AS A PART-TIMER, I had become more involved in my local’s actions and issues because a friend brought me to a union meeting. She is an old school organized labor wonk, and her invitation, offered years ago, put me in a strong position to apply to become an organizer in the CFT program called Political Leaders United to Create Change, or PLUCC. My local union applied for the shared grant-funded position and was awarded a grant.
In this position, I share ideas with other organizers, pooling information and insight on a shared agenda. That shared agenda is most exciting. We focus on basics like building membership, building awareness of the political responsibility of educators through COPE (Committee on Political Education), and unifying stakeholders in the education community through actions that extend beyond the local: for example, campaigning for elected officials and state legislation, and organizing around trustee races.
Through the PLUCC program, I have learned about campaigning, worked to build support for ballot initiatives, appealed to and informed elected officials, and, most exciting of all, organized with the ever more aware student element in our labor struggle. I have also nourished relationships with community advocacy groups like ACCE, which, along with a broader Anti-Swap Coalition, has aggressively acted to end a budget-draining interest rate swap the Peralta Community College District has with Morgan Stanley.
We part-timers often work side gigs in order to survive. As a part-timer in particular, PLUCC gives me financial support to work hard to change the priorities in education. What began as extra meetings in support of my local, the Peralta Federation of Teachers, has become an opportunity to supplement my income while serving a critical role in strengthening and protecting organized labor, education and students.
Part-timers as PLUCC Organizers
Galina Gerasimova San Francisco City College Federation of Teachers
Janell Hampton Peralta Federation of Teachers
Sadie Reynolds Cabrillo College Federation of Teachers