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  • Cesar Chavez Charter DC School Teachers On Union Election: 'We're Fully Unified On This' - 06-02-17
    Print Icon Jun 01, 2017

    By Doug Cunningham

    [Christian Herr]: "We are fully unified on this. We're extremely confident and we have a really, really solid group of people.

    I'm thrilled with what we're doing. I'm thrilled with the support that AFT's given us.

    And we're not the first charter school to do this, we're not the first charter school in DC to try. We will be the first charter school to succeed."

    Cesar Chavez charter school teacher Christian Herr.

    Herr says the main overriding issue for teachers seeking affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers is staff turnover.

    Other top issues for teachers about to have a union election at this Washington DC charter school are job security, and lack of a grievance process. The teachers want a strong voice on the job and a seat at the table on major decisions on curriculum and a range of other education issues.

    Herr says these teachers built a strong pro-union base in two years of organizing and he said the key is they started acting like a union before getting to the union election that's coming soon.

    [Christian Herr]: "There's teachers in similar systems to ours that are thinking about doing the same thing.

    The number one step and the first thing you gotta do is start acting like a union if you're not already. Start supporting each other. look out for each other, build those interpersonal connections with your colleagues.

    If you get to that point where you're already supporting each other, makin' the jump to a union is not nearly as big a jump."

    Teachers at Cesar Chavez charter school in DC filed their NLRB union election petition Tuesday.

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