will form coalitions between parents, students, and other education groups to organize thousands of people to oppose funding cuts.