You will need
For this organizing conversation, organizers will need:
The membership list for their school/family of schools/zone including work site, name, personal phone and email address
A copy of the Summary of Bargaining Proposals for Step 2
A copy of the “Preparing to Strike is Necessary to Win” flyer for Step 5
Ideally to know which members have not yet signed Form E (tracked on chart)
“Count me in” t-shirts to hand-out to members who commit to vote yes in the strike vote
Purpose: introduce yourself, set the context for the conversation
Hi my name is _____! I’m a [member organizer]. Have you seen the latest bargaining update about union contract negotiations?
2. Issues & Agitation
Purpose: what are the 1-2 issues that they want to win in negotiations, that they can only win as a union.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. DO NOT SKIP.
Use the Summary of Bargaining Proposals as a hand-out during this 2nd step.
This is going to be a very difficult round of negotiations with a majority Progressive Conservative government that wants to spend as little as possible on workers and public education.
You and your coworkers have proposed a real wage increase, better job security and improvements to working conditions. Meanwhile the government and council of trustee associations is proposing less than a $20/week wage increase when cost of living is going up way more than that, elimination of your job security, and cuts to your short-term disability plan.
How have zero and 1% wage increases impacted you? How worried are you that inflation is 8% and you have already had at least an 11% pay cut in the last decade?
How would ongoing threats to your job security impact you?
What do you want to improve most about your job?
3. Vision & Education
Purpose: communicate the ‘plan to win’ directly connected to the issues they have raised: the only way they can win is if all education workers are ready to strike if necessary
The first step to winning was to sign a letter to the next premier. The next step is for you to vote yes in the strike vote when the negotiating committee announces the vote in September and be ready not to report to work and to participate in a strike if necessary. When you and all of your coworkers are ready to strike, it will give you the power to win [insert their issue].
4. Call the Question
Purpose: Ask them if they are prepared to take action to win on the issues they identified as most important in step two and vote yes in the strike vote).**
Are you ready to fight for [talk about their issue, e.g. a real wage increase] and vote yes in the strike vote?
If they say yes, ask them to sign Form E – Application for Strike Pay and explain to them that to be eligible for strike pay they will need to have signed Form E and picket 20 hours a week. Give them more information about when the central strike vote will be held and ask them to check their email for the ballot to vote.
Confirm their PERSONAL email address and write it on your list – electronic strike vote ballots will be sent to personal email addresses.
[If they say no or unsure, go back to Step #2 and return to their issues identified in Step #2, e.g. ask them if they are prepared to accept concessions on sick leave and job security and to have their wages fall further behind; tell them the truth about what it will take to win: it isn’t possible to win the changes you want to see to your job without your active participation – the only way to win a real wage increase and job security is with worker power – that means you and all of your coworkers ready to strike if necessary]
Purpose: Ask them how the government will respond to workers building power and discuss how interest arbitration will not win real wage increases, job security or increases to staffing levels.
What do you think this government will do when they see that you and your coworkers are getting ready to strike?
They might try to change the rules and limit our right to strike or legislate terms of our contract like they did in 2019 when they legislated a 1% wage cap. They might also try to scare you from striking.
The thing is, we know that arbitrators won’t give us real wage increases or the kinds of improvements you need to job security and staffing. The only way to win those changes is at the bargaining table and with the power of workers standing together to say enough is enough.
Here is some more information about why preparing to strike is necessary to win: give the worker the 1 page handout.
6. Work, Assignment
Purpose: Make a plan with them to speak with every coworker in their school or family of schools about why it’s important to vote yes in the strike vote; ask them to join the strike committee or become a picket captain if your local needs to recruit more
Which of your coworkers can you call to talk about why it is so important to vote yes in the strike vote? [Mark the worker’s name on the chart for the coworkers they will talk with and make a plan to follow up]
Will you join the strike committee? Become a picket captain? The only way to win a real increase and job security is with worker power – this also means we need a strike committee and [insert the number for your local] of picket captains.