Here's a list of books for a teacher or service personnel employee who wants to strengthen and grow his or her union:
For when you want to be inspired...
55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers' Strike - Edited by Elizabeth Catte, Emily Hilliard, and Jessica Salfia
Read first-hand accounts from teachers who were part of the strike. Many WV United Caucus members contributed chapters to this book.
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Learn the backstory on the 2018 WV teacher and service personnel strike, and see how that strike helped lead to the walkouts in Oklahoma and Arizona. What conditions brought about the strikes, and what do the strikes mean for the future?
Strike for the Common Good: Fighting for the Future of Public Education Edited by Rebecca Kolins Givan and Amy Schrager Lang
Read essays from teachers involved in many of the strikes of the last few years, including WV United's Nicole McCormick, and learn about the longstanding assault on public education. Also, think about what the strike wave means for the future of public education.
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Strike for America by Micah Uetricht
Read about the Chicago Teachers' Strike of 2012 and how CORE (Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators) helped rebuild their union. Chicago teachers fought one of the first battles in the war against austerity and the neoliberal efforts to privatize our public schools.
For when you want to learn organizing skills...
Yes, the Chicago teachers helped change everyone's idea of what a union could be. But HOW did they do it? Learn the steps they took to transform their union and fight for the schools that their students deserve.
Secrets of a Successful Organizer by Alexandra Bradbury, Mark Brenner, and Jane Slaughter
Organizing is a skill that anyone can learn to do well. Like any skill, it takes practice! This book helps break organizing down into easy to understand ideas and steps that, if followed, can make anyone a successful organizer.
No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane McAlevey
Why are unions in America so much weaker than they were 50-60 years ago? What is the real difference between mobilizing and organizing, and why is organizing to build power our only way forward? See examples of what real organizing looks like, and how to regain the power that unions have lost over the years.
For when you want to learn how think about unions and what makes them strong...
Democracy is Power: Rebuilding Unions from the Bottom Up by Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle
What does it mean to truly be a "democratic" union? (Hint: it means MORE than just having elections). If you want to build a powerful, democratic union this book is a great place to start. Highly recommended for local or state union leadership.
What makes teachers' unions different from other unions? Instead of just focusing on improving pay and benefits, how can teachers' unions take on a broader vision rooted in social justice? Lois Weiner looks at the past of teachers' unions and points toward their potential in the future.