Eric Blanc – Formally a high school teacher in the Bay Area, Eric currently writes for Jacobin Magazine and has been crisscrossing the country to cover the latest teachers strikes that have rocked the US from West Virginia to Washington. Eric provides updates and analysis on the teacher movement highlighted in his upcoming book, Red State Revolt.
Stacy Davis Gates – As a former high school history teacher and political director of the Chicago Teachers Union, Stacy brings a deep understanding of our historical and political landscape to her new position as CTU’s Vice President. She discusses the political situation and teaching conditions in Illinois and what potential there is for state-wide action.
Michelle Gunderson moderates the discussion. She is a first grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools and Co-Chair of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE).
Sponsored by: The Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE), In These Times Magazine, The Chicago DSA Labor Working Group, Jacobin Magazine
00:00 – Welcome and Introduction, Michelle Gunderson and Eric Blanc
01:46 – What did you think when you saw WV teachers were going on strike?
04:43 – How do we identify leaders among striking teachers?
08:41 – Chicago teacher Rebecca Garelli went to Arizona, saw how teachers were treated and began organizing for the strike.
11:10 – Stacy Davis Gates, VP of CTU, is introduced. How do you get a whole state full of teachers to walk out?
14:27 – When will all of Illinois teachers go on strike? On what issues?
18:16 – How do you go from the beginning of the idea to an actual strike happening?
23:11 – How did the April 1 2016 one day CTU strike happen?
28:34 – What sort of especially smart thing have you seen teachers do to gain worker power?
40:20 – Audience Q&A – How did the strike expand the political consciousness of the striking teachers?
44:53 – What role do people of color have in a Chicago teacher strike?
52:45 – Stacy Davis Gates on Charter Schools