Now that the school year is fully under way, I wanted to take a moment to stop and focus on member driven caucuses. As you may or may not be aware, caucuses are a way for members who share some commonality to come together. Caucuses can work as a central place to advocate for needs, to organize around issues, and to help educate one another in similar fields. Caucuses can also be used as social gatherings to simply enjoy the company of others who share something in common. Caucuses can be built around your work as an educator (Counseling, SPED, New Hires, etc.) or on your larger interests (Social Justice, Conservative, etc.).
REA has had many caucuses come and go over the years and we currently have three caucuses that are getting off the ground anew: a SPED Caucus, a Library Caucus, and a BIPOC Caucus. REA leadership is hopeful that throughout this year, many more caucuses will sprout up. The three caucuses recently established have begun to hold initial meet-ups and are starting to make decisions on when and how often to meet. Next steps will be nominating and electing caucus leadership and building agendas for future work.
Why does REA want you to start/join a caucus?
REA has a vested interest in caucuses as they are designed to promote solidarity, organizing, and advocacy of members’ special interests. Additionally, we will be entering into bargaining our next contract in just over one year. As such, caucuses are an ideal way for members to inform and influence bargaining and what goes into REA’s proposal. Caucuses are arguably the most effective way of promoting issues you deem important and needed in future CBAs (Contract Bargaining Agreements). This is NOT because leadership is indifferent to individual concerns. We regularly take many, many of these concerns to our weekly Contract Bargaining meetings with the District. But it is often difficult to ascertain the difference between those ideas that are shared throughout a group (and should be bargained) and those that are personal in nature and not shared by other members in a similar position.
Click here to learn more about how to join or start a REA Caucus!