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Dear Fellow Labor Notes Supporter,

As a middle school reading teacher of 12 years in Chicago, I’m proud to work in a life-changing position, responsible for the literacy growth of more than 90 students. 

But there’s another side of being a Chicago Public Schools teacher that I don’t love—every year, new budget cuts hit the teachers, sports, and enrichment programs that make school fun. Even with a contract, we’re vulnerable to layoffs, school closings, and forced furlough days.

That’s why I am glad to have the Chicago Teachers Union standing with me—and Labor Notes on my side.   
   
Please donate to sustain Labor Notes today!

Over the years Labor Notes has been a crucial resource—encouraging us, providing conferences and workshops, helping develop the strategies we needed to unify members and attract community support. With their help, this year we built enough power to avert a second major strike October 11, winning a tentative deal literally at the midnight deadline.

During times of tribulation, I was so grateful for Labor Notes. It gave me an outlet to see how other activists were overcoming the same kinds of challenges. I got the chance to speak with people from other unions who had gone through struggles like mine and won.

At our “turnaround school,” everyone had been fired and had to reapply for their jobs. I had to convince new staff why it was imperative to know their rights and to stand up for them. One right that was being violated was our time—the principal was making us work 15 minutes later than our contract required, every day. Ultimately we won a grievance and each teacher was paid back about $2,000 for the time we were owed.

After that I felt I could accomplish anything—with the Chicago Teachers Union and Labor Notes standing behind me.

The newest Labor Notes book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer, is packed with even more stories like mine. Thanks to your grassroots support, it’s now being translated into Spanish, offering a much-needed resource that any workplace activist can relate to.

This is why I am asking you to donate to Labor Notes today. When you’re bogged down with the sweat of greedy bureaucrats who want more and more of your time and earnings, this organization is a breath of fresh air.

At the Chicago Troublemakers School I shared a poem I wrote to encourage people not to be afraid to strike for their rights. It concludes:

More than twenty-five thousand strong
In a sea of red is where we belong
Shouting, dancing, walking, joining
Laughing, celebrating, and conquering
So I know we will win the fight
When we are proud enough!

In solidarity,

Andrea Parker
Middle school English Language Arts teacher and Chicago Teachers Union district supervisor 

     

Photos: Jim West/jimwestphoto.com
 

 

 

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