Archives For October 2012

Please help us by distributing our leaflet on the lessons of the Chicago teachers strike.  You can also let us know where you are distributing.

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

Like us on - Follow us on Twitter @MOREcaucusNYC  - Join MORE – Dues $10

Lessons from Chicago: The CTU strike shows we can fight and win!

When 26,000 teachers went out on strike in Chicago on September 10th they pointed
the way forward for all of us by showing that teacher unions can be mobilized to lead
the fight for educational and social justice.

What can we learn from the Chicago teachers’ Strike?

1) If you fight, you can win. In the current economic crisis, concessions have become the norm. While Chicago
teachers didn’t win everything they wanted, they won much more by striking than months of negotiations
would have ever produced. In New York City, teachers have been three years without a new contract.

2) The public is on our side. Despite the immense propaganda machine against teachers and teacher unions,
the vast majority of people in Chicago – particularly parents of children in public schools –supported the
teachers because they understood that this was a fight against privatization and union-busting and for public
education and social justice.

3) Union members must be organized. The CTU spent two years developing leadership and organization at
every school site which paid off during the strike.

4) Union democracy is essential. The rank and file members of the Chicago Teachers Union were engaged and
involved in decision making both in preparation for the strike and throughout the strike itself. It was a lesson in
union democracy from which we all have a lot to learn.

5) Social movement unionism is essential. The caucus that leads the Chicago Teachers Union, CORE, has been
fighting against school closures for years. While they haven’t always won those fights, they fought side by side
with the communities they serve to defend public education and demand the “The Schools Chicago’s Students
Deserve.” They fought not only for teacher rights, but air conditioners, smaller class sizes, and an enriched
We, in MORE, hope to learn these lessons so as to build a fighting teachers union movement in NYC
to fight for quality public education for all students.

Join us!

MORE was formed in 2012 by a diverse group of UFT members with long histories of activism. We are present and
former chapter leaders, delegates, as well as rank and file members who have just gotten involved in our union. If
you agree with our ideas please get involved! Join MORE and help us rebuild the union we all want and need. Join at Like us on Follow us on Twitter @MOREcaucusNYC.

Lessons from the Chicago Teachers’ Strike

A Public Forum


Saturday, October 20 at 3:30pm

The Silver School of Social Work at NYU

Room 411

1 Washington Square Park North

(A,B,C,D,E,F,M trains to W. 4th St.; N,R to 8th St.)

Featured Speakers:

Xian Barrett, member of the Chicago Teachers Union and the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE)

Julie Cavanagh, member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) and the United Federation of Teachers

What are the strategies teachers, parents, & students in Chicago have used to turn an attack against teachers into a broad fight for social justice?

Who is really behind “educational reform” & teacher- bashing efforts like the new movie Won’t Back Down?

How did a small group of ordinary teachers succeed 
in creating a movement to fight for the interests of 

Why do the Chicago teachers call the present educational system racist?

What can we learn from this struggle in New York?

For more on both speakers, please see:

Xian Barrett"Why I’m Striking" –

Video from SOS12: Teachers’ Unions, Teachers’ Rights, Teachers’ Voice:

Julie Cavanagh on MSNBC’s UP with Chris Hayes –

Sponsored by: MORE (Movement of Rank and File Educators) & the Radical Film and Lecture Series at NYU

Endorsed by (list in formation): Coalition for Public Education, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Independent Community of Educators (ICE), NYU International Socialist Organization (NYU-ISO), Labor for Palestine, New York City Labor against the War, OWS Labor Outreach Committee, New Jersey Teacher Activist Group (NJTAG), Labor Notes

For more information or to endorse the meeting, please contact nycctusolidarity

Lessons from Chicago citiwide flyer-3.pdf

The positive alternative leadership team was unanimously approved at our meeting this past Saturday.

Julie.Cavanagh.Headshot28fa2c8.jpegPresident: Julie Cavanagh is a UFT chapter leader who has been teaching in Red Hook, Brooklyn since 2001 and contributed extensively to the fight for public education. In 2009-2010 Julie, alongside a NYC parent and student, sued Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the right to protest school closings and charter schools, and later she joined with parents as the only teacher petitioner in a lawsuit to fight the appointment of then NYC Schools Chancellor Cathy Black. Since 2009 Julie has worked with various grassroots groups to organize protests and forums in an effort to educate and engage the public to challenge the corporate education reform movement and to promote real reform in our schools and communities. Much of this work can be seen in the film she co-narrated and co-produced, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. Her writings have been featured in the Huffington Post, Daily News, Labor Notes, and Public Sector Inc and she has appeared on MSNBC’s Up with Chris, Fox and Friends, and Inside City Hall.

Brian JonesSecretary: Brian Jones has taught elementary school grades for nine years, and has organized teachers and parents to challenge budget cuts, charter co-locations and high stakes standardized testing. Brian faced off against Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada on national TV, and co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. Historian Diane Ravitch has called his writing about public schools “brilliant.” Brian has contributed to several books on education, and to publications as diverse as and the New York Times.

Camille EternoTreasurer: Camille Eterno has been an English teacher in New York since 1996. In her second year as a teacher, she was elected to be chapter leader at the Queens Gateway to Health Sciences. As chapter leader, Camille won grievances that even the UFT leadership said were not winnable. She helped organize her chapter into an activist force that was a major presence at many union rallies. As a leader in the Independent Community of Educators, she was instrumental in the nearly successful battle against the giveback laden 2005 contract. Camille developed a well deserved reputation throughout Queens High Schools as a chapter leader who was not afraid to stand up to management when they wrongfully abused UFT members. She is currently serving in her third term as a teacher delegate from Humanities and the Arts High School in Queens.

Assistant Treasurer: Marissa Torres has been an elementary school teacher and a union activist since 2002. She taught ESL students in West Harlem where she served as Co-Chapter chair and organized teachers and parents to challenge budget cuts and co-locations. She now serves as a delegate for PS261 Brooklyn. She is committed to the fight for public education and is excited to be a part of a caucus that wants to build a broad social justice movement with parents, students, and teachers.

ImageWe will be discussing the upcoming UFT elections and voting on the top five positions of the slate. We will be discussing the upcoming UFT elections and voting on the top five positions of the slate. Bios of the candidates will be sent out by Thursday of this week.
We will also hold committee meetings as well as breakout sessions to tackle the work we face in the coming months.

Did you know 217 schools qualify for closing under the New York City Department of Education guidelines? 
We will hold breakout groups to launch our efforts to support, educate, organize and mobilize around this issue and MORE!

October 13th 12-3 pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave @ 34th St.
Rm. 5409.  Bring ID.

Email [email protected] to request childcare by 10/11

Download and circulate the following membership toolkit to your coworkers.

Want to host a house party or local happy hour?  Use this toolkit to organize those who come.