WV United Goes Public
After months of planning and collaborating with fellow educators across the country, rank-and-file members of AFT-WV and WVEA have announced the formation of a joint-union caucus on Friday, September 14th.
In the weeks after the walkouts had concluded, members of the steering committee - many of whom found one another through these direct action tactics and the WV Public Employees UNITED page - realized that a caucus within both unions would be the best path moving forward to continue the fight for quality public education.
Over the Spring, members of the steering committee helped spread the fire of revolution in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky through online trainings, phone conversations, and conferences aimed at continuing the struggle that began here in West Virginia. The idea was that if Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky could be successful in their statewide actions, then it would show the legitimacy of such tactics, instead of the traditional lobbying tactics that many members had come to know. Indeed, the subsequent statewide walkouts across the country proved that rank-and-file direct action can generate greater member interest in union activities while winning tangible goals (e.g., increased funding for public schools, higher wages for educators and support staff, halts on changes to insurance premiums).
During the Summer, the steering committee worked with one another to host trainings and collaborate amongst themselves and educators around the world to create "WV United." The title - WV United - is both an homage to the walkouts as well as a symbolic name, signifying that success comes from unity.
WV United steering committee members are excited about the formation of this caucus and hope to work with union members to create opportunities for rank-and-file educators across the state to engage in successful campaigns that will provide educators with better salaries, quality healthcare at affordable rates, and w
ork within communities to break down divides between union activity and the functioning of community schools themselves.
To quote the immortal words of Ralph Chaplin:
When the union's inspiration through the worker's blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
But the union makes us strong!
The Steering Committee of WV United