As we come back from the break that (I hope) allowed us to recover after last semester’s intensity, I think it’s important for us as a union to reconnect to that feeling we had in mid-October–especially the Friday the strike ended. Those last couple of hours, when we knew, we could feel in our bones that it was almost over, were as powerful as anything I’ve ever been part of.
Among many important realizations I’ve come to as I’ve been able to think carefully about the strike, here’s the one I want to highlight the most given the turbulent political scene we’re walking back into–
During the strike, I heard virtually nobody say, “The union needs to _____.” Instead, I heard dozens of people ask, “How can I help?”
If you think the union should be doing something we aren’t, then let’s talk about how to make it happen. The likelihood of success, as we learned in October, goes up exponentially when we do the work together.
So next time you feel yourself starting to tell “the union” what “they” should do, take just a second before you do and ask, “How can I help do that?” Your odds of seeing positive results go up. The sense that we’re all working together gets maintained. The number of people participating in the daily practices of being a union goes up.
Remember what it felt like when we won? We can’t feel exactly like that all the time, but we can be in solidarity, feel the trust and care we showed on the lines, all the time. Ask what you can do to help. Then do it.